New 2023 Volvo XC40 ( Overview ). HIGHS
– Youthful design, practical cabin, generous standard tech features.
– Not as luxurious as larger Volvos, all-wheel drive only available with the more powerful engine, infotainment icons are too small.
– The XC40 SUV delivers much of the same experience as other Volvos but adds its own unique flavor.
Plush and well packaged
Choice of ICE or EV
Not as efficient as it could be
Doesn’t feel as flash or flashy as rivals
Touchscreen controls still not perfect
The Volvo XC40 has become one of the most successful small SUVs in the world, and it holds its own in the Australian market too.
It was Australia’s favourite small premium SUV in 2022, edging the Audi Q3 for a photo finish to the year (5119 units v 5048 units) and a big part of the sustained success of the XC40 is the fact it’s available as an EV.
But this test isn’t of the facelifted Recharge Pure Electric – instead, we’re behind the wheel of the 2023 Volvo XC40 Ultimate B5 Dark, which runs a newly added mild-hybrid powertrain, adopts a slightly more angular look at the front, and adds the Recharge’s Android Automotive infotainment system.
This petrol version could be the last Volvo model to receive an update that includes petrol as an option. The brand has stated its intent is to go all electric in Australia by 2026, and that’s not all that far away. There’s no more plug-in hybrid model is no more locally, either.
So, is the newly added mild-hybrid petrol still worth making a fuss about? Or you should shell out the extra to get the EV? Read on, and you should be able to make that call.