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Iceni Magazine | July 2, 2022

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Volvo XC40 T5 AWD R-Design Pro Automatic Review

Volvo XC40 T5 AWD R-Design Pro Automatic

By motoring journalist, Tim Barnes-Clay – Instagram @tbarnesclay and Twitter @carwriteups

Sweden seems to radiate cool. You can see the Northern Lights from Northern Europe’s biggest country – and then there’s the food, fashion and tradition. Oh, and we can’t forget Volvo.

This auto brand wasn’t so cool in years gone by. Its cars had the aerodynamics of bricks, but they were safe – and very family-oriented.

The family bit hasn’t gone – indeed, the marque is producing SUVs like nobody’s business. Take the XC40 on test here. The model is chunky, yet sleek – and doesn’t resemble a brick – that’s for sure.

In R-Design trim, you get a car that has an athletic edge – but it’s the interior that gives it the advantage. Gorgeous suede-effect materials and a perfectly screwed together cabin make the XC40 a delightful place to be.


The SUV will seat four adults comfortably – and five at a push. The boot is large enough for everyone’s luggage, and things like the powerful sound system make every journey a pleasure. It’s difficult to get stressed in this car, even when stuck in a queue. What’s more, should a bad thing happen, like an accident, you’re in one of the safest smaller SUVs money can buy.

The drive can be dynamic as well as chilled, especially in ‘T5’ petrol turbo guise, as tested here. There is a downside to this engine, though – I never got more than late 20smpg out of it all week. Maybe it was my heavy right foot? It’s claimed to do around 39mpg.


Volvo has a ‘premium’ image more than ever these days – and justifiably so. There’s no vacuous marketing spin around this brand – it really does deliver– from quality to ride comfort, and from safety to looks.

I know it’s shallow, but this is an SUV you’ll be glad to see parked outside your home. It’s not got the kind of looks only a mother could love – which can’t be said for some high-riding vehicles on the market.

The XC40 isn’t a cheap package to buy or lease, and it’s expensive to run in T5 form, but you’ll still want one the moment you go for a test drive. What’s more, if your kids are anything like mine, you’ll have no choice in the matter. This is a car that’ll please not just you as the driver, but all the family. And, who knows, some of that Swedish cool might even rub off on you.


Fast Facts (XC40 T5 AWD R-Design Pro Automatic – as tested)

  • Max speed: 140 mph
  • 0-62 mph: 6.5 seconds
  • Combined MPG: 39.8
  • Engine layout: 1969cc 4-cylinder petrol turbo
  • power (PS): 247
  • CO2: 166 g/km
  • Price: £38,485


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