Automotive aficionados are driving themselves into a tailspin as high-end car manufacturers reach the finish line with revenue-winning utes.
BY MARK HACKING
Base Price $33,700
Engine Turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder
Horsepower 187-248 hp
The Volvo XC40 (from $33,700; volvo.com), the smallest of the current fleet of Volvo utilities, proved it has all of these qualities and more. Two versions are available, both powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine. The XC40 T4 is the front-wheel drive model with 187 hp, while the T5 engine develops 248 hp and sends it to all four wheels. The Volvo is not fast, but it’s fun—the steering is light but welcome during city-sized commutes and those tight parking scenarios. Above all, the XC40 has a distinctly cool vibe. The exterior is more ruggedly handsome than the typical subcompact crossover and the interior features some smart ergonomics, as well as ecologically friendly materials. Long story short, the Volvo XC40 is a small utility that’s big in terms of desirability.