DRIVEN: Volvo XC40 T3 manual is for the ladies

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Volvo has become the benchmark in safety. Now add unbeatable design.

The first thing that comes to mind when I hear the name Volvo is safety.

That’s exactly what follows through with the very sexy Volvo XC40 T3 manual.

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It’s extremely safe … in my opinion so safe that you’d have to be the world’s worst driver to cause an accident driving it. The XC40 is one for the ladies.

It seems masculine because it’s an SUV but its gentle nature even when driving and changing the 6-speed manual gears tells me most potential buyers are probably female.

The compact size is also an attribute which is more feminine. Interestingly, I am a woman who prefers higher and slightly bigger cars but they must be easy to manoeuvre.

Realistically there’s no standard on how safe a car can be but Volvo has managed to add features to this four-wheel drive I’ve never experienced before.

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The first was the number of cameras the car has – it makes it almost impossible to bump into any other vehicle or scratch it against walls while parking.

The car has about four to five cameras that give you a 3600 bird’s eye view of the vehicle and a visual image on the infotainment screen when putting it into reverse. There are no loud beeping noises, the radio volume lowers and there is a soft beep. I assume this is done so as not to shock the driver as alerts in other cars do.

Other safety systems include whiplash injury protection, which basically reduces the force of an impact on the neck if the driver is hit by another car from behind. Brake support stops the driver from driving into any other objects.

Even when you take your eyes off the road, the car somehow senses it and stops you from causing an accident by taking you back slowly, with pilot assist.

New Volvo XC40 – interior

The interior is comfortable suede with heated seats that can be adjusted to different temperatures for the driver and passengers.

The car is luxurious inside with a panoramic sunroof that automatically closes when the vehicle is locked. My personal favourite feature was the smart infotainment system, with a powerful surround sound system created by Harman Kardon.

As well as the easy to-use touchscreen, it is a navigation system that actually works, this is rare for me with cars.

The instrument cluster is digital with no buttons and the interior LED lights have adjustable colours to suit your mood.

The Swedes have outdone themselves with this safe, classy number.

VOLVO XC 40

  • Engines: Range from three-cylinder, 115kW, turbopetrol to 140kw, four-cylinder turbodiesel, to 185kw, four cyliner turbopetrol.
  • Gearbox: Six-speed manual or eight-speed auto.
  • Drive trains: Front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive
  • Fuel economy: Between 4.6l per 100km to 6 l/100km on the highway (European test figures) and between 5.9l/100km and 8.9l/100km in the city (Euro test figures).

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