Volvo’s SUV trilogy began with the very impressive XC90 in 2015, followed by this year’s sequel, the XC60. As the grand finale, Volvo just unveiled the 2018 XC40, the smallest of the lot, yet equal to its siblings on safety technology.

The XC40 looks about on par with a Range Rover Evoque or the Porsche Macan, with seating for five plus cargo space. And following Volvo’s market position, its new small SUV shows off premium cabin materials and technologies.

The front view makes the XC40 look almost indistinguishable from its bigger brothers, especially at night when the “Hammer of Thor” headlights shine in their unique shape. The side includes the same lower indent as the XC60, but there the similarities end.

The rear pillar of the XC40 is much wider than on Volvo’s other SUVs, and two-tone paint, shown in initial photos, make it stand apart. The taillight configuration, however, reinforces the Volvo identity.

Large wheels give the XC40 an aggressive look, and Volvo says its ground clearance comes in at 8.3 inches, making it off-road ready. Although Volvo has not released complete specifications, the XC40 T5 model will come with standard all-wheel-drive and a four-cylinder engine with its Drive-E technology. That will likely mean forced induction through Volvo’s unique combination of supercharging and turbocharging, making 250 horsepower, similar to the XC60 T5.

Volvo will also offer a less expensive XC40 T4 with front-wheel-drive.

Collision prevention technology is a highlight of the XC90 SUV, and Volvo doesn’t stint in this area for the less expensive XC40. Volvo’s City Safety system uses cameras to identify pedestrians, cyclists, cars and even large animals, automatically hitting the brakes if it determines a collision is imminent. The XC40’s cross-traffic detection, which warns the driver when cars are approaching to the sides while reversing, can also automatically hit the brakes.

For driving convenience, the XC40 also includes Volvo’s Pilot Assist, which combines adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping technologies, putting it on a path towards self-driving.

Volvo introduced the Sensus infotainment system in the XC90 with a large, portrait-format touchscreen, so of course, the XC40 benefits from this innovation as well. The system supports navigation, connected features such as third-party apps, stereo and hands-free calling. In addition, support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay means close phone integration.

The 2018 Volvo XC40 T5 will come out first at a price of $35,200, while the XC40 T4 will appear next summer, with prices starting at $33,200.

Volvo provides a new option for XC40 ownership besides the typical financing or leasing. Care by Volvo is a new program where you can get an XC40 by paying a monthly fee, with no down payment and no lease agreement. Volvo says that customers will be able to upgrade to a new car every 12 months under the program. Further details of this new ownership model will come out at the 2017 Los Angeles auto show.



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