The Volvo XC40 arrived for our tests with a reputation to uphold as What Car?‘s reigning Car of the Year. It’s hugely impressive as a tow car, too, so much so that we’ve named it ‘Best Family SUV’.

That’s the term What Car? uses for SUVs of this size, slightly smaller than the likes of the Audi Q5 and BMW X3 which also impressed our judges so much this year.

Despite its relatively compact dimensions, the XC40 is still quite heavy with a kerbweight of 1735kg.
That heft makes it a sensible match for a broad range of caravans.

It certainly has no trouble pulling a tourer weighing 85% of its kerbweight, either in terms of stability or speed.

The 30-60mph acceleration test took a brisk 12.1 seconds, and the stopping distance of 11 metres from 30mph is shorter than many cars in this weight class achieved.

There was a slight shimmy from the caravan when slowing from motorway speeds, but we’ve no complaints at all about the Volvo’s performance in the lane-change test. There was absolutely no drama at all even on the fastest attempt at the manoeuvre.

Inside, the Volvo is beautifully put together. There’s more room inside than you might think, with enough space for adults to get comfortable in the back. However, the transmission tunnel will get in the way of a third rear passenger’s feet.

More boot space would have boosted a nonetheless impressive practicality score.

Model pictured: First Edition

Other cars in this category

Audi Q5

2.0 TDI 190PS Quattro S Line S tronic


BMW 520d

Touring xDrive M Sport



xDrive 20d M Sport


Ford Kuga

2.0 TDCi 180PS AWD ST-Line X Powershift


Jaguar F-Pace

30d AWD S


Jaguar XF Sportbrake

20d 240PS AWD R Sport


Kia Optima Sportswagon

2.0 GDi PHEV

1700-1899kg Best Petrol Tow Car

Kia Stinger

2.0 T-GDi GT-Line


Lexus NX300h



Mazda CX-5

2.2D 175PS AWD Sport Nav


Nissan X-Trail

2.0 dCi 177PS 4WD Tekna X-Tronic 7st


Renault Koleos

dCi 175 4WD Signature Nav Auto X-Tronic


Vauxhall Insignia Country Tourer

2.0 170PS 4x4 Blueinjection S/S

1700-1899kg Best Family SUV

Volvo XC40

Volvo XC40 D4 AWD R-Design Pro


Volvo XC60

D5 PowerPulse AWD R-Design

ContinueWe use cookies to give you the best browsing experience and to provide you with relevant content and advertising.
By continuing to use our website you are accepting our use of cookies as described in our Cookie Policy.