If there is one thing a girl likes it is jewellery, therefore the Volvo XC40 T4 Inscription’s cabin should draw female buyers like a moth to a flame. And who knows, maybe even a few boys too…
Forget the interior’s premium finishing, the comfortable seats, and all the other creature comforts. The star of the show is undoubtedly found in the centre console. As a free-of-charge optional extra, you get to choose a gear lever made of crystal glass from Orrefors, the famous Swedish glassmaker.
Why would you ever want a boring black gear lever wrapped in some godforsaken exotic leather when you can have this wonderful shining thing that puts on a kaleidoscopic extravaganza when the light touches it? And it’s so nice to touch that I wouldn’t mind a manual version just to get my hand on it more, but this car is only available with automatic transmission.
To get technical, the XC40 is the Swedish carmaker’s smallest SUV, which slots in below the XC60. And the T4 is a new addition to the XC40 line-up, which slots in between the T3 and T5. I’m not too clued up about these badges, as I’ve stopped at T2 anyway when Arnold Schwarzenegger became a nice terminator.
Orrefors crystal gear lever
Basically what this means is that if the T3’s 110 kW engine is too pap for you and the T5’s 185 kW too much, the T4 now bridges the gap. It has a 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine sending 140kW/300Nm the front wheels via an eight-speed Geartronic transmission. The T4 line-up starts at R654 580, with the Inscription derivative we tested priced at R715 800.
The drive is very smooth with low levels of noise in a very plush and comfortable cabin. Handling is easy and parking an absolute doddle with the amazing 360° camera.
Should you get too distracted by your crystal glow, being a Volvo, your safety is in good hands. The XC40 T4 features Volvo Cars’ Pilot Assist system, City Safety, Run-off Road protection and mitigation, and Cross Traffic Alert with brake.
The XC40 was already an attractive car which offers heaps of style, with the new engine option providing buyers with more choice. Not to mention the fabulous crystal gear ever. And just for the record, I looked it up, Schwarzenegger is an Austrian and not from Sweden at all.