Sprint Review: Volvo XC40 T5 R-Design AWD

An extremely cool new car, lots of information in short bits. 

Where we went: If you’re new in town and need to make friends, drop everything you’re doing and get yourself a new Volvo XC40 right now. My word, this car attracts attention! No matter where we drove, stopped or parked, this pearl white T5 R-Design model would draw in inquisitive onlookers within seconds.

Complete strangers struck up conversations, my neighbour Whatsapp’d me for more info and everyone ignored the C63S AMG test car parked next to this. Honest. When I showed this Volvo to a friend (who works for a competing luxury brand) her entire sales team fell over the compact SUV like a pack ‘o wolves on a three-legged kitty.

More facts: Did I mention our test car’s orange carpets and pincushion dashboard trim? As part of Volvo’s amazingly trendy transformation, it’s just as eccentric as the tiny rubber Swedish flag on its bonnet edge. I’ve never heard the word “Wow!” so many times in a space of seven days. That also included me on a daily basis…

What you need to know: XC40 was made to capitalise on the global crossover / SUV boom and boy, did they succeed… production already had to be ramped up. Despite only being a few months old, it’s already got two “Car of the Year” titles under its belt and everyone in our office is happy to add another one from our publication.

Watch out for: Sigh, prices and dealer count. The turbo-petrol range starts with the T3 model at about R490,000 (available soon) and goes via a D4 turbo-diesel (600-640k) to this T5 retailing between R610,000 and R650,000 for our AWD R-Design test car. There are 22 dealers in South Africa and one in Namibia.

With 185kW and 350Nm via eight automatic gears, this T5 has plenty of poke – we measured 0-100km/h in a rapid 6.63 seconds. Unfortunately that also means it likes a drink or three. Volvo claims average fuel use of 6L/100km but ours regularly helped itself to 10 and more; simply because that great power is so accessible.

Why you’ll want one: Touch-screen infotainment system, six airbags and a dozen driver aids, a comfy and predictable ride, clever headlights, power everything, excellent brakes (37.57m from 100km/h) are all good and well but your heart burns for one of these because it’s got charming proportions and achingly cool details.

Each new XC40 is sold with a 5-year/100,000km warranty and maintenance plan.


Engine:                   2L i-4 turbo-petrol
Transmission:        8-speed Auto, AWD
Max. Power:           185kW
Max. Torque:         350Nm
Avg cons.:               10-12L/100km (claimed 6)
0-100km/h:           6.63 (claimed 6.4)
Top Speed:             Claimed 230km/h
List Price:               N$649,700


0-10km/h: 0,31 seconds
0-20km/h: 0,74 seconds
0-30km/h: 1,22 seconds
0-40km/h: 1,77 seconds
0-50km/h: 2,41 seconds
0-60km/h: 3,09 seconds
0-70km/h: 3,80 seconds
0-80km/h: 4,62 seconds
0-90km/h: 5,58 seconds
0-100km/h: 6,63 seconds
0-110km/h: 7,77 seconds
0-120km/h: 9,06 seconds
0-130km/h: 10,67 seconds
0-140km/h: 12,50 seconds
0-150km/h: 14,54 seconds
0-160km/h: 16,87 seconds

0-100m: 6,27 seconds @ 96,86km/h
0-200m: 9,52 seconds @ 123,25km/h
0-300m: 12,26 seconds @ 138,89km/h
0-400m: 14,74 seconds @ 150,92km/h

100-0km/h: 2,66 seconds @ 37,57 meters (once-off)
Maximum deceleration G-force: 1,16G


0-10mph: 0,56 seconds
0-20mph: 1,34 seconds
0-30mph: 2,29 seconds
0-40mph: 3,38 seconds
0-50mph: 4,66 seconds
0-60mph: 6,24 seconds
0-70mph: 8,10 seconds
0-80mph: 10,42 seconds
0-90mph: 13,45 seconds
0-100mph: 17,08 seconds

1/4 mile: 14,80 seconds @ 93,88 mph

Maximum acceleration G-force: 0,74G

Altitude: 60m

All data captured by Racelogic® Performance Box

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