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Review: Volvo XC40 is never intimidating

ON THE ROAD

As a journalist who specialises in politics, the road is my world. I criss-cross the most dusty and damaged roads in the country. The journey is often even more treacherous given the models of vehicle that carry us through. 

When I received my assignment to travel almost 400km to Bloemfontein, I was not excited. Working out of town means longer hours, strenuous driving and uncomfortable roads. What made it worse was the assignment itself. I was covering the court appearance of one of the most powerful politicians in the country, ANC secretary general Ace Magashule. 

This time it was different. My bosses did me a solid. Waiting for me at our Braamfontein office was a beast: the Volvo XC40. My eyes glittered at the sight. It would be a road trip to rival all others.

The car oozes class and beauty and what I found most rewarding was its easy functionality. Even with the most tech-savvy functions, the car was never intimidating. 

I’m also a mother, and for that reason I have always found SUVs attractive. They provide space, comfort and speed. The perfect combination for any career mother who is on the go but wants to look the part. 

The XC40 ticks all the boxes. 

I’ve often heard that driving a Volvo is an experience. The company prides itself on ensuring safety and comfort and a hint of speed to get the adrenaline pumping. Let me assure you, the XC40 gives you all of this and more. 

Let me take you through the sheer driving experience. It’s almost as if the car is driving itself, sophisticated driving at its best. Think of a vehicle that offers you the agility of a sports car and the safety of a family car. Now imagine that combined in a road warrior that is also fuel-efficient. When I arrived in Mangaung, I still had a quarter tank of fuel left, which enabled me to make my way around the small city conducting interviews. 

An SUV that won’t guzzle up your tank but can still turn heads is a great buy, especially in these uncertain times.

What I enjoyed was its flexibility. The XC40 is cunning, cruising on tar and taking curves with ease. Steering is near perfect: I was able to move easily at pace, navigating the tightest of angles with little impediment.

But my favourite part of the car is the interior. The Swedish seats almost swallow you as if they are manufactured to fit your body type.

When I was mesmerised by the electric seat recliner, I glimpsed the storage space on the tunnel console that allows my cellphone to be wirelessly charged. For someone like me, whose existence is predicated on the functioning of her phone, this screamed heaven.

Another titillating ingredient in its design feature is the 360° parking camera that gives you a detailed “bird’s-eye” view of your car, so you can see where it is in relation to other vehicles and objects. 

It’s every mother’s dream. At any moment while driving with a toddler you can get distracted but with this gem, parking is made easy. It is able to alert me of any kind of danger and even its review mirrors can detect motion, ensuring that my job of driving is made that much easier.

I can’t ask for more than that.

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