2023 Volvo XC40 B4 Review – A Refined Premium Crossover

The 2023 Volvo XC40 B4 is the latest iteration of Volvo’s popular entry-level luxury crossover. This updated model brings subtle exterior tweaks, cabin improvements, and most notably, a new mild hybrid powertrain. Read on as we explore what’s new and how it fares as a premium offering.

Exterior Updates

On the outside, changes to the XC40 B4 are rather minor compared to the previous model. Gone is the R-Design’s dual-tone paint, flashy alloys, and excessive black trim. Instead, Volvo has opted for a more subtle look with the standard grille, reshaped LED headlamps, and reprofiled bumpers.

18-inch wheels add proportionality but appear somewhat plain. Out back, updates are even fewer – gloss black skid plates and B4 badging signify the mild hybrid model. Overall, a handsome but not flashy exterior.

New Mild Hybrid Powertrain

Under the hood is where the XC40 sees its biggest improvement. It retains the 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder but output is bumped to 197hp and 300Nm of torque. This combines with a new mild hybrid system that harvests energy under braking and powers an electric motor.

Improved Performance and Efficiency

This new system provides a noticeable boost in responsiveness and driving performance. Acceleration is significantly quicker with the added electric torque fill. The engine also feels less strained, benefitting efficiency.

While hard numbers aren’t available, Volvo claims up to 15% improvement in fuel economy. The mild hybrid tech removes the need for drive modes, but performance is now closer to the previous Dynamic setting.

Key Specifications:

  • ARAI Mileage: 12.18 kmpl
  • Fuel Type: Petrol
  • Engine Displacement: 1969 cc
  • Number of Cylinders: 4
  • Max Power: 197 bhp @ rpm
  • Max Torque: 300 Nm @ rpm
  • Seating Capacity: 5
  • Transmission Type: Automatic
  • Boot Space: 452 Litres
  • Body Type: SUV

Familiar Transmission

The 8-speed auto gearbox carries over from the earlier XC40. Unfortunately, it remains a weak point. Shifts aren’t as quick or responsive as expected, especially when pushing the car. Paddle shifters would improve engagement, but they aren’t offered.

Still Room for Improvement

The transmission tuning could still use some tweaking to better match the improved powertrain. However, once up to speed, shifts are smooth and unobtrusive. A new single-push drive selector replaces the fidgety rocker switch, a very welcome change.

Ride and Handling

In terms of dynamics, the XC40 follows the relaxed Volvo ethos rather than an all-out performance. Its comfortable low-speed ride suffers from some firmness over broken tarmac. But composure and stability at highway speeds are excellent.

Composed at High Speeds

This crossover remains surefooted and planted even at triple-digit speeds thanks to its rigid chassis and firm suspension tuning. You get complete confidence to maintain higher cruising speeds effortlessly.

Could Use More Engagement

Don’t expect much driving enjoyment though – the steering feel is numb despite selectable weight modes. Minimal body roll but modest grip leaves little opportunity for enthusiastic corner carving. Volvo clearly prioritized comfort over sportiness.

Interior and Features

Inside, the XC40 carries forward its trademark minimalist Scandinavian design. High-grade materials provide a truly premium ambiance.

Key Features:

  • Multi-function Steering Wheel
  • Power Adjustable Exterior Rear View Mirror
  • Touch Screen
  • Automatic Climate Control (2 Zone)
  • Engine Start Stop Button
  • Anti Lock Braking System (ABS)
  • Alloy Wheels
  • Power Windows (Rear & Front)
  • Passenger Airbag
  • Driver Airbag
  • Power Steering
  • Air Conditioner

Minimalist Scandinavian Design

The clean, uncluttered dash retains its 9-inch touchscreen and vertical orientation. New details include a revised UI, standard Google navigation, and Apple CarPlay, plus a crystal shift knob. HVAC controls stay on-screen.

New Touchscreen and Digital Cluster

The updated touchscreen looks slick and works well, aided by improved voice controls. The digital instrument panel is also refreshed. Combined with the panoramic sunroof and Harman Kardon audio, the tech works great.

Premium Materials Throughout

From the soft Nappa leather seats to the real wood inlays, every touchpoint confirms the XC40’s luxury positioning. Details like the metallic AC vents add to the upscale environment. The all-black interior looks smart while an optional beige upholstery provides contrast.

Comfortable Seats

The wonderfully supportive front seats coddle occupants in true Volvo fashion. All-day driving comfort is easily achieved thanks to ample cushioning and adjustable lumbar. Heating functions provide added relief from cold weather.

Practicality Compromised in Rear

Sadly, the rear seats fail to match the same comfort, with their overly upright backrests. Legroom and headroom are generous, but long journeys back there remain tiresome. Cargo space is also limited at 460 liters.


Worthy Luxury SUV Choice

The 2023 Volvo XC40 B4 takes an already competent premium crossover and adds a welcome dose of added performance and efficiency. Despite a few lingering drawbacks like the transmission tuning, it remains one of the strongest picks in the entry-luxury SUV space.

Refined road manners, a smartly designed cabin with top-notch materials, and Volvo’s impeccable safety credentials make the XC40 B4 a compelling choice for aspirational buyers. Its subtle styling provides an upscale but understated look.

If you’re considering stepping up to a premium badge, the Volvo XC40 deserves a spot at the top of your list.


What are the key updates on the 2023 XC40 B4?

The big changes are a mild hybrid powertrain bringing improved performance and efficiency, visual exterior tweaks, an updated touchscreen and digital cluster, and premium cabin materials.

How is the ride quality and handling?

The ride leans more towards comfort than sportiness. It’s composed at highway speeds but could use better low-speed compliance. Handling lacks engagement but remains safe and predictable.

Is the interior space and practicality good?

Front space is ample and rear legroom decent, but back seat comfort is lacking. The cargo room is modest at 460 liters. Best treated as a 4-seater.

What features and tech does it get?

Highlights include navigation, Apple CarPlay, panoramic sunroof, Harmon Kardon audio, wireless charging, auto parking, and a full suite of active safety systems.

Should I consider buying the 2023 Volvo XC40 B4?

If you want a refined, safe premium crossover with subtle styling and a well-appointed cabin, the XC40 B4 is highly recommended. An excellent entry point to the luxury segment.

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