Now as an Automotive Journalist, one of the things I have never done is go to a Press Event, now of course I’ve went and set up events to see cars before – like the time with the DB2/4 but I’ve never ever went to a Launch Event – that had to change!!
For my first Press Event, I didn’t want to go too big as I would certainly both look out of place & be way over my head, so what I decided to do was to head over to the Volvo XC40 UK Launch Event, the reason why I Picked Volvo was because of a few reasons, First of all, I’d never really been up on the XC40 so wanted to get some info on it, second of all, I had been informed by a close friend of mine that it was happening all over the UK and all I had to do was sign up for it and everything else would be sorted out (so really simple to sign up for), on top of that, being a Volvo owner myself, I would have a better idea of what was going on, how they’d evolved as a company and wouldn’t look too out of place.
So lets get onto the car shall we, this event was to basically launch the recently released Volvo XC40 into the UK Market, the particular XC40 on show was an XC40 2.0 D4 First Edition AWD Auto, with a 190bhp Diesel engine, it is the only Diesel engine available as of launch to be available to the XC40, you can of course go for a Petrol and that would be the 2.0 T5 Petrol with a stonking 247bhp, Trim Levels are plentiful on the XC40 too with Momentum (Base Model), Inscription (Luxury Model) & R-Design (Sporty model), on top of that their is both Pro version models of all the above, but the top model by far as of now is the First Edition, this is essentially a R-Design Pro but with nearly every single option ticked, these include a Leather interior, a lovely set of 20″ 5 double spoke Alloy Wheels with a mix of Diamond Cut & Matte Black added in for good measure, R-Design Bodykit, Full LED Active High Beam headlamps, Pilot Assist, an iPad like infotainment system and an optional boot divider which normally comes in the Convenience Pack amongst many others.
Interior wise, it was actually rather smart for a small SUV, it had more than enough space, plenty of comfort and everything was so easy to use and so intuitive, when inside you could tell straight away the quality of all the materials used was up there with it’s big brothers the XC60 & XC90, In fact, it uses a lot of tech with it’s bigger brothers as well meaning that it feels like a Volvo should, In terms of cubby space and equipment, there was pilot assist, a removal bin in the centre console, a mobile phone charging system, electric memory seats, heated seats all round, Start/Stop technology, keyless entry, push button start, a gorgeously wrapped leather steering wheel with multi functions for both the infotainment system and pilot assist functions.
In the rear It had a rather smart set of air vents which both felt great to use and also looked nice as well and underneath them, slightly hidden away was a set of heated seat switches and a output for charging what looked like either a phone or iPad, our press car had the half leather, half alcantara seats which were really comfortable, In between the two outer seats there was an arm rest imbedded into the middle seat, In the boot was the divider I mentioned earlier which had hooks you could hang stuff on, it had electrically operated rear seats, simply push the two buttons and the seats fold down, it also had a 12v socket for the likes of a cool-box and a electric tailgate with a lockable option once closed.
Price wise, the XC40 starts at just under £28,000 and goes up to around about £40,000+ for a fully specced T5 First Edition, in the coming weeks and months their will be more engines available with rumours of a 3 cylinder unit coming in soon enough as well as more diesels.
The Atmosphere at the Showroom was very good, all the staff were very welcoming and down to chat and to talk through the car, and even though most people their were potentially there to buy a car, as soon as I pointed out my C70 which was outside, I got a rewarding smile back which made me feel welcome, overall the dealership knocked it out the park!
A Special Thank you goes to Volvo Parks Ayr for their fantastic hospitality, Volvo Cars & Volvo Cars UK for putting on the Launch nationwide and to Callum Laird – the legend who let me know it was happening in the first place, without him, I’d never of been able to go. Hopefully this isn’t the only press event I get to go to as I’d like to do more, for my first however, I thoroughly enjoyed every second of it!
Hope You Enjoy!
By Alex Jebson