With Volvo moving fast into the fully electric era, this XC40 B5 is one of the last petrol-powered cars from the company. As such, Volvo has decided to make it a mild Hybrid, in preparation of the incoming EV (electric vehicle) period we are all going to enter.
Most of the underpinnings will not be felt by the average driver, including the shift from petrol into the electric systems. But before we delve too much into that, let’s take a look at what makes the XC40 an attractive proposition from a visual point of view.
Our test model – painted in what Volvo calls Fjord Blue – was the range-topping B5 Ultimate with added trimmings. Large “Thor’s hammer” headlights flank the bigger front grille, which in this case is coloured black. Thor’s hammer air vents are present on each side of the lower part of the grille. The side profile – while harking back to the traditional block design of older Volvos – stays current, with 1/3 window split, and a kink on the C-pillar. Fitted to this particular model are massive 21-inch black diamond cut alloy wheels that give the car an almost concept-like look. The rear end is a simple affair, with long vertical LED lights in club design. Black plastic bumper cladding completes the picture from all around the lower end.
Inside the XC40 B5 has an airy feeling, not only because the cabin is spacious for the segment, but also because it came with a split panoramic sunroof. Seats are a mix of sustainable materials, very well stitched together and provide good support in normal or curving situations. The front pair are fully electrically adjustable. Touch points are premium as well, adding to the comfortable occupant experience.
Some of the most current features found in cars are in the Volvo XC40 B5. These include a Google-powered infotainment system with Google Maps, Google Assistant, Apple Carplay, C-type USB ports and a 13-speaker, 600-Watt Harman Kardon sound system that gives powerful and very clear sound feedback.
Push the Start button on the dashboard and the petrol engine purrs a little. At times not at all, thanks to the electric battery. The gear selector lever is within easy reach, huddled with the electromagnetic handbrake and auto-hold buttons in the centre console. This is a space-saving mechanism that works well to give the car abundant pockets to put “stuff” into. The drive is relatively smooth, with little jerking between the gears and the Hybrid system.
The Volvo XC40 B5 is a bridge between the current and the future, which makes the most sense in Mzansi where electric cars are still impractical for the majority of people.
VOLVO XC40 B5
ENGINE: 2.0-litre, 4-cylinder turbo petrol
POWER: 183kW at 5 500rpm
TORQUE: 350Nm at 1 800rpm
GEARBOX: 8-speed automatic
0 – 100KM/H: 6.8 seconds
TOP SPEED: 180km/h
AVERAGE FUEL CONSUMPTION: 9.5 litres per 100km
FUEL TANK SIZE: 54 litres
CO2 e: 174 g/km
PRICE STANDARD: R847 400
NATURAL RIVALS: BMW X1 18d, Lexus UX 250h
PRICE RIVALS: Audi A5 Sportback 40TFSI, BMW 128ti Mzansi Edition, Kia Sorento EX+, Mercedes-Benz GLA 200 AMG Line, Volkswagen Transporter Crew Bus LWB
MAINTENANCE PLAN: 5-year/100 000km, roadside assistance
WARRANTY: 5-year/100 000km
BADDIE INDEX: 3/5