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Volvo XC40 Mild Hybrid Review

Specifications

Power 197 horsepower
Engine 1969cc
Transmission 8-speed FWD
Connectivity Android Auto and Apple Carplay
Max Torque 300 nm
Air Purifier With PM 2.5 sensor
Price Approx. 43.2 Lakhs (festive-season offer)

Introduction

With the advancement in new technology, fuel is one of the important resources that is constantly being used every day, especially in automobiles. So, the new initiative of Volvo Group is to develop new plug-in hybrid electric cars in the upcoming future of eco-friendly automobiles. After the release of the XC40 Recharge in the year 2022, Volvo is back with another great creation called the XC40 Mild Hybrid.

Volvo XC40 Mild Hybrid Review

As the name suggests, the automobile gets energy from Regenerative Braking Systems (RBSs). The energy produced from the brakes is stored in a 48V battery used by the engine. The use of this technology reduces fuel usage and harmful emissions, resulting in better fuel efficiency. Here, we discuss the new additions of the XC40 Mild Hybrid model and how it differs from the XC40 and Recharge.

Similarities and Differences between XC40 and XC40 Mild Hybrid

All the features of the XC40 are preserved in the mild hybrid variant, with its sleek dimensions and fine angles. However, the mild hybrid is a great upgrade to the XC40 because it involves the use of both the electric battery and the fuel. The new model consists of some minor exterior transitions that only an automobile specialist can tell the difference between the two XC40 models. Firstly, Volvo XC40 had wheels with a diamond-cut design, while the Mild Hybrid consists of five-spoke alloy wheels of 18 inches, which is a little disheartening as the wheels look rather ordinary now.

Exterior Structure

At the car's fascia, a single grille with the logo of Volvo is attached, surrounded by LED headlamps. The T-shaped daytime running lights are improved, and above them, there is a four-pod LED pattern. The rear of the Mild Hybrid is not much different from the previous Volvo models of the XC40 series except for the rear bumper insert, as the silver colour is replaced by black.

Interior

As it is an SUV, the inside space might not be much, but it gives a cosy feeling. Besides the steering wheel, a nine-inch touchscreen powered by Google is installed. Along with the default Google Assistant and GPS, it consists of Google Play Store as well. It's important to note that iPhone users need to carry a USB cable with them to use the CarPlay function to get directions, listen to music, and make calls. The downside of the Mild Hybrid is that one cannot activate the air conditioning when the fan control is in the 'Off' position.

For the cabin design, not much has changed from previous Volvo XC40 automobiles, which already contained all required functionalities. As we move downward on the console, the all-black dashboard with a wooden inset gives off a sophisticated vibe. However, one detail that will make passengers swoon is the all-new glass gear knob with a backlight.

The leatherette front seats are quite comfortable and can be easily adjusted using the power adjustment buttons. Under the centre display, two USB ports of the Type C pin are located. The leather on the seats is available in two colours- Black and Cream.

The four-way power lumber support is comfortable for patients who experience back pain during long journeys. However, the lack of ventilation may easily give rise to travel sickness. The centre space is designed for cup holders, while the front seat pockets can easily carry two large water bottles.

We can't categorize the rear seats as super comfortable, but you get a good headrest and ample room to stretch your legs. The angle provided for the rear seats is pretty upright, which is not very comfortable, and due to the short seat base, tall individuals might not get enough leg room and would have to sit in a knee-up position. The middle armrest has two cup-holding sections.

Panoramic Roof

The two divisions of the panoramic roof are composed of glass. The front division can be opened and closed vertically from the rear end by using the control panel installed on the roof. The rear division consists of permanently engraved glass which remains closed. The sun blind is made of perforated fabric to block the sunlight and let the air pass. It also includes a wind deflector.

Besides, the panoramic roof and sun blind now have an automatic close setting. With this additional function activated, the sunblinds open automatically 15 minutes after the car is locked. This is a favourable measure to prevent the car seats from fading due to sunlight exposure. If all the car windows are closed, but the sunroof is left open without turning on the Auto-close sunroof curtain, you can close it by using the button on the car key.

Note: You need to pay attention to certain warnings and safety measures while operating the sunroof. For example- If you want to use the sun blind, wind deflector, and panoramic roof, ensure the car is in Drive Usage mode; otherwise, the operating system may malfunction.

Trunk

The trunk of the Volvo XC40 Mild Hybrid got plenty of space that can be extended by a 60:40 division with the rear seats. Additionally, the automotive stylists have added adequate cutout access for the rear seat passengers to easily reach their belongings behind them. The trunk has a hanger on each side, a 12V power outlet socket, a fold-up little rug, and a gesture-controlled tailgate.

Driving Experience: Vibrations and Brake

Due to the vibration-free settings, the passengers sit comfortably and don't experience any minor bumps and shake-ups. It makes less noise when starting the car, setting it apart from other Volvo models. However, the driver needs to tread carefully on underdeveloped roads, and minor vibrations can be experienced, especially on the roads of India. Additionally, once the car comes to a halt, the brakes are activated automatically, whether it be pedal brake or parking brake. However, the driver can release the foot brakes, and the car would remain stationary if they want to stop for a short period.

Other automatic braking features come into action in special conditions, such as Hill Start Assist for easy climbing, & Off-Road mode, Hill Descent Control for going downhill, Collision warning during a collision, and automotive brakes while reversing. The button to start up the Auto Brake function is located at the tunnel console. To reduce excessive fuel consumption, the car uses kinetic energy to activate brakes.

In case of emergency braking, such as when the car is about to collide, the airbags deploy, and the parking brake is automatically engaged.

Engine

The 1969cc petrol engine provides a confident drive with the least fuel consumption. The 48V battery is the important gradient for applying regenerative brakes in the mild hybrid. The 12V battery is also used for additional electrical purposes such as overhead lighting, charging sockets, etc.

The eight-speed automatic transmission is controlled by the gears as the power gets transferred to the front wheels. You can drive it smoothly up till you reach the limit of 6000rpm. Even around 2500rpm, the power regulation remains constant, and you can expect a smooth ride. The 2.0 L four-cylinder petrol unit was the new and much-needed change that many automotive engineers have already put in. The torque remains constant at 300nm while the new combination of the bump up has increased up to 197bhp. When you press the pedal to increase speed, the car suddenly accelerates due to the power supplied by the electric motor.

While driving, the steering can be easily handled due to its lightness and provides the driver with a good grip. The Steering Firm mode is especially used while driving on a highway as it adds weight to the steering wheel, so the driver can easily estimate the speed limit.

Safety

The car is heavily stocked with various safety controls, which, at the time of the accident, can protect the driver as well as the passengers. With the assistance of AI and IoT, different safety systems, such as airbag controls and seatbelt sensors, are activated when needed. The ADAS level 2 features, such as TJA, Lane Keep braking, and adaptive cruise control, are installed in this Volvo model, so the driver can get the emergency signals from the car.

One of these safety systems called the City Safety System, prevents the car from collisions with moving subjects, such as other vehicles and pedestrians, in close proximity by means of automatic cameras and radars. The Blind Spot Information system is an important and useful addition that lets the driver know about another moving object being in range by flickering the ORVMs. The Cross Traffic Alert comes to function mostly during reversing and parking as the Auto Braking System comes forth to do the trick. There is even a driver alert sensor in case the driver is feeling sleepy or tired to signal that it's time to take a break. The front and rear parking sensors and front cameras are a much-appreciated addition to the XC40 mild hybrid model.

Price

The BMW X1 (Approx. 45.90 Lakh), Mercedes Benz GLA (Approx. 48.50 Lakh), and Audi Q3 (Approx. 45.65 Lakh) are the fierce competitors against our Volvo XC40 Mild Hybrid (Approx. 43.20 Lakh). Compared to its previous models, the price of Mild Hybrid has dropped up to 1.30 lakhs. In terms of performance, the X1 and GLA might have won against the XC40, but the advanced features and classy design are enough to win it over.

According to the Volvo Group, the XC40, which they addressed as the most expensive SUV of their XC edition at the price of 45.90 Lakhs, is packed with innumerable technologies that the XC Mild Hybrid might lack. Still, it is not the only cousin that the Mild Hybrid stands against.

The XC40 Recharge, with a price of around 56.9 lakhs, surpasses all Volvo models with a power supply of 78kWh using two electric motors, generating 408 horsepower and a torque of 660nm. However, the acceleration and smoothness provided by the Recharge are not suitable for all, at least not for beginners or drivers with weak hearts. With its unbelievable speed, it can cost a lot of damage if the driver loses his grip.

Verdict

That being said, from the above facts, we already know that the mild hybrid is not only a beautiful design but also a powerfully balanced automobile. This is the beginning of electric cars with a fuel combination, and if you're new to the world of electric cars, this one's for you.

The SUV, packed with all the uncanny features, is hard not to categorize as one of the best cars of the year. Besides some minor drawbacks, this car, without a doubt, is a head-turner that you don't want to miss.







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