XC40 T4 Inscription trim level gives the Volvo XC40 a posh and sophisticated look and feel
The Volvo XC40 has been garnering a lot of attention lately, and for all the right reasons: it’s the Swedish brand’s first foray into the compact luxury SUV market, it packs lots of cool styling details and storage solutions, it offers a good choice of drivetrains and is even reasonable value for money.
When we sampled the top of the range XC40 T5 R-Design, we were impressed by its style, tech, level of comfort and the almost hot hatch like performance from that drivetrain. Oh, we were a fan of the orange carpet, too.
This time around we’re testing the mid-spec T4 Inscription variant. Prices for the XC40 T4 Inscription start at $50,990 plus on road costs. Our test car included the following options: Technology Pack: Adaptive Cruise Control, 360 Camera, Park Assist Pilot ($2,500); Lifestyle Pack: Heated Front Seats, Sunroof, Tinted Rear Glass ($2,500); Power Folding Rear Backrest ($250); Heated Rear Seat ($350); Lockable Glovebox ($30); Harmon Kardon Premium Sound System ($1,200). All these options brought the total bill to $57,520 plus government charges.
Those of you familiar with Volvo’s crop of new models will know that Inscription badged models have a luxurious twist. And we’re happy to report that the XC40 T4 Inscription feels oh so posh inside. The dark, premium materials are contrasted by blonde woodgrain inlays. At night, those inlays are illuminated by soft white lighting which gives the interior a classy lounge club feel at night.
As per the R-Design, the interior is ever so comfortable and very well made. The seating is excellent for four adults – the rear bench may be a squeeze with three – and there are plenty of handy cubby holes throughout the cabin. There are even slots in the dashboard for your credit cards.
The XC40 T4 Inscription is powered by a 2.0 litre turbocharged and intercooled petrol engine that produces 140kW @ 4700rpm and 300Nm @ 1400-4000rpm which is mated to an eight-speed automatic. Power is sent to all four wheels.
Although the drivetrain doesn’t have the same outright punch as the one found in the T5 R-Design, we never longed for more power. This is largely thanks to a broad and chunky power band, and the engine and transmission’s ability to deliver the right amount of punch at the right time. There’s also a number of drive modes: Economy, Dynamic and Comfort. Naturally, Economy helps to ensure the drivetrain is frugal as possible, Comfort allows for decent performance, but everything is quiet, hushed and refined.
In this mode, minimal engine noise makes its way into the cabin and the XC40 makes for a truly polished and luxurious cruiser. Select Dynamic mode and the throttle response is sharpened, the gear changes become quicker and that relaxed cruiser becomes a borderline sporty SUV. Volvo says it’ll do 0-100km/h in 8.5 seconds, if you’re wondering.
There’s also an off-road mode, if you were wondering. But you’re probably never going to use that.
Ride quality is firm, but never becomes brittle and the steering is light but at the same time isn’t vague or ambiguous.
Overall, the Volvo XC40 T4 Inscription is an exceptional compact SUV that offers more than enough style, luxury and performance to satisfy most buyers in this segment.