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Despite new launches on an almost weekly basis,
carmakers still have not quenched the apparently limitless
thirst for SUVs. Now, Volvo has added yet another option
for prospective purchasers, introducing a 1.5L petrol-
engined variant to its XC40 range.
The T3, as Volvo's first three cylinder engine, is something
of a milestone for the carmaker but it has its work cut out
for it, if it's to make a big impression in a segment that
includes the likes of the Range Rover Evoque, the Audi Q3
and Jaguar's E-Pace.
Subtle elegance
To establish its own niche, the T3 Inscription has steered
away from the sleekness of some rivals and adopted an
understated design that aims for subtle elegance. Details
on this model, such as integrated silver roof rails and
silver skid plates, make for a winning exterior design that
stands out in a crowded segment.
The attention to detail is followed through in the car's
plush, charcoal leather-upholstered interior, with discreet
and practical touches such as front and rear reading lights,
and a parking ticket holder. Discretion is put to one side,
though, with the inclusion of a chunky and user-friendly
12.3" driver display screen.
Effortless drive
Driving is close to effortless. Even for a compact SUV, the
T3 Inscription handles deftly, cornering and manoeuvring
with ease and precision.
The 1.5-litre, direct-injection engine proves that size isn't
everything, providing 156hp at 5,000rpm, matched to a
six-speed manual transmission. Even so, if you're looking
for a more muscular performer, the T4 engine variant of
the XC40 would probably be more to your taste.
There are all manner of mouthwatering extras but they
come at a price; for instance, a Harman Kardon sound
system will add 1,292 to the price tag.
Which brings us to the bottom line: the XC40 range
starts at 36,450, while the T3 Inscription will set you
back a bracing 49,957. That's a lot of money but the T3
Inscription is a lot of SUV. For anyone looking to buy
a baby crossover this winter, the elegant T3 Inscription
demands to be considered.
Volvo's XC40 T3 Inscription is yet another
tempting addition to the ever-bulging ranks of
premium compact SUVs, writes
Bernard Potter
elegant but
Model: XC40 Inscription
Price: 49,957
Engine: T3
Fuel consumption (combined) (manufacturer's figures): 6.3L/100km
emissions (manufacturer's figures: 144g/km