The XC40’s upscale interior and comfortable front seats make the grade, but our testers found the controls on this Volvo cumbersome and maddening to use.

The turbocharged four-cylinder engine has decent power and acceleration, while registering a reasonable 24 mpg overall in CR testing. But the engine noise is coarse, and the stop/start system, designed to save fuel, restarts with an unpleasant jolt.

Volvo’s stiff suspension amplifies ridges and ruts, and the handling is hurt by the SUV’s dull steering. Still, the XC40 performed well, even when pushed to its limits taking sharp corners.


The touch-screen infotainment system looks high-tech, but using it while driving is frustrating and distracting. It requires multiple taps, swipes, and scrolls to execute common audio and climate-control tasks.

The gear selector may give drivers fits until they master it. That’s because they have to move the selector twice in the appropriate direction to engage either Drive or Reverse. Miss the second move, and the transmission stays in Neutral, which is certainly annoying and possibly dangerous.

The flat rear seat is low to the floor and doesn’t offer enough thigh support.

Unlike in other vehicles, the cargo cover can be stored under the floor, which is a handy feature, but the overall cargo space is only modest. All versions come with standard forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and pedestrian detection.

See the complete Volvo XC40 road test.

HIGHS: Interior ambience, front-seat comfort, standard advanced safety equipment
LOWS: Ride, controls, annoying gear selector, engine noise
POWERTRAIN: 248-hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo engine; eight-speed automatic; all-wheel drive
FUEL: 24 mpg on premium fuel

Editor’s Note: This article also appeared in the August 2018 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.