2023 Volvo XC40 B5 Review


Volvo is known for making safe, comfortable, and luxurious vehicles, but the Swedish brand also has a playful side. The 2023 Volvo XC40 B5 is a perfect example of that, as it combines a chic and modern design with a peppy and efficient powertrain. The XC40 is Volvo's smallest SUV, competing in the subcompact luxury segment against rivals such as the Audi Q3, the BMW X1, and the Mercedes-Benz GLA. For 2023, the XC40 gets some updates, including a new 48-volt mild-hybrid system, a revised infotainment system, and some styling tweaks.

Thanks to Volvo Canada, I was given the chance to test drive the 2023 XC40 B5 for one week. Let's take a closer look at what the 2023 XC40 B5 has to offer.


The XC40 has a distinctive striking exterior that has stood the test of time. It has a boxy shape but managed to look sleek and sharp. The front end features Volvo's signature grille and Thor's Hammer LED headlights, while the rear end has vertical taillights and a sculpted tailgate. The XC40 also offers some customization options, such as contrasting roof colors, different wheel designs, and new paint colors for 2023, such as Sage Green Metallic and Thunder Grey Metallic. The XC40 B5 comes with 18-inch alloy wheels as standard, but you can upgrade to 19 or 20 inch wheels for an extra cost.



The interior of the XC40 is equally stylish and practical. It has a minimalist and elegant dashboard with a large 9-inch touchscreen as the centerpiece. The materials are high-quality and durable, with leather upholstery, metal accents, and soft-touch plastics. The seats are comfortable and supportive, with plenty of adjustments for both the driver and the front passenger. The rear seats are also quite spacious, with decent legroom and headroom. The steering column can only be adjusted manually, which is about the only part of the interior that doesn't feel premium.


The infotainment system in the XC40 is one of its highlights. It runs on an Android-based operating system that integrates Google services such as Google Maps, Google Assistant, and Google Play Store. You can also use Apple CarPlay or Android Auto to connect your smartphone wirelessly. The system is responsive and intuitive, with crisp graphics and easy-to-use menus. You can control it via touch, voice, or steering wheel buttons. The XC40 also comes with a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster that displays important information such as speed, navigation, and driver assistance features. The standard sound system has eight speakers, but you can opt for a premium Harman Kardon system with 13 speakers for an enhanced audio experience.

Safety and Driver Assistance

Safety is one of Volvo's core values, and the XC40 reflects that with its impressive array of standard and available driver assistance features. Every XC40 comes with forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane keeping assist, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, road sign recognition, adaptive cruise control, and a rearview camera. You can also add features such as park assist pilot, 360-degree camera system, head-up display, and pilot assist semi-autonomous driving system for extra convenience and protection. In combination with a strong body structure, the XC40 earns top ratings from both the IIHS and the NHTSA.


The XC40 B5 is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 247 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. It also has a 48-volt mild-hybrid system that adds 13 horsepower and 30 pound-feet of torque when needed. The engine is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and an all-wheel drive system. The XC40 B5 delivers smooth and lively performance, with quick acceleration and refined shifting. It can go from zero to 100 km/h in 6.4 seconds, according to Volvo. The mild-hybrid system also improves the fuel economy, especially in city driving. The XC40 B5 is rated at 10.2 L/100 km in the city and 7.9 L/100 km on the highway, which is slightly better than the previous T5 model.

On the pavement, the XC40 B5 handles with confidence. It features sharp and precise steering, a composed and comfortable ride, and a nimble and agile feel. There is an off-road mode that adjusts the traction control and throttle response for rough terrain.

Cargo Space & Storage

The XC40 has a generous cargo space for its size, with 586L of volume behind the rear seats and 1336L of volume with the rear seats folded down. The cargo area has a flat floor and a wide opening, making it easy to load and unload items. It also has some clever features, such as a foldable floor that creates a divider, a hidden storage compartment under the floor, and hooks for hanging bags. The XC40 also has a power tailgate that can be opened and closed with a foot gesture.

There are also plenty of storage spaces throughout the cabin, such as door pockets, cupholders, a glovebox, a center console bin, and even a removable trash bin.


The XC40 B5 starts at $46,500 CAD for the Core Base trim, which comes with features such as LED headlights, leather seats, dual-zone climate control, wireless charging, and a panoramic sunroof. The Plus trim level adds features such as heated front seats, heated steering wheel, keyless entry, power front seats, and a hands-free tailgate for $49,000 CAD. The Ultimate trim level adds features such as ventilated front seats, Nappa leather upholstery, Harman Kardon sound system, head-up display, 360-degree camera system, and pilot assist for $52,500 CAD. You can also add options such as larger wheels, park assist pilot, and heated rear seats for an extra cost.


The 2023 Volvo XC40 B5 is a great choice for anyone looking for a stylish, practical, and efficient compact SUV. It has a handsome exterior, a spacious and comfortable interior, a user-friendly and advanced infotainment system, a peppy and economical powertrain, and a comprehensive and reliable safety package. Although the XC40 B5 is not the cheapest or the sportiest option in its segment, it is one of the most well-rounded and charming ones.


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