Volvo's baby aiming to stir scene

The swish Swedish entry into the compact crossover category will sail in with sharp pricing.

BEING the first Volvo to use a new modular vehicle architecture has not adversely influenced the XC40’s pricing here.

The compact off-roader, whose underpinning will be shared with the next V40 as well as models from Chinese parent company Geely, comes on sale in April.

However Volvo NZ has announced pricing now to leverage from interest in the brand sure to be created from Auckland being a stopover for the Volvo Ocean Race, whose competitors begin to arrive tonight and will be in port for 23 days.

The parent brand has allowed for an XC40 to be displayed at the just-opened race headquarters in the Viaduct.

Volvo New Zealand says it intends for the compact crossover to established as the safest and best value premium compact SUV on the market.

Pricing for the new entrant into the rapidly growing compact SUV category will start at $59,900 (plus on-road costs) for the front wheel drive XC40 T4 Momentum. 

Volvo’s NZ general manager Coby Duggan says initial interest in the new model has been strong with the first customer vehicles on the water and due for delivery in April.

“Combined with the intuitive technology, class-leading safety and practicality which Volvo has become renowned for, we’re confident that the XC40’s distinctive styling will set it apart from the competition in the industry’s fastest growing segment.

“We expect its first public appearance during the Auckland stopover of the Volvo Ocean Race to shift the level of customer enquiry into another gear, so we’ll be pushing hard to secure sufficient production to meet demand,” he says.

In addition to the T4 Momentum, the XC40 T4 Inscription (all-wheel drive) will be priced from $67,900, while the XC40 T5 R-Design (all-wheel drive) will be available from $72,900.

A limited number of XC40 T5 R-Design ‘Launch Edition’ vehicles will be offered at $78,900 with additional standard features including a panoramic sunroof and Harman Kardon premium sound system. 

While the 182kW XC40 T5 R-Design will be available at launch, the 140kW T4 variants (Momentum and Inscription) will follow in the third quarter. 

The initial XC40 range in NZ will all feature the brand’s turbocharged 2.0-litre 4-cylinder petrol engines, making it the first of their SUV models to not have a diesel option.

Duggan says this is keeping pace with a compact SUV category trend and is also reflective of Volvo’s planned obsolescence of diesel powertrains in the years ahead.

An electrified XC40 is expected to join the line-up later in 2019. Volvo plans a plug-in hybrid and a pure electric version. It is also the first Volvo to be powered by a three-cylinder engine.

The XC40 takes class leading safety and semi-autonomous driving technology. Blind spot information system, cross traffic alert, driver alert control, lane keeping aid, oncoming lane mitigation, tyre pressure monitoring system, cruise control, run off road mitigation and a whiplash protection system are all standard across all models in the range.

The car marks the third SUV in Volvo’s portfolio following the large XC90 and mid-size XC60, and ensures that the Swedish brand is now covered in the main SUV segments.

The production model remains faithful to the concept, with the swept up look from the rear door panel into the C-pillar, the dual-tone roof and body, Thor’s hammer LED daytime running lights, Volvo’s signature vertical tail-lights and a tailgate spoiler.