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.