Volvo XC40 Ultimate B5 Dark AWD SUV 2023 Review

Is the Volvo XC40 any good

Volvo XC40 – Last week I drove the Volvo XC40 Ultimate B5 Dark AWD SUV. Here is a mid-sized European SUV that is stylish and spacious.

Volvo XC40 Ultimate B5 Dark 2023 AWD SUV front quarter 1

It has a somewhat edgy appearance with a boxy tailgate. It’s a look that grown on you.

Inside the layout is practical and comfortable.

I particularly like the heated front seats with electric adjustment for the driver and the vertical style central touch screen.

The driver feels at home with a thicker steering wheel and clever and different transmission lever.

Rear seats are spacious and comfortable. There is good rear leg and head room for this size vehicle. Boot space is equally spacious.

The XC40 B5 is powered by a mild hybrid 4-cylinder turbo petrol engine. There is reasonable power with 183 kilowatts and torque of 250 newton metres. This drives through an all-wheel drive system and an eight-speed automatic transmission.

At times around the suburbs, it felt a little slow to start with, but was smooth and easy to drive. Economy is rated at 7.2l/100k but we used around 10 litres per 100 kilometres around town.

The Volvo XC40 Ultimate B5 Dark we tested was priced at $69,690 including options, plus the usual costs.

This is a Motoring Minute

I’m Brianna Fraser


Volvo XC40 Ultimate B5 Dark 2023 AWD SUV profile

More Volvo XC40 B5 Dark details

XC40 B5 Dark Exterior

First up I like the chunky, quirky styling. It’s got a bit of an edge to it.

The car I drove came in the optional Fjord Blue colour which was appealing.

The front bonnet with its sloping detail lines flows into the grill and LED lights. It’s a sleek style yet bold as well.

From the side it sits a bit upright, with a high roof and boot lone. This contrasts with the coupe/Sportback style many smaller SUVs are going with these days.

Its chunky and stylish and the 20-inch alloy wheels with low profile tyres compliment it.

From the rear it looks typically Volvo.

Volvo XC40 Ultimate B5 Dark 2023 AWD SUV internal front 4

What is the XC40 B5 Dark like inside?

This is the first Volvo I’ve driven in a while, and it takes a little getting used to.

Overall impressions were uncluttered, northern European and inviting.

Seats are comfortable and supportive with electric adjustments. I get cold in the mornings so the heated seats as part of the climate option pack were appreciated.

Almost the first thing you see is the tall central touch screen. This is becoming a style trend these days and its practical and mirrors our phones.

Touch sensitivity was a little delayed, but it was easy to use.

The Orrefers crystal transmission lever is an unusual touch.

Rear seats are designed for two people really and getting in and out is a little tight. Head room is generous though.

One advantage of the high style boot line is a large boot space. The middle seats fold 60/40 with a ski port. The boot opens nice and high so taller people don’t hit their head.

Volvo XC40 Ultimate B5 Dark 2023 AWD SUV Orrefers crystal transmission lever

Some XC40 B5 Dark feature highlights

  • 20-inch double-spoke black alloy wheels
  • Alcantara-accented upholstery

Other features include:

  • Automatic headlights with automatic high beam
  • DAB+ digital radio
  • Rain-sensing wipers
  • Hill-descent control
  • Dual-zone climate control
  • Keyless entry and start.
  • Wireless phone charging

Volvo XC40 Ultimate B5 Dark 2023 AWD SUV internal front 3

Infotainment and connectivity technology

  • High Performance Sound System.
  • 9” vertical touch screen centre display.
  • Inductive charging for smartphone.
  • Smart phone integration (iPhone and Android) with 4 USB connections.
  • Driver Display in dash.
  • Digital Radio (DAB).
  • Bluetooth® (inc. audio streaming).
  • In-car web apps.
  • Audio controls in steering wheel.
  • Satellite Navigation with Road Sign Information

Option pack added to test vehicle.

Lifestyle Pack: ($2,600)

  • Panoramic Sunroof,
  • Harman Kardon Premium Sound System.

Climate Pack: ($900)

  • Heated Front Seats,
  • Heated Rear Seats,
  • Heated Steering Wheel.

Exterior Colour: Fjord Blue: $1,200

Volvo XC40 Ultimate B5 Dark 2023 AWD SUV engine

XC40 B5 Engine and drivetrain

The XC40 has a 2.0L 4-cylinder mild hybrid petrol engine. It drives all four wheels through an AWD system and an eight-speed automatic transmission.

There is a stop/start function. It works well but can be a bit intrusive

It comes with front and rear disc brakes and 20″ 5-Double Spoke Black Diamond Cut Alloy Wheels

XC40 B5 comes with MacPherson Strut front and multi-link rear suspension and a Touring Chassis

What is the XC40 B5 like to drive

For the week I drove mostly around town with a linger weekend drive as well. Perhaps typical of what buyers would do.

Overall, it was easy to drive. There was a slight hesitation at times, through the stop start function. I usually turn these off, but you can’t in the XC40. That was a little frustrating.

There was one time where I was coming into a roundabout and the stop start function kicked in, but when I went to go it hesitated, dangerous in a busy intersection. That’s why I don’t like them.

But it was responsive to everything I asked it to do. Its not a sports SUV by any means but I would say zippy. The 2.0L engine has enough get up and go for everyday driving.

Volvo XC40 B5 Dark Safety features

The Volvo XC40 B5 comes with a 5-star ANCAP safety rating.

Features include:

  • Pedestrian, Vehicle, Large Animals and Cyclist Detection,
  • Intersection Collision and Oncoming Mitigation with Brake Support.
  • Steering Support.
  • Driver Alert.
  • Lane Keeping Aid.
  • Adjustable Speed Limiter function.
  • Oncoming Lane Mitigation.
  • Blind Spot Information (BLIS) with Cross Traffic Alert (CTA),
  • Front and Rear Collision Warning with mitigation support.
  • Run-off road Mitigation.
  • Hill start assist.
  • Hill Descent Control.
  • Park Assist Front and Rear.
  • 360 Camera.
  • Rain Sensor.
  • Drive mode with personal power steering settings.
  • Emergency Brake Assist (EBA).
  • Emergency Brake Light (EBL).
  • Frontal Airbags,
  • Side Impact Protection System (SIPS) with airbags in front seats,
  • Inflatable Curtains and Whiplash Protection System.
  • Driver’s knee airbag.
  • Belt Reminder all seats.
  • ISO-FIX outer position rear seat.
  • Intelligent Driver Information System (IDIS)

Volvo XC40 B5 Dark final thoughts

The XC40 is a little quirky and edgy. Its comfortable with a lot of luxury features.

Around town and on longer drives it cruises easily.

The option packs on the test vehicle were worth the money and complete the package.

At a touch under $70,000 its also well priced.

Yep, worth a test drive if you’re looking for a premium small to mid-size SUV.

Volvo XC40 Ultimate B5 Dark 2023 AWD SUV central screen

What is good?

  • Quirky but stylish
  • Cool interior layout
  • SUV practicality and functionality

What is not so good?

 Also look at.

Smaller mid-size SUVs are seemingly everywhere now. The choice can be a bit daunting.

Buyers could look at the Audi Q3 Sportback, Citroen C5 Aircross Sport, Lexus UX, Peugeot 5008 GT, Subaru Outback XT, Citroen C5-X.

Volvo XC40 Ultimate B5 Dark 2023 AWD SUV engine

Volvo XC40


XC40 B5 Dark

Model Price$69,690 MLP* as tested
Engine2.0L 4 Cyl Turbo petrol
Drivetrain8 step Sports AT AWD
Battery Capacity / typeN/A
Power183kW @ 5,400rpm
Torque350Nm @ 1,800 – 4.800rpm
Fuel ADR7.2L/100km Euro 5
Fuel on Test10.0 L/100k
Fuel capacity54L
Range (WLTP) / efficiency870km Max
Fast Charge / Home (240V)N/A
SafetyFive-star ANCAP (April 2018)
CO2 Emissions165g/km
0-100kmh/Top Speed6.4 sec / 180 km/h
Servicing12 Mth / 15,000km –
Warranty5yr/ Unlimited km
Roadside Assist5Yr. conditional roadside assist

*MLP Includes GST and LCT but excluding statutory charges, dealer costs and dealer delivery. See your dealer for RDAP. Does not include price of options. Some features mentioned in the article are options. RDAP means Recommended Drive Away Price (without options but including all other charges)

Volvo XC40 Ultimate B5 Dark 2023 AWD SUV internal front 2

Overall Rating    


Behind the Wheel8
Ride and Handling8
Fit for Purpose8
Style / appeal9
Value for Money8

Volvo XC40 Ultimate B5 Dark 2023 AWD SUV boot 1


 Volvo XC40 B5 Dark

Overall Length4440mm
Wheels20 X 8.0 Alloy
Max ground clearanceUp to 211mm
Wading DepthN/A
Departure angleN/A
Turning Circle KTK11.4m
Boot Capacity Min460L
Boot capacity Max1336L
Battery WeightN/A
Kerb Weight1776kg
Payload (kg)504kg
GVM (kg)2280kg
Towing Capacity2100kg
Tow Ball ratingTBC

Volvo XC40 Ultimate B5 Dark 2023 AWD SUV rear
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  • 8.3/10
    Rating - 8.3/10


The Volvo XC40 is a little quirky and edgy. Its comfortable with a lot of luxury features.

Around town and on longer drives it cruises easily.

The option packs on the test vehicle were worth the money and complete the package.

At a touch under $70,000 its also well priced.

Yep, worth a test drive if you’re looking for a premium small to mid-size SUV.

About Brianna Fraser 71 Articles
Brianna has been driving a different car every week since she got her learners permit. Now writing and doing videos for us she is also qualified in the Hospitality, Beauty and Child Care industries but still finds time to be our resident gourmet chef. She provides the most magnificent meals when the mood takes her.Her camp oven damper made at Ute weekends and camping trips has to be tasted to be believed.In addition to that, she has a particular affinity with off road driving and has been driving since she was 9 years on the same farm as Rob learned to drive on. Unusually for one so young she is exceptionally competent with off road driving, keeping up with drivers that many more years experience. Brianna is currently compiling her own bush cook book along with her other business interests.