Saturday, 20 April 2019 08:37

2019 Volvo XC40: Stylish, smooth and safe

It could be argued that there are already enough vehicles in the compact luxury SUV segment, which has been growing like a weed in the past few years.

Good thing Volvo didn’t listen to that school of thought, as their XC40 entry is one recent addition to the segment that delivers both on looks and performance, in addition to safety.

Read on for a full assessment of the 2019 XC40, which has the goods to disrupt this segment and achieve long-term success.


When I got my first look at the XC40, I immediately thought it was one of the sharpest looking rides I have seen in a long time. My test vehicle was a beautiful light blue color, with a white top and a long sunroof. The body was impressively designed with unique deep side lines. And to top it off, a nice little Swedish flag is attached to remind you of Volvo's heritage.

From a distance, it almost reminded me of the look of an classic car from the 60s, a bit of a retro throwback.

Having a strong look is important in this class, as everyone from Audi to Lexus to Infiniti comes with their A-game in terms of design.


When Lexus debuted the RX in the late 1990s, it was one of the original creators of the crossover market that has taken over auto industry in the past two decades. Today, it feels like there’s a new crossover announced every month, but it was a risk back in the day.

The move paid off, as the RX has been a top seller for Lexus for many years, leading sales charts in its class on a regular basis.

But something was holding it back from further success. Unlike some competitors, it only offered a two-row version (housing 5 passengers), and didn’t have a 3-row option for people wanting some extra room for the little ones in back. That has changed with the arrival of the RX 350L option, which boosts capacity to 7 passengers.

How does the three-row edition of the RX measure up to other luxury 7-seaters? Read on for a full report.



The reality is that most SUVs and crossovers are used for shopping mall trips and soccer practices.

But Jeeps are different. They still have a loyal crowd who gets a bit more adventurous and goes places most of us won’t go. With that in mind, their Trailhawk offerings are offered to please this off-the-beaten-path crowd.

I recently spent some time in a Jeep Compass Trailhawk, and I’m back with a full report.


No surprises on the grille: Your standard Jeep design can be found up front with the seven stripes.
In terms of an overall look, it’s a pretty straightforward small crossover design, with a clearly all-business/rugged look to it. The two-tone paint scheme on the hood did spice the look up a bit.

Inside seats on the Compass Trailhawk were comfy, but this isn’t a vehicle that’s trying to be luxurious (leather-wrapped steering wheel being a lone exception to that rule). The front row was comfy, but overall the inside is a bit cramped, especially in the back seat.

There is a well-designed layout of all the interior controls and a great setup on the center touchscreen. Steering wheel controls are also straightforward, and you get the option to add a power liftgate, as well as a dual-pane sunroof.


The only thing constant about the Cadillac vehicle lineup lately is change. Beyond the news that its flagship CT6 is going away after this year, the brand’s crossover lineup is getting a major revamp.

Brand new for 2019 was the XT4, Cadillac’s entry in the hot category of compact crossovers. Then the three-row crossover XT6 (a 2020 model) was just unveiled at NAIAS in January.

Right in the middle is the OG of the crossover lineup, the XT5 (known in its former life as the SRX), a midsize luxury crossover competing against heavy hitters like the Audi Q5, BMW X3 and Lexus RX.

I recently spent some time in a 2019 XT5 and I’m back with a full report on how it measures up to the competition.


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