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2020 Volvo XC40 Inscription: Award-Winning Technology and a Cool Crystal Gear Lever

The new 2020 Volvo XC40 is Volvo's third and smallest SUV, but the award-winning technologies from the largest XC90 and XC60 series are standard in the 2020 Volvo XC40. These are innovations, which Volvo says are rarely offered among competitors.

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This week Torque News test-drove the 2020 Volvo XC40T5 AWD Inscription, which is the top trim of the series, offered with Momentum and R-Design trims. The top characteriestics of the Inscription trim are the exclusive design, luxury by Sweden, the premium touch and the right stance. However, the Volvo XC40 is also offered as a fully electric SUV (XC40 Recharge) with more than 200 miles of range and 78-kwh battery pack.

XC40's Inscription Trim

Let's talk about some of the characteristics of the 2020 Volvo XC40's Inscription trim. Once you seat in the car, the first thing that stands out is the crystal gear lever. It really creates a contemporary sense of craftsmanship in the cabin, providing nice reflection of light during night driving. Another design touch that makes the Inscription trim to stand out is the chrome trim of the front grille and side windows. The roof rails are made of bright aluminum, and all of these distinctive features give the vehicle an exclusive design. Other distinctive characteristics of the Inscription XC40 are the rich leather upholstery in the interior and the striking 18, 19 or 20-in alloy wheels.

Pricing and Fuel Economy

The 2020 Volvo XC40 T5 AWD Inscription starts at $35,700, but can go up to $47,395 when you add all options. This SUV gets 25 MPG combined, while the City and highways are respectively 22/30 MPG.

2020 Volvo XC40 AWD Inscription side

Volvo is known for its large cars and especially its station wagons, which are among the safest vehicles in the world. The Swedish manufacturer has succeeded in carrying on this tradition with a new range of vehicles by introducing its first SUV on the market in 1997. What's interesting, is that the Volvo XC40 fits perfectly with the image we have of a modern SUV.

Despite its small size the Volvo XC40 remains quite powerfull under the hood. From the entry-level version, we are treated with a small 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbocharged engine, developing 188 horsepower and 221 lb-ft of torque. This mechanic is called T4 if you are familiar with Volvo terms. The second option is also a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine, but the output of the latter increases to 244 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. Despite its small size, the Volvo XC40 remains quite heavy with a total weight of over 1,600 kg. In other words, that powerful engine is not too much.

2020 Volvo XC40 AWD Inscription rear view

In either case, the 2020 Volvo XC40 benefits from an 8-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive, which allows it to deliver a sporty drive while maintaining excellent fuel consumption.

The Interior

The Volvo XC40 is a true luxury vehicle. There is no doubt about it, especially with a base price of $ 35,700, for which you can get a mainstream, large-size SUV. Nevertheless, the small SUV from the Swedish manufacturer offers a whole range of high-end standard features such as several driving modes, a high-performance audio system, a 12.3-inch digital dashboard, a 9-inch touch screen and so on.

2020 Volvo XC40 AWD Inscription front seats

Therefore, it feels like the most equipped version of a mainstream SUV, whose average retail price is well over $40,000. Yet, as we are dealing with a luxury vehicle, there are always more as you add options and go for the higher trims.

The interior of the 2020 XC 40 has a contemporary Swedish styling and a very functional desing. The interior's light gives an impression of an upscale feeling even in the base trim. You get a pretty sizeable passenger space in both the front and rear seats. Of course, you will get more space with the XC60 and the XC90 trims. However, the XC 40 is very functional inside, and beautifully designed, especially when you look at the shift knob, crafted from Orrefors crystal.

2020 Volvo XC40 AWD Inscription rear seat

The interior of the Volvo XC40 is very compact. For me it felt comfortable, but once I was transporting 3 adults in the back, and one of them said it could be a little bigger. But that wasn't everyone's case. Another person, sitting in the back, told me he was very comfortable. On the other hand, the SUV from the Swedish manufacturer offers us a fairly elegant dashboard and the quality of the materials that make up the interior is average.

The Exterior Design

When you hear the name Volvo, you can all imagine a car or SUV of good length and clean, elegant lines. For the 2020 XC40, it's quite the opposite and "it's not a bad thing since the latter does not give the impression of having passed through a compactor as is too often the case in this category," notes Jean-Sébastien Poudrier at Autobaine. The 2020 Volvo XC40's proportions are right and despite its aesthetic simplicity, it has something to catch the eye with a few key elements like its grille, headlights, taillights and design at the C-pillar. Volvo has also done an excellent job in terms of the choice of optional rims.

The XC40 is not Volvo's biggest trim, therefore the cargo space is comparable to that of some subcompact cars, but it's a sleek vehicle, packed with technology and a lot of fun to drive.

2020 Volvo XC40 AWD Inscription cargo spaceArmen Hareyan is the founder and the Editor in Chief of Torque News. He founded in 2010, which since then has been publishing expert news and analysis about the automotive industry. He can be reached at Torque News Twitter, Facebok, Linkedin and Youtube.

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