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Volvo XC40 D3 Inscription long-term test | wiper glitch takes the shine off the drive

7 Volvo XC40 D3 Inscription Thunder Grey
BIK List Price
Volvo XC40 BIK list price
BIK Percentage
Volvo XC40 BIK Percent
Volvo XC40 CO2
Combined MPG
51.4 (WLTP)
Volvo XC40 MPG



A little over two weeks after taking delivery of our XC40 long termer and with just more than 1,250 miles on the clock, I was greeted with an unwanted message on its 12.3-inch active TFT crystal display: Wiper failure – service required.

Using my full technical knowhow I turned the ignition off and on again, but, alas, the warning remained.

Sometime between the fault occurring and the car going to the local Volvo dealer for some diagnostic TLC, the fault rectified itself, but the service department suggested it still come in for a once over.

On collection, the dealership confirmed there had indeed been a ‘glitch’ and the diagnostics had picked up an intermittent fault; which the technicians had now remedied. 

Wipers are, of course, one of those easy-to-overlook bits of kit on a car. When they work you completely take them for granted. When they stop working, however, it’s a different story. Practically and legally, you’ve got to have ’em!

My colleague suffered a similar issue with his VW T-Roc, although on that occasion it forced him to pull over onto a motorway hard shoulder.

As vehicles become more complex the likelihood of software ‘glitches’ increases, as does their potential impact on keeping fleet drivers mobile.


Winning the 2019 Fleet News Award for New Company Car of the Year is no mean feat. Exclusively voted for by fleet-decision makers, it takes something special to scoop this hotly contested accolade. 

This year’s worthy winner was Volvo’s highly popular compact SUV offering, the XC40.

So it was with some anticipation that I awaited delivery of our new long-term test XC40 D3 Inscription.

The XC40 comes in three variants: Momentum, R-Design and Inscription, with higher-spec’d ‘Pro’ versions available in both R-Design and Inscription guises. 

According to the marketing people “Momentum is a proud expression of urban style; R-Design is the XC40 in its most dynamic, sporty form; while Inscription embodies modern Swedish luxury at its most progressive”.

All come with an impressive standard spec-list including a nine-inch centre console touchscreen, sat-nav with European mapping, voice activated control, digital radio, Bluetooth handsfree system, hill start assist, power parking (hand) brake with auto hold function, hill descent control, and keyless start.

As you would expect from Volvo, there’s also an extremely impressive list of safety features included as standard. After all, the manufacturer has “the safety vision that nobody will be killed or seriously injured in a new Volvo car by 2020…” 

Two diesel engines are available – the 150PS D3 and the 190PS D4, while three petrol derivatives are on offer – the 163hp T3, 190hp T4 and range-topping 247hp T5. All versions, accept the T3 and T5, are available in both front-wheel-drive (FWD) and all-wheel drive (AWD) form; with the T3 coming in FWD-only and the T5 in AWD-only. 

The entry level 150PS front-wheel-drive manual D3 has CO2 emissions of 127g/km, BIK of 33% and a P11D price of £30,100. Its official combined fuel economy is between 47.9mpg and 51.4mpg (WLTP cycle).

Our front-wheel-drive D3 Inscription is fitted with an eight-speed automatic transmission which bumps CO2 emissions up slightly to 131g/km and BIK to 34%. Economy takes a slight dip, with official combined WLTP figures of between 44.8mpg and 47.1mpg.

It will be interesting to see how well suited the D3 engine and auto ’box are, which could either make for relaxed mile-munching, or a frustrating lack of oomph. Time to hit the road and find out.

Top Speed
Volvo XC40 Top Speed
VED band
Volvo XC40 Ved
Fuel Type
Volvo XC40 Fuel Type
Residual Value
3 Year 60k : £14,000
4 Year 80k : £11,500
Running Cost (ppm)
3 Year 60k : 47.51
4 Year 80k : 43.22

CO2 emissions and fuel consumption data correct at time of writing. The latest figures are available in the Fleet News fuel cost calculator and the company car tax calculator.

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