The 2022 Volvo XC40 is one of my favorite compact SUVs. But the XC40 has always been let down by its turbocharged powertrains and annoying infotainment system. Luckily, Volvo is on the fast track to full electrification, and the new XC40 Recharge fixes all of the regular XC40’s issues with almost no downsides. Still, the XC40 isn’t all-flash. Its cabin is thoughtfully designed with clever storage opportunities, and its cargo area is generously sized. Plus, when compared to German rivals such as the BMW X1 and Mercedes-Benz GLA-class, Volvo’s higher seating position will appeal to SUV enthusiasts. If you’re looking for an electrified SUV with similar traits, Volvo also offers the XC40 Recharge, which we review separately.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
Under the hood of every 2022 Volvo XC40 is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder making either 184 or 248 horsepower (called T4 and T5, respectively). The more powerful T5, which pairs exclusively with all-wheel drive, helped our Momentum test vehicle scoot to 60 mph in a reasonably brisk 6.2 seconds. The eight-speed automatic transmission handles gearchanges without delay and transmits no harshness to the cabin while doing so. Our sole complaint is the coarse sound the engine emits under heavy throttle. When cruising, the powertrain is quiet and refined. The XC40’s towing capacity—a rarity among subcompact-luxury crossovers—is a stout 3500 pounds.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
Despite boasting class-competitive fuel-economy ratings from the EPA (22 mpg city and 30 mpg highway), the XC40 T5 produced merely average performance for the segment in our 75-mph highway fuel-economy test, at 29 mpg. The über-efficient Mercedes-Benz GLB250 handily beat the XC40 in our testing, with 32 mpg. The front-wheel-drive T4 model earns EPA ratings of 23 mpg city and 32 mpg highway. For more information about the XC40’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Contemporary Swedish styling meets fun and functional design inside the 2022 Volvo XC40. The cabin’s light and airy atmosphere imparts a truly upscale vibe even in the base Momentum trim. Passenger space is commodious in both the front and rear seats. As is the case with its more expensive stablemates—the XC60 and XC90—the XC40 is functional inside, well made, and beautifully designed—if not quite as plush and luxurious.
Volvo designers took the opportunity to incorporate more youthful flourishes in the cabin of the Momentum and R-Design trims, such as the textured metallic trim in place of traditional wood inlays and rectilinear vents with floating chrome adjusters. Top-of-the-line Inscription models sport a classier appearance, with driftwood trim and a shift knob crafted from Orrefors crystal. In our luggage test, the XC40 managed to accommodate 23 carry-on suitcases with its rear seats folded. Additionally, Volvo has integrated a number of inventive cargo-storage features throughout the XC40’s interior, such as a hook that flips out from the glovebox to hold takeout bags, a divider for the cargo area, and a removable garbage bin with a hinged door in the center console.
Infotainment and Connectivity
From its prominent and slightly canted position in the center of the 2022 Volvo XC40‘s dashboard, Volvo’s Sensus Connect infotainment system is projected brightly on a 9.0-inch touchscreen. Almost everything inside the cabin is controlled via this screen, but there are few redundant physical buttons. System usability is a mixed bag: The main menus are intuitively arranged, but submenus suffer from small touchscreen icons that are fussy to use on the go. We also noticed pronounced system lag immediately upon startup.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
2022 Volvo XC40 offers plenty of driver-assistance tech as standard, including automated emergency braking. However, more advanced features including a semi-autonomous driving mode are optional. For more information about the XC40’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites