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2021 Volvo XC40 Pros vs Cons

Why Buy a 2021 Volvo XC40?
Reviewed & fact checked by
James MurdochNorman Ruckpaul

Are You Considering a 2021 Volvo XC40? Here Are Some Reasons For and Against

With a younger vibe than some of the rest of the models in Volvo's lineup have, the XC40 is an SUV that can create some intrigue. It can be fun to drive, it has cool stylings, and because of its high-end features, it definitely earns its designation as a luxury vehicle. As a relatively new model, the 2021 Volvo XC40 is quickly gaining a lot of fans. Its reasonable price tag further broadens its appeal, as does its sporty nature.

What's New for 2021?

Volvo introduced the XC40 to the market in 2019. As the smallest SUV in Volvo's collection, it has a size that many people find ideal, especially if the vehicle will be maneuvering around crowded streets and cramped parking areas. In 2020, the company decided to give each of the trims a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, and there were some minor changes made to the cabin of particular trims.

For 2021, Volvo has really stepped up its game. Blind spot and rear cross-traffic monitoring are now standard, as are leather seats, auto-dimming exterior mirrors, parking sensors, enhanced LED headlights that can adjust their angles depending on the direction of the XC40, and USB charging ports that the rear passengers can access. This is a pretty extensive list, and it shows how committed Volvo is to keeping the XC40 modern and relevant. Perhaps the biggest news is that there's a new electric model. It's called the Recharge, and because it provides much more horsepower than its traditional counterparts, it's very intriguing.

Ten Reasons You May Like the 2021 Volvo XC40 – The Pros

1. A Powerful SUV

People shouldn't assume that just because the SUV is on the smaller size that it's not strong nor capable. It's pretty powerful, so anyone who loves driving will be happy to get behind the wheel of this vehicle. There are a few trims that all have different capabilities. The T4s can generate 187 horsepower and over 220 pound-feet of torque. The T5s have nearly 250 horsepower and over 250 pound-feet of torque, and the Recharge is in a completely different realm, with 402 horsepower and 486 pound-feet of torque.

2. Hook Up a Trailer

The XC40 isn't afraid to get dirty. It can handle a lot of responsibility, like hauling cargo. The T4 and T5 models can both tow up to 3,500 pounds when set up with the right equipment. Though the Recharge has more horsepower, note that it has a lower towing capacity than the others do, at 2,000 pounds. This should still be sufficient to keep weekend warriors and adventurers pleased.

3. Load up the Cabin

Many people have busy lives, frequently driving friends and family around town or using their vehicles to run all kinds of errands. Since the XC40 has a maximum cargo capacity of 57.5 cubic feet, it can be quite practical. The cargo area can feature hooks to hold shopping bags and/or a cargo divider to keep everything in place. It's simple to fold the rear seatbacks down to create a wide open area to accommodate larger items. If its passengers that people are transporting, there's over 36 inches of rear-seat leg room.

4. Choose From All-Wheel or Front-Wheel Drive

Some automobile companies offer only one type of drivetrains on their vehicles. When this happens, it's fine for most people, but not all of them. With the XC40, Volvo has given its customers a choice of drivetrain. The T4 models are all front-wheel versions, and the T5 and Recharge models are all-wheel SUVs. The price difference between a front-wheel and all-wheel XC40, holding everything else equal, is $2,000. Each customer can decide whether the additional traction provided with all-wheel drive is worth it.

5. An Innovative Roof

Vehicles with two-tone color schemes can make great first impressions. They look bold and confident, and that's exactly what the new XC40 is. Plus, it can be equipped with a panoramic roof. This glass roof is much larger than a tiny rectangle that can be found on more basic models; this one stretches out so that all the passengers in the SUV can enjoy the natural light. People can use either the sliding or tilting function when they want a little fresh air.

6. A Top-Down Perspective

The Volvo XC40 can give drivers a bird's eye view of their SUVs. This is because the SUV can be equipped with four high-definition cameras placed in strategic places around the exterior. With advanced technology, the SUV can blend their video feeds together to provide a 360-degree perspective. This can be very useful when parking in smaller spaces. Without putting in too much effort, drivers can avoid picking up scratches and dents.

7. An Extra Pair of Eyes

In an XC40, even a novice driver can have peace of mind as they deal with issues on the roads. This Volvo has more than a few driver-assist technologies that can continually watch out for issues, warn drivers about problems, and take action if necessary. The SUV can engage automatic emergency braking if it's about to hit a pedestrian or another vehicle in its path, and it can also brake if the driver is about to back up out of a parking space into oncoming traffic. The XC40 can even center itself in a lane if it drifts to the left or right.

8. Sharing is Caring

Through the Volvo On Call app, select XC40 models can be shared amongst friends or family. How exactly does this work? Once the owner of the XC40 sets things up through the app, a designated person can unlock the doors with his/her smartphone and then push the "Start" button to fire up the engine. This access only works during a limited time period that's set by the owner. It's an amazing feature that makes borrowing a vehicle a pretty simple process, in comparison with situations in which people have to physically give their keys to others.

9. Staying On Call

The Volvo On Call app can do so much. It can create a Wi-Fi hotspot for multiple users to enjoy, it can be used to access 24-7 emergency assistance, and it can be used as a concierge service to help people find information like restaurant hours and addresses. Volvo On Call can also send maintenance notifications to people's smartphones, and it can be used to look up fuel levels, parking location, and whether the doors are locked. A key feature is its ability to remotely start the car and get the climate control system going.

10. Keeping Smartphones Safe

Everyone knows how important smartphones are these days. Those phones have gotten so slim, though, that they can easily get lost. In the XC40, there's a dedicated spot to keep a smartphone safe, and it even comes with wireless charging.

Reasons You May Not Like the 2021 Volvo XC40 – The Cons

1. T4 and T5 Not Very Efficient

Of course, the Recharge is going to gain a lot of attention because of its eco-friendly nature. It doesn't create any carbon emissions while diving, and it can be charged at home or at any public charging station. People who prioritize fuel efficiency might not like what they see in the traditional XC40 models, though. The T4 has a combined fuel economy of 26 miles per gallon, and the T5 has a combined fuel economy of 25 miles per gallon. These numbers aren't the best, especially considering that many vehicles in the market can earn closer to 30 miles per gallon, if not more.

2. Recharge is Expensive

The base model of the XC40 costs around $34,000, which is a competitive price by many standards. With each jump up to the next trim, there's a modest price increase, and the premium T5 Inscription costs about $41,500. A huge increase in cost is experienced when moving to the Recharge. It costs nearly $54,000, and many won't be able to justify paying that much for a new vehicle.

3. A Little Noisy

Some people might be bothered by how loud the engine noise is. This is more of a factor when traveling at high speeds, and it contrasts with how quiet some other models are because of their acoustic windshields and/or active noise cancelling technology.

How It Stacks Up to the Competition:

2021 Volvo XC40 vs 2021 BMW X1

BMW's X1 is very comparable to the XC40 in terms of price, size, and style. A major way in which these models are not comparable is related to power. The X1 does have more horsepower than the XC40 T4, but it doesn't match what the T5 offers. It goes without saying that it doesn't come close to having the capability that the Recharge has. One other thing is that the synthetic leather seats are standard in the X1, unlike the XC40 which features leather seats on all trims.

2021 Volvo XC40 vs 2021 Acura RDX

Acura's RDX is priced higher than the XC40 is. It does have more horsepower than the T4 and T5 versions of the XC40, but it doesn't get anywhere close to what the Recharge can do. Certain trims of the RDX do worse than the XC40 as it relates to fuel economy, and the Acura doesn't feature all the advanced technology that the Volvo SUV does. Like the BMX, its most basic trims has synthetic leather rather than natural leather upholstery.


Volvo has rightfully earned its reputation for being a premium automotive company that builds reliable, safe, and capable vehicles. Being dependable is certainly something that works in the XC40's favor, but this vehicle is much more than just that. It's also spirited, stylish, and sleek. The overall package that the XC40 comes with is comprehensive, helping the vehicle to stand out when it comes to technology, safety, and sophistication. Given the fact that there are multiple trims of the XC40, many customers should be able to find exactly what they're looking for with this model.

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