Volvo is in on the small SUV action. It's nice looking too - and Swedish.
In the aftermath of the Frankfurt motor show, Volvo has unveiled its new small SUV to join the million others that the world has on offer. It's really nice looking - Volvo's always are - but essentially and technically no different to its competitors, the BMW X1 and Jaguar E-Pace, except for the fact that it's Swedish.
The world loves Swedish things - or at least the "enlightened" do - because it believes the Swedes know something about the planet that sets them apart from other human beings. No doubt, it stems from a fascination with the vikings, which has been exacerbated by the uber pace of development in the icy, Arctic seas and the ability for Nordic countries to adopt 1st world habits quicker than elsewhere. As such, Sweden's brand - the idea of being a step ahead - works in Volvo's favour when it comes to selling cars.
Truth is though, the XC40 arrives late to an already saturated segment and is as combustion-infused as the rest of the backward world. Although a full EV version of the XC40 will eventually be produced, its core base will remain oil and most of its buyers, like buyers of all other cars except Tesla, will remain polluters.
As always in South Africa, it will trail in popularity to the Germans but will be as synonymous as the Jaguar - another brand that relies on buyers who believe they have seen something about the world that others have not. The Volvo however, is better looking than the Jaguar - in fact, it's the best looking of the lot for what this car is meant to be, an SUV - and it arrives with the pedigree of its bigger and more successful brother too, and the reputation of extreme safety that Volvo has successfully monopolised over the past 15 years. As such, it has a stronger base to lift off from and might yet be more successful than we thought.
So yes, the Volvo XC40 is Swedish. That is good and that is irrelevant and it all depends on your view of Volvo and the world whether that means you will buy it. If you do, you might become enlightened. If you don't, you might already be enlightened for saying no.
We can't decide which is true.