2020 Volvo XC40 T5 Inscription AWD – Re-Driven Blue Swede Re-Shod

2020 Volvo XC40 T5 Inscription AWD: Meeting of 2 Blue Swedes

SWEET SWEDISH COMPACT CROSSOVER SWIMS UPSTREAM:  Gelatinous sugared fished-shaped Swedish confections are tasty morsels. Last year’s all new Volvo XC40 was a sweet new Swedish luxury compact crossover vehicle that swam upstream into Roadblazing.com‘s driveway. More of an acquired taste were its cabin trimmed in brighter than Lingonberry wall-to-wall carpet and a sometimes squall bucking taut R-Design wheel-suspension tune.

REASON FOR RE-DRIVE: a 2020 Volvo XC40 T5 Inscription was lured to Roadblazing.com bait. Inscription is the most luxurious trim which can be had in the brand of steel. This time it would seem the cabin color and suspension tune was more gentle on the mind.

Driving Hits:

  • Rush of 258 lb-ft of torque from cellarly 1500 rpm
  • 8-speed torque converter automatic transaxle
  • Multitude of Haldex IV all-wheel drive modes
  • 25 miles per gallon, combined driving
  • 450 miles fuel tank range
  • Stout SPA architecture and relative lightness
  • Forgiving on straight pavement, predictably deft into curves
  • 235/50-19 vs. 245/45-20 R-Design tire:wheel aspect ratio = +1 compliance
  • Firmly weighted helm
  • Cabin oblivious to external sounds

Driving Misses:

  • Touchy throttle
  • Suspension travel suggests impending understeer
  • Transaxle doesn’t hold low gears for long
  • Steering numbed, squeaking at parking lot speeds
  • No all-terrain capability with all-season highway rubber

What It Has Got:

  • From $35,4340 (incl. destination) for a front-drive 8-speed tiptronic automatic 2020 Volvo XC40 T4 Momentum FWD. The tested 2020 XC40 T5 Inscription AWD pumps the bottom line up to $47,395
  • On the larger end of compact luxury crossover sports activity vehicles
  • Inscription = top trim = $6750 upcharge
  • Solid build
  • Thinner pile contrasted color carpeting upholsters cabin walls & door panels
  • Tall riding
  • 5 occupant capacity
  • Supportive front seat bolstering
  • Boxy shape enhances cargo capacity cargo capacity

    2020 Volvo XC40 T5 Inscription AWD:
  • 60/40 split nearly flat folding 2nd Row seat backs w/ center pass through
  • Sub cargo floor storage
  • Select materials, high resolution displays, and uncluttered controls, switchgear.
  • Good for segment standard feature set
    • Thor’s Hammer LED lateral T front directional lamps
    • Center console waste bin [and available sub driver seat storage]
    • Keyless comfort entry, ignition
    • Cruise control
    • Power windows full express x 4
    • Power liftgate
    • 4-Way Power driver’s seat w/ memory
    • Height adjustable mechanical front passenger seat
    • Front seat knee extensions
    • Bluetooth wireless communications and voice commands
    • 12.3″ TFT virtual driver’s display gauge cluster
    • 9.2″-inch touch Sensus vertical LCD infotainment display

      2020 Volvo XC40 T5 Inscription AWD: Sensus 9.2″ inch vertical tablet touch LCD infotainment, with voice command controls and Android Auto / Apple Car Play projection
    • 8 speaker 250W HD radio streaming audio
    • Android Auto, AppleCar Play and MirrorLink phone projection
    • Sirius XM, TravelLink and Wi-Fi (by subscription)
    • Genuine aluminum instrument panel and door trim
    • Leather steering wheel, gearshift selector knob
  • Good safety features & grades
    • IIHS 2020 Top Safety Pick
    • Forward Collision avoidance w/ pedestrian & cyclist detection braking, lane keep assist, rear camera, and auto high beams
    • Available Blind Spot, rear cross traffic warning, 360° surround camera, passive and active park pilot assist
  • 4 year / 50,000 miles bumper to bumper warranty includes 3 years scheduled maintenance

What It Has Not (or Not Preferred):

  • Pricey bundled options packages
  • No power front passenger seat
  • Heated front seats optional
  • LED headlamps optional
  • Level 2 Driver autonomy Pilot Assist optional even on top Inscription trim
  • Some sub-knee and upper dash padding lacks refinement of higher Volvo models
  • No steering wheel shift paddles –  only on R-Design

Standout Cool Features on tested T5 Inscription AWD:

  • Driver’s digital display broadcasts map when equipped with native HDD HPS navigation
  • Pilot Assist 2 autonomous driver assistance
  • Pilot Park Assist
  • Panorama tilt and slide power moonroof
  • Harman Kardon 10-speaker 600 watt premium audio
  • Leather seats, heated front, driver’s 2 position memory
  • Heated steering and headlamp washers
  • Power folding side mirrors
  • Approach activated power liftgate
  • Open pore wood grain cabin trim
  • Illuminated Orrefors Crystal gearshift lever

    2020 Volvo XC40 T5 Inscription AWD: genuine Orrefors crystal gearshift selector lever


2020 Volvo XC40 T5 AWD Inscription = compact Blue Sweet Swede makes case for sensibly splurged sport luxury, while comfortably avoiding the $50,000 mark.


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WHAT: 2019 Volvo XC40 T5 AWD R-Design subcompact sport activity vehicle, on the Swedish automaker’s Scalable Product Architecture.

Standard Power (T5): transverse intercooled turbocharged 2.0L DOHC 16V DI gas I-4 = 250 hp/ 258 lb-ft @ 1500 rpm + 8-spd. torque converter planetary transmission w/ shift paddles +  Haldex IV all-wheel drive.

Front-wheel drive exclusive XC40 T4 = detuned 187 hp/ 221 lb-ft powerplant

(A) STYLING (DIFFERENCE): At least a galaxy away from the last sensuously stodgy 40-series sub-compact sedan offered in the U.S.


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