2019 Volvo XC40 D3 R-Design Review

2019 Volvo XC40 Review

We tested the highly acclaimed 2019 Volvo XC40 D3 R-Design compact SUV. Read on to see exactly what we thought of it…

What is the 2019 Volvo XC40 AWD R-Design Pro all about?

Volvo’s XC40 was released back in September 2017 and production started shortly after in November 2017. This model is bang up to date and has impressed customers and journalists alike. It has won awards from WhatCar?, TopGear and even taken the European Car of the Year award. So it has a lot to live up to!

The model we are testing here is the 2019 Volvo XC40 D3 R-Design. This trim level brings a sporty and premium look to the car that makes it stand out from its competitors. The most eye-catching feature is the contrasting black roof. It gives the vehicle a bold style that looks completely unique.

At the front there are lots of clever design features, such as a concave front grille paired with a set of very distinguished headlights.

Looking at the 2019 Volvo XC40 side on, it sits on a nice set of 18-inch alloy wheels and has a concave design that flows along both door panels, adding to the car’s mystique.

At the rear, the light clusters focus your attention. They sculpt the look of the vehicle in both daylight and at night.

Being the D3, the 2019 Volvo XC40 comes with a 2.0-litre diesel engine that creates 150 hp and 320 Nm of torque. This immense power is transferred to all four wheels using an 8-speed automatic gearbox. This means that the car can accelerate from 0-60mph in 8.2 seconds, onto a top speed of 121mph. The D3 engine is capable of generating combined fuel economy figures of 52.3mpg and will create 142 g/km of CO2.

How Does The Volvo XC40 Drive?

The driving experience of the 2019 Volvo XC40 is one of the main selling points of the vehicle. Considering it is in the compact SUV sector, the ride feels more premium than expected.

The driving touchpoints of the 2019 Volvo XC40, such as the steering wheel and gear lever, feel lightweight and premium even without moving the car.

Driving around town, the XC40 feels small and nimble. The D3 engine has all the power you need and the 8-speed Geartronic gearbox certainly looks after itself!

As with most cars nowadays, the 2019 Volvo XC40 has various drive modes depending on your current situation. These are: Comfort (default), Eco, Dynamic, Off-Road and Individual. Each of these modes influence the engine, gearbox, accelerator response, climate control and driver information screen, instantly tailoring the car to your needs.

The 2019 Volvo XC40 includes a mixture of technology to make life easy. It incorporates a birds-eye-view camera so you can see all four corners of the car, making it incredibly easy to park! You can also use this camera when taking on tight bends, making this compact SUV a doddle to drive.

On the motorway, the £1,500 Intellisafe Pro Pack includes two essential features that add value to the car. One is the Blind Spot Information System. If you try to change lanes when there is something in your blind spot, the orange light in the mirror will flash to bring this to your attention.

Secondly, the most impressive thing about the 2019 Volvo XC40 is Pilot Assist. This is a driving aid that works up to 80mph. Just think of it as a combination of adaptive cruise and lane keep assist. It is designed to work alongside your driving, but it is able to hold the car in the motorway lane and will keep a set distance from the car in front, or the desired speed if there is no car in front.

After using this Pilot Assist system, I now dislike motorway driving without it. Although it is just an assist system and you need to pay full attention and keep your hands on the wheel, it does a much smoother job of keeping the car in the lane than you could imagine. This is an option that I would certainly have ticked on my XC40.

The 2019 Volvo XC40 is also fitted with a set of very powerful headlights. They are a strikingly crisp shade of white and light the road up well for optimum safety. These headlights also include automatic high beam assist, meaning that if the Volvo can’t see another car in sight and it thinks you will benefit from having the high beams on, it will automatically enable them for you.

What is it like inside?

The interior of the XC40 is in keeping with Volvo’s cornerstone design principles.

On this specific car, the first thing you might notice is the Lava orange carpets that cover the floor, door panel inserts and the tunnel side panels, which are then overlaid with orange mats. This £175 personalisation option gives the interior of the car a very unique look. Probably not a look I would choose perhaps, but it adds zest to the XC40’s inside and will appeal to a younger audience for sure.

The centre point of the dashboard is the Sensus nine-inch touch screen. It is the control hub for pretty much everything that the car does. The glass is high quality and the user interface looks up to date with lightning fast responses.

Looking at the driver instruments, you will notice there is a 12.3-inch active digital driver information display. Again, the refresh rate of the screen is impressive and the information on screen will dynamically change in keeping with the different drive modes of the car. This kind of screen instantly makes the old physical dials look out of date.

Volvo also offer a Harman Kardon premium sound system in the car, which is incredible. However, the standard sound system in the XC40 isn’t too bad at all.

The interior is very spacious considering it is supposed to be smaller than the XC60 and XC90. Without having the XC60 to directly compare the car against, I couldn’t tell the difference. In all the scenarios that I tested the car, there was plenty of room in the front, back and lots of space in the boot.

The Experience

I loved the 2019 Volvo XC40. It is youthful with bold styling and plenty of character. A week of rolling around in the car left me with a wow factor.

Volvo XC40 Cost

The 2019 Volvo XC40 test model here is in R-Design trim with the D3 engine. It costs £41,520 but it is a high specification. The XC40 range can start as low as £27,610 with the T3 Momentum. The notable options available for this car were: Xenium pack – £1,600, Intellisafe Pro Pack – £1,500 and premium metallic paint at £850.


There is a big demand in the compact SUV sector at the moment and the 2019 Volvo XC40 is the best model available from the brand. It performs very well and meets all expectations. I don’t know what more we can ask from them!

Although the 2019 Volvo XC40 D3 R-Design is slightly higher priced than some may prefer, I think it is a brilliant example of a perfectly configured car that is well suited to UK roads and a modern lifestyle.


2019 Volvo XC40 D3 R-Design Specs

  • Price from: £41,520
  • Engine: 2.0-litre Diesel AWD
  • Power: 150hp
  • Torque: 320 Nm
  • Transmission: 8 Speed Automatic
  • 0-62mph:  8.2 seconds
  • Top speed: 121 mph
  • Weight: 1,572 kg
  • Economy combined:  52 mpg
  • CO2: 142 g/km

For more pictures of the XC40 take a look in the gallery.