The Volvo brand, once known mainly for sleek sedans and large station wagons, today excels in producing SUVs. It all began with the full-size XC90, but the time has come for smaller models. The XC60 was - at one time - the best-selling Volvo on the market, and the compact XC40 won Car of the Year in 2018. Which one is the best choice? The car experts from the Indy Auto Man dealership prepared a detailed comparison of these two SUVs.
Does it make sense to compare two vehicles from the same manufacturer and segment, but with different sizes? True, class is often a starting point for choosing a car, but with these models, there is a bit more to it.
The Volvo XC60 is a typical mid-range crossover built on the SPA platform, designed for larger vehicles. It is used on all models of the 60 and 90 series. The Volvo XC40 has a completely different CMA platform specifically designed for compact cars.
The XC40 is 10 inches shorter than the XC60, but its wheelbase is only 6 inches smaller. In the case of the CMA platform, the developers managed to maximize the space inside. The XC60 has become 1.5 inches wider, and the cabin is very comfortable. The XC40 is not cramped, but cozy. There is practically no difference in legroom or headroom in both models. The Volvo XC60 does have a more comfortable rear seat, however. So passengers, despite the slight difference in space, will feel better in it, but this is only really highlighted when traveling longer distances.
The trunks are incredibly different, but not in their volume. The XC60 has more space - 63.3 cubic feet, which is still a bit on the smaller side. The cargo compartment is a simple space, arranged classically. After folding down the rear seats, you get an almost flat floor.
The trunk of the Volvo XC40, with a volume of 57.5 cubic feet, is shorter but better-planned and thought-out. There is no shortage of small storage compartments, hooks, and straps, and the double floor is a piece of art that captivates. There are also three holders for hanging shopping bags. It is definitely more organizer-friendly.
It's the same with the interior of these cars. Although the Volvo XC60 is much more comfortable and a little more spacious, it does not captivate with functionality. It is a simple car for people who value driving comfort above everything else. The interior of the XC40 has some features that you will appreciate in everyday use: for example, a shopping hook in front of the passenger or small pockets in the back seat.
Volvo SUVs also differ in their driving position. In the XC60, you nearly lie on comfortable seats, though in the XC40, you sit more upright. The range of seat or handlebar adjustment is very large.
Overall, these Swedish cars are similar, if not nearly-identical. The operation of a dashboard or a multimedia screen overloaded with icons is the same. Many drivers in the US hate tactile climate control panels, and Volvo has gone one step further by putting these panels on the screen.
What these cars have in common is their safety systems. Both models are packed head-to-toe with state-of-the-art safety precautions. The Volvo XC40 was the fourth safest car tested by Euro NCAP in 2018. In 2017, the Volvo XC60 became the safest model, ahead of even the larger V90 and S90.
The engines in both SUVs are the same. The D4 is a 2-liter diesel with 190 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. A pleasantly flexible, reasonably strong unit perfectly matches the character of the XC40. In the XC60, it is weaker, although, in terms of dimensions and weight, it still fits. The XC40 is faster and stiffer for higher tempo, while the XC60 is calmer and shifts gears smoothly.
Interestingly, fuel economy is also almost the same: the Volvo XC40 can boast 23 City/30 Highway, and in the XC60, the manufacturer claims 22 City/29 Highway. It's safe to assume that both cars consume roughly the same amount of fuel under similar road conditions. This is an advantage for the larger Volvo XC60.
The XC40 fits perfectly into the atmosphere of a big city like Indianapolis and its dynamic lifestyle. On the other hand, the XC60 is a family road crossover that comforts you as soon as you get behind the wheel or into any passenger seat.
The Volvo XC40 is a car that performs great every day. It's like tea that you can drink from morning until late or jeans that you can wear for almost any occasion. The XC60, while trying to be a versatile vehicle, is a great family car for longer trips.
Buyers often choose an XC60 as the first or only vehicle in the family, and the XC40 as the second. It's the SUV you take to work or for shopping, and the XC60 you take on vacation. They complement each other perfectly.