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Used Volvo XC40 Review

27 May 2024

Volvos have always been seen as extremely practical cars - well-built and safe but not all that exciting. The Volvo SUVs, and the compact and stylish XC40, in particular, firmly buck that trend. The XC40 is desirable and practical and oozes style inside and out. 

But if you’re on the lookout for a good second-hand XC40, where do you start? Here’s our guide to the best engines, trim levels, and performance.

Pros and Cons


  • Comfortable ride and a refined interior
  • Excellent safety equipment and hi-tech kit
  • Petrol, hybrid and electric versions


  • Not as practical as some rivals
  • Petrol engines are not very economical
  • Could be more fun to drive

How does it look?

With its chunky and upmarket styling, this 5-door, 5-seater compact SUV sits reassuringly tall and purposeful on the road. As one of the best-designed Volvos in recent times, the used XC40, which first hit our showrooms in 2017, boasts big wheel arches and muscular flanks, much like the larger XC70 and XC90.  

As well as looking the part on the outside, the interior quality of the XC40 sets a high standard. All of the surfaces you interact with feel robust and upmarket, with soft-faced materials and smart wood or metal highlights throughout. There’s also plenty of space upfront and in the rear, and the boot is deep and accessible - although it’s not quite as big as some of its rivals. 

The minimalist dashboard makes it easy to find and interpret the few buttons that are there, while the infotainment screen is crystal clear and carries the rest of the functionality. All things considered, it’s a very smart-looking and practical car, just as you’d expect from a former European Car of the Year and What Car? Car of the Year.  

What’s it like to drive? 

One of the biggest benefits of a preowned Volvo XC40 is the fantastic driving position, with excellent visibility, unbeatable comfort and loads of adjustment options so you can get everything just right. Once you switch the engine on, the XC40 reveals itself to be a quiet and smooth performer, making the cabin a very pleasant place to be. 

Every XC40 engine delivers plenty of oomph so you’re never found wanting. However, the handling, which can feel a little imprecise, is best described as competent rather than inspiring. The XC40 cruises over bumps in the road without so much as a ripple, and when combined with the excellent grip, that ensures smooth progress on motorways and twistier, more demanding stretches.   

Are preowned Volvo XC40s reliable?

Reliability in all areas is generally good for preowned Volvo XC40s. However, in Driver Power satisfaction surveys, some respondents report minor issues including electrical faults. In the most recent What Car? Reliability Survey, petrol and diesel XC40s came in fifth and eighth place respectively out of 25 family SUVs.  

Which is the best used Volvo XC40 to buy?

There’s no shortage of engine options to choose from, with three 2.0-litre petrol versions offered initially, including the 154bhp T3, the 187bhp T4 and the 244bhp T5. The T3 was replaced with a 1.5-litre 161bhp engine in 2019. There were also two diesels available on launch, the 148bhp D3 and the 187bhp D4.

It was all change in 2020, when a raft of new engines were introduced. The diesels were discontinued and replaced with plug-in hybrids, including the 204bhp T4 and the 258bhp T5 Recharge models. There was also an all-new fully electric Recharge P8 with a 250-mile range. The existing petrol engines were all upgraded, with the T4 and T5 gaining 48V mild hybrid technology (no charging required) to become the 194bhp B4 and the 247bhp B5. An entry-level 127bhp T2 petrol engine was also introduced. 

Of these, we like the D3 engine if you’re going for a pre-2020 XC40, as it’s economical but still has more than enough power for longer motorway journeys. If you do more of your driving around town, the 154bhp T3 petrol engine is probably the best pick. The all-electric P8 is also a fantastic car, but with its high upfront cost, you might find the plug-in hybrid T4 more palatable.  

When it comes to the trim levels, it’s all refreshingly simple. The entry-level Momentum has dual-zone climate control, rear parking sensors, cruise control, auto wipers and headlights, DAB radio and navigation. The R-Design adds privacy glass and a fancier trim, while the Inscription brings front parking sensors and a more upmarket interior. You can add ‘Pro’ to each trim level for bigger wheels, heated front seats and active headlights. 

Given the excellent level of equipment as standard, the Momentum is perfectly well-equipped for most drivers, although the R-Design with its sports suspension does provide the best handling of the range.  

Are you on the look out for a used Volvo? Take a look at Tangelo's current Volvo XC40 stock and get in touch with our friendly and knowledgeable sales team to book an appointment or a test drive at our Exeter Customer Hub.

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