If you want an SUV because you like height but you could do without the bulk, a small SUV could be the way to go. And if you’re looking at the luxury end of the market, the Volvo XC40 should be high on your look list.

It’s in a competitive category with cars like the Audi Q3, BMW X2 and Mercedes GLA, where it more than holds its own.

I test drove the Volvo XC40 T4 Momentum which is the entry-level model and costs $46,990 before on-road costs and extras.

Volvo has really nailed the design of its cars recently, and the XC40 is no exception. It looks sophisticated and quite swish, without feeling OTT or too flashy.

It’s got a modern profile, and the signature Volvo badge on a sleek grille. It’s not particularly sporty looking – this is definitely more Posh Spice than Sporty Spice in the SUV gang – and it has just the right amount of machismo to balance things out.

The design focus carries through to the interior, and even though I’m in the entry model, you wouldn’t know it. It looks and feels premium.

The seats in our test example were leather (optioned in for an extra $750). Standard on this model are vegan leather seats. The steering wheel comes in leather as standard and feels great to touch.

The seats are also heated and power adjustable in the front – part of the 'Comfort Pack' which costs an extra $1000.

It’s also fitted with a large, panoramic sunroof which lets lots of light in and is part of the 'Lifestyle Pack' which also includes tinted rear windows and a premium sound system for $3000.

The rest of the interior is stylish, with metallic accents on the dash and doors and a matt black trim around the design centrepiece, a large, 9.0-inch multimedia screen which is vertical, rather than horizontal and is basically like having a large tablet in your car.

For a small SUV the Volvo XC40 really comes through with the goods, even in this entry-level version. I would prefer it over a small car for the height and the interior space. It fits my family of four well and drives beautifully with all the safety you would want for your children.

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