Volvo showcased its first compact SUV called the XC40 on Thursday. With the compact SUV, the automaker will be hoping to replicate the success of its XC90 and its best-selling XC60 SUVs.
The past few years have been great for the automaker, which has been overhauling its line-up under Chinese ownership. In 2010, Zhejiang Geely Holding Group bought Volvo from Ford. The automaker has also emerged as a challenger to bigger automakers like BMW and Mercedes-Benz by offering more upmarket models.
“The XC40 is our first entry in the small SUV segment, broadening the appeal of the Volvo brand and moving it in a new direction,” said Volvo President and Chief Executive Håkan Samuelsson. “It represents a fresh, creative and distinctive new member of the Volvo line-up.”
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Volvo claims to have designed several smart solutions to make full use of the space inside the compact SUV. Further, the automaker claims the Volvo XC40 is claimed has the most customizable interior among all Volvo vehicles.
In terms of looks, the Volvo XC40 is similar to the Range Rover Evoque or the Porsche Macan, including in the seating arrangement. Further, the SUV is made from premium cabin materials and technologies, notes CNET. From the front, the Volvo XC40 is similar to the other two cars in the lineup: the XC90, which was released in 2015, and the XC60, which is coming this year. On the sides, it has the same lower indent as was seen in the XC60.
The Volvo XC40 is based on the Compact Modular Architecture (CMA) platform, thanks to Volvo’s Chinese parent company Geely, while the XC90 and XC60 were built on Volvo’s Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) platform. The rear pillar of the Volvo XC40 is wider than the rear pillars on the automaker’s other SUVs. The two-tone paint makes it stand apart, but the taillight configuration is the standard Volvo design.
the Volvo XC40 is the first to be manufactured at Volvo’s Belgium plant, and later, it will be manufactured in China as well. In Europe, deliveries will start sometime in the first quarter of next year, while in the U.S., the car will be available by the end of March and in China by early May.
Initially, the automaker will offer an all-wheel drive T5 version priced at $35,200 and with a 247-horsepower 2.0 liter turbo four. A front-wheel-drive T4 version will go on sale next summer for $33,200. Going ahead, there will be hybrid and all-electric versions of the SUV also.
According to IHS Markit automotive analyst Ian Fletcher, “The XC40 is entering a crowded segment, but it’s a segment that’s still growing.”
The analyst expects Volvo to sell about 100,000 units next year and about 120,000 units the following year, notes Reuters.
Volvo also introduced a new Care subscription service, which is primarily a leasing option with new features. It works the same as buying a phone from a mobile carrier or subscribing to a music service, notes Jalopnik. Owners just need to pay a flat fee to get covered for everything from taxes, to maintenance and insurance. In addition, the plan gives the buyer a new car every 24 months, and they can also borrow other Volvos as needed. A “digital key” allows owners to share their car with the friends and family.