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2021 Volvo XC40 Trim Levels with Comparisons & Configurations.

2021 Volvo XC40 Trim Levels, Configurations & Comparisons: Momentum vs R-Design & Inscription
Reviewed & fact checked by
James Murdoch

What 2021 Volvo XC40 Trim Level Should you Buy? What is the Difference Between Trims?

The Volvo XC40 is a new model to this automaker's lineup. First finding itself in production just a few years ago in 2017, the XC40 found its namesake as Volvo's smallest SUV. As the first model to be produced on Volvo's unique vehicle architecture consisting of modular components, the XC40 led the way for electrified vehicles to come. Boasting an all-new exterior design that is different from any other Volvo model, the XC40 can proficiently compete with long-time rivals, like Audi and BMW in this marketspace. Accommodating up to five passengers, the Volvo XC40 gained its reputation for its luxury interior and impressive tech-centered elements.

Entering its second generation in 2019, the Volvo XC40 made history by debuting as Volvo's first ever electric car. Known as the Recharge model, this XC40 is the first of several electric car prototypes. With five more models in mind, the Volvo XC40 had the honor of being selected as the first model to incorporate a plug-in hybrid or fully electric option.

Planning to move to a ratio of fifty-percent electric cars in the next five years, buyers can expect the newer Volvo XC40 models to evolve quickly. In fact, the 2021 Volvo XC40 just barely got in on the action. Offering a premium interior with luxury fabrics and details, the 2021 Volvo XC40 is a consumer favorite that incorporates innovative storage solutions and a plethora of standard and available features into its basic design. The level of customization available for this SUV simply improves from the base model.

Deciding on a new vehicle purchase is a huge task and is one that must not be taken lightly. After all, you are the one who will be driving your 2021 Volvo XC40 daily, so it is important that you are satisfied with your selected model from front to back and inside out. To thoroughly evaluate the different trim level options of the 2021 Volvo XC40, we have put together this comprehensive guide for reference. Take a look at the trim level options for the 2021 Volvo XC40 below and keep them in mind when evaluating the trim level that may be the best for you, your lifestyle, and your family. Three different trim level selections are available that will make all the difference in the way your selected 2021 Volvo XC40 looks, feels, handles, and performs, so choose wisely.

Compare the 2021 Volvo XC40 Momentum vs. R-Design. What is the Difference?

Just because the 2021 Volvo XC40 Momentum is the base level option for this SUV does not mean that its features are anything less than premium. As one of the newest and smallest luxury SUV's on the market, buyers often do not know what to expect from the 2021 Volvo XC40. Yet, when they look further into the innate features this vehicle offers, they are typically surprised and inspired. In fact, every XC40 trim level is paired with a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that can produce either 184 or 248 horsepower, which corresponds to the T4 or T5 engine setup options this SUV offers. The more robust and powerful T5 engine option exclusively pairs with all-wheel drive and is available as an upgrade for the Momentum trim level.

When utilizing the T5 powertrain setup, the 2021 Volvo XC40 can achieve up to 29 combined MPG fuel economy. This is complimented well by the Momentum's youthful and vibrant feel, which is evident even in this base model. Focused on providing a light and airy in-cabin experience, the 2021 Volvo XC40 Momentum offers intricate detailing and competing materials within the interior of this SUV to provide a modern feel. Both the Momentum and R-Design offer playful elements that appeal to a younger generation of buyers. The Volvo Sensus Connect System that is projected onto a 9.0-inch touchscreen plays into the interest of buyers in modern technology elements, which this automaker seeks to quench.

Based off the same underlying design concepts, the 2021 Volvo XC40 differentiates the Momentum trim level from the R-Design by its heightened detailing efforts in both technology and design. The R-Design boasts the same powertrain features as its Momentum counterpart, yet it incorporates many more automated features than the Momentum does. Keyless ignition, front and rear parking sensors, a universal remote transmitter, leather seats, and 20-inch Black Diamond alloy wheels are just a few ways the R-Design sets itself apart from the Momentum trim level. In general, the 2021 Volvo XC40 R-Design is sportier and more athletic than its Momentum predecessor.

Standard features of the 2021 Volvo XC40 R-Design are significantly different from those of the Momentum. 18-inch silver aluminum wheels are replaced with 19-inch painted aluminum wheels, a sunroof that encompasses the first and second row is added, front air conditioning is replaced with dual-zone automatic climate control, and driver lumbar support is replaced with heated driver and passenger front seats. For every standard attribute the Momentum trim level offers, the R-Design takes it up a notch. From comfort to convenience, and everything in between, the R-Design addresses every facet of the XC40 and seeks to make it as functional and modern as possible.

Compare the 2021 Volvo XC40 R-Design vs. Inscription Trim Level. What is the Difference?

There is no doubt that the 2021 Volvo XC40 R-Design is a bold SUV that bases its design on athleticism, technology, and comfort, but what about those consumers who want a bit more in their compact SUV? The Inscription finds a way to incorporate premium features that provide the most upscale look and feel a 2021 Volvo XC40 trim level has to offer. Available with either a T4 or T5 engine option, the 2021 Volvo XC40 Inscription powertrain is paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission with overdrive and can produce up to 187 horsepower with its standard powertrain setup. It offers front-wheel drive capabilities and incorporates ABS technology and driveline traction control techniques into its performance attributes.

Apart from the powertrain differentiation between the R-Design and Inscription XC40 stand the interior facets that truly separate these two trim levels. Fog-friendly driving lights in the front and rear, heated mirrors, and rain-sensing windshield wipers adorn the outside of the 2021 Volvo XC40 Inscription model. On the inside, leather seat trim, dual-zone automatic climate controls, and a voice-activated navigation system compatible with Sensus Navigation technology are front and center stage. Somewhere in between fall the remote keyless entry for all doors, Park Assist Pilot parking assist technology, and two first-row LCD monitors exclusive to the Inscription model.

Offering four interior colors that are complimented by eight exterior color options, the 2021 Volvo XC40 Inscription is as distinguished as compact SUVs come. Sharp and funky in appearance, yet nimble and quick in handling, the Inscription model is virtually in a class of its own. Where the R-Design offers bigger wheels, stiffer suspension elements, and black moldings and trim, the Inscription incorporates more storage options, great flexibility, and a wider array of upscale amenities.

There is no doubt that the Inscription is a more equipped and better-looking model than its underlying trim level relatives, but to what extent is this the case? Judging by its driftwood trim elements and crystal shift knob, we would say that the Inscription goes above and beyond to prove its exclusivity to buyers. Classier and more accommodating than other trim levels, the Inscription combines luxury with functionality in a way that other subcompact luxury SUVs cannot.

Which Trim to Choose?

Do not let the limited number of trim level options for the 2021 Volvo XC40 fool you into thinking this subcompact SUV is limited in the distinctive features it has to offer. Since this SUV has so much to prove to buyers, it goes above and beyond to incorporate unique attributes and modern amenities into every trim level. From the base Momentum to the sporty R-Design to the upscale Inscription, the 2021 Volvo XC40 has everything buyers could want, or need, in a luxury SUV.

As with any other vehicle, each trim level option caters to the requests and desires of a certain consumer niche. Since there are simply three trim levels to choose from in the 2021 Volvo XC40, this makes evaluation and eventual selection of a model easier and quicker for buyers. The Momentum, R-Design, and Inscription are three unique SUVs with equally different element offerings. Each buyer will find themselves drawn to one of these models. Yet, with their distinctive enhancements and thrilling appearance, we would not blame you for loving them all.

For buyers who are in search of a compact, luxury SUV without breaking the bank, the base Momentum is a good selection. This trim option would be ideal for a family vehicle, daily commuter, and grocery-getter. Thought it is not as equipped for adventure as other models, it will certainly turn heads wherever you go. The Momentum lays the base format for the R-Design and Inscription trim levels to build upon, giving them a solid foundation. The 2021 Volvo XC40 Momentum is an exceptional place to begin.

Sports enthusiasts, rough and tough off-roaders, and athletic-minded buyers will likely find comfort in the design and functionality of the 2021 Volvo XC40 R-Design trim level option. For a subcompact SUV, the R-Design is larger, more equipped, and athletic than the other two XC40 models. Evident in its appearance and characteristic R-Design logo integration throughout, this XC40 trim level lives to promote its tough appearance and down and dirty attitude. Found in the median economic tier, the R-Design offers buyers a great value for their money through the integration of its standard and available feature lineup.

At the highest level of customization and luxury sits the 2021 Volvo XC40 Inscription. Offering only the finest interior elements, most elaborate exterior color scheme selection, and upscale design elements, the 2021 Volvo XC40 Inscription is a top-notch SUV. While it still possesses the powertrain necessary to complete hard jobs and produce ample horsepower, it also incorporates new standard features that help it stand out from the R-Design trim option. Beautiful and capable, the 2021 Volvo XC40 Inscription model stands out among the rest as a vision of luxury.

Sometimes, buyers need assistance in selecting the vehicle trim level that is the best for their family and lifestyle. Seeking help from professionals at your local dealership is a surefire way to discern each trim level from the rest and evaluate it properly. While the 2021 Volvo XC40 trim level options are so similar, they are just different enough to make a buyer second-guess their decision at the last minute. Each model offers a unique approach to automotive design and facet integration, which is what makes us love them so much. Do not wait any longer to get into a new 2021 Volvo XC40. Let us help you find your dream vehicle in this subcompact luxury SUV.

Used 2021 Volvo XC40:
Previous Volvo XC40 Trim Configurations:

Compare the 2020 Volvo XC40 Trim Levels