The compact premium crossover segment is no longer heating up, it’s positively scorching. There are some really excellent cars in this space at the moment and, sadly, none of them have a four-ringed badge on the nose. The latest entry into this segment is the brand-new Volvo XC40, which we recently saw at the 2018 New York Auto Show.
Volvo’s smallest SUV enters a segment already occupied by the BMW X1, Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class, Jaguar E-Pace and Lexus NX. All of which are very good cars and popular among customers (except for maybe the E-Pace which is about as new as the XC40). Notice I didn’t mention the Audi Q3? That’s because it isn’t really any good.
I bash the Q3 a lot and it’s because it’s quite a disappointment. Audi is capable of so much more, especially now that it has far newer platforms and technologies. Yet customers are still stuck with a dated crossover, built on the older MkVI VW Golf platform and powered by outdated engines. It’s the worst car in the segment, unfortunately. It may be harsh but it’s true.
The Volvo XC40 looks very good from the outside and was a standout in New York. Fans and journalists alike seemed to love its fun and boxy styling that’s so modern and so typically Swedish. Inside, it’s equally as fun and hilariously Swedish. The center touchscreen is very interesting and works quite well, even if there are too many menus to navigate through while driving. The interior door panels are also fitted with a fuzzy material that’s both odd and intriguing.
We haven’t driven the XC40 yet but we’re hearing very good things so far. We cant wait to give it a go and see if its driving dynamics match its unique style and personality. Though, we can’t imagine it being worse than the Audi Q3.