Milan, Italy - Volvo’s XC90 and XC60 SUVs now have a smaller and funkier sibling in the form of the first-ever XC40 that was revealed on Thursday, and it’s coming to South Africa, with preliminary timing set for the second quarter of 2018.

Set to go up against the BMW X1 and Mercedes GLA in the premium compact SUV market, the XC40 it the first Volvo to be built on the company’s new CMA modular architecture, which will also underpin other forthcoming ‘40 Series’ cars.

The baby SUV will inherit plenty of technology from its bigger siblings, including Volvo’s Pilot Assist semi-autonomous driving system as well as City Safety, Cross Traffic Alert, Run-off Road protection and mitigation and a 360-degree camera for manoeuvring.

Those classy interior vibes found in bigger Volvos also appear to have filtered down to the newcomer, while adding some spunky colour options that even extend to the carpets, yet the big news according to Volvo is its new storage solutions that promise more functional stashing space in the doors and beneath the seats, an on-board rubbish bin as well as a dedicated zone for smartphones, which includes inductive charging.

Volvo has not gone into detail on the drivetrains as yet, but has mentioned that the initial range will offer the choice between a T5 petrol and D4 diesel, but the line-up will later be expanded to offer additional engines, including Volvo’s new three-cylinder engine as well as hybrid and full-electric models.

Friendly lease with benefits

The XC40 will also usher in Volvo’s new Care by Volvo ‘subscription service’, which is basically a fancy lease with some potentially tasty added benefits. Instead of buying, or financing a new car in the traditional way, users of the service will order a car online, pay a monthly flat-fee and drive a new Volvo every two years. 

The major difference between this and a normal lease, is that buyers need no deposit or insurance, and the cherry on top is that cars can be temporarily swapped for other models depending on need. So theoretically, if you've "subscribed" to a sedan but need an SUV for a weekend adventure, you can pop into a dealer and make  a temporary trade.

Care by Volvo also includes, depending on regional availability, a concierge service for refueling and cleaning of a car, and in some markets mail order deliveries can be made directly to subscriber's boot - though it's easy to see why this concept wouldn't work well locally.

For now the Care by Volvo subscription service will be available in the US and parts of Europe, but Volvo South Africa says it's under consideration for our market.

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IOL Motoring