Entry-level petrol engine finally gets an eight-speed auto, with the T5 PHEV scheduled to hit Europe early next year. As for Australia? We’re waiting for an update from the brand’s local division.
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Volvo Car has added a new transmission option for the entry-level T3 version of the XC40 small SUV, which should further broaden the crossover’s appeal.

Introduced as part of some running changes for the European market, the XC40 T3 gets a slightly upgraded 1.5-litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine for 2019, with power now rated at 163hp (121kW) up from 156hp (116kW).

Also new is the option of an eight-speed automatic transmission, joining the standard six-speed manual available in overseas markets since launch. With the eight-speed auto, the XC40 T3 accelerates from 0-100 in 9.6 seconds, while the manual drops from 9.4 to 9.3 seconds thanks to the extra grunt.

The UK also now gets the option of a front-wheel drive T4 petrol model, though this drivetrain has been on sale in Australia since earlier this year.

Other changes include the addition of steering-mounted paddle shifters for all auto-equipped R-Design models, with auto-folding door mirrors, a 12V outlet in the boot, a locking glove box and load protection net all now standard fit across the range.

The revised XC40 range will now offer a Steer Assist function with the available blind-spot monitoring system, too, which automatically applies corrective steering to avoid a collision with a vehicle in the driver’s blind spot.

Finally, three new paints are available in the UK – Thunder Grey, Glacier Silver and Pebble Grey.

Volvo says it will add a T5 Twin Engine plug-in hybrid XC40 to the UK range in “early 2020”, which pairs the T3’s 1.5-litre petrol engine with a 55kW electric motor and 9.7kWh battery pack – the latter making for an electric range claim of around 31km according to reports about the Chinese-market model.

It’s also worth noting the T5 PHEV sold in China has a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, a departure from the brand’s usual eight-speed torque converter.

Details for the European version “will be announced shortly”.

Australia

CarAdvice has contacted Volvo’s local division for an update about the T3 variant’s launch in Australia, and is awaiting a response.

In March last year, Volvo Car Australia indicated the XC40 T3 is due to hit our market during the second half of 2019.

Stay tuned for an update.