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5 Ways Volvo Can Make the XC40 a Hit

5 Ways Volvo Can Make the XC40 a Hit

Volvo's SUV renaissance started with the redesign of its large XC90 SUV in 2016, and we liked it so much we named it our Best of 2016 and bought one. The automaker's compact SUV, the redesigned-for-2018 XC60, also looks promising. Now, Volvo has announced that it's planning another new SUV, a smaller one that will slot at the bottom of its lineup in size and price. What will the new XC40 need to succeed? Our editors weigh in below.

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1. Better Controls

Physical climate controls, as opposed to keeping them in the touchscreen. Volvo's touchscreen is among the best examples this side of Tesla, but it doesn't need to house everything. — Kelsey Mays, senior consumer affairs editor

2. Polestar Model

Did someone say XC40 Polestar? Oh, that was my inner child speaking, sorry. The last Polestar model (based on the S60/V60) was a sneakily good car to drive; I'd love to see what their Used Engine ers could do if they turned their gaze to the XC40. And the good news is, since Volvos now run on the same Used Engine architecture, the supercharged and turbocharged 362-horsepower Used Engine out of the S60 Polestar will fit in the XC40, as well. — Brian Wong, L.A. bureau chief

3. Noise Reduction

I would like to see everything in the XC90 and S90 plus one more thing: sound deadening for that gravelly Used Engine . The Used Engine sound is one thing we never came to terms with in our Best of 2016 XC90, and it's the same in other Volvo vehicles we've driven. But if they haven't addressed it in the 90s or 2018 XC60 (which we haven't driven yet), the affordable XC40 probably isn't where they'll start. — Joe Wiesenfelder, executive editor

4. More Cabin Colors, Materials

Volvo says the XC40 offers a wider selection of interior colors and materials compared with its traditional lineup, and it takes inspiration from street fashion, city architecture, high-end designers and popular culture. There's always a possibility it could look like an Urban Outfitters vomited all over the inside, so hopefully there's discretion in this approach and it doesn't come with a velvet-covered record player instead of a USB port. — Joe Bruzek, managing editor

5. Innovative Child-Safety Features

Volvo was the first automaker to offer integrated pop-up boosters in its vehicles, a convenience feature for families, but it can do one better. Two years ago, the automaker unveiled a lightweight and inflatable rear-facing car-seat concept. Car seats are huge and heavy, and this one solves both of those problems — it's lightweight and easy to pack once deflated. So far, the automaker hasn't announced production plans, but launching with a small family vehicle would be a good place to start. — Jennifer Geiger, news editor