The XC40 T4 is cheaper than the T5, but almost just as complete
The Value Volvo The Volvo XC40 T4 has a roomy boot and its seats are supportive yet comfy. ST PHOTOS: CHONG JUN LIANG

The Volvo XC40 T4 is that steak you are eyeing on the set-lunch menu. It is good value, especially when you compare it with the same item in the a la carte section.

So, even though you suspect it is not exactly the same as the costlier item, you pick it anyway because the value proposition is just too good to ignore.

The XC40 T4 is, in itself, a pretty complete package. It is stylishly chic, usefully spacious despite its compact footprint and decked out in modern finery.

Powered tailgate, cruise control, a large tablet-style infotainment screen, electronic parking brake with auto hold, wireless phone charging, a keyless system, a 360-degree camera system and paddle shifters are some of the highlights.

There is more to go with all that - such as a punchy engine with a sizeable sweet spot. The power plant is a watered-down version of the same one powering the more illustrious XC40 T5.

Still, it has a respectable 187bhp to its name and, more importantly, 300Nm of torque from 1,400 to 4,000rpm. That is merely 50Nm less than the T5 and available from a lower engine speed.

Paired also with an eight-speed autobox, the engine makes for journeys which are reasonably effortless and smooth.

You are not exactly going to rave about it - especially when you are in a hurry - but you would have little to complain about.

The only shortfall lies with its Sport mode, which offers not much else but higher revs and noise, which comes with higher revs.

It is far better to drive the car in normal mode.

The car is in no way a laggard, clocking a century sprint of 8.4 seconds and having enough flexibility to maintain a pace and rhythm without straining beyond 3,500rpm.

Actually, most tasks are accomplished between 2,000 and 2,500rpm, making commutes rather relaxed.

It rides on a Dynamic chassis, which is more comfort-biased than the T5’s Sport chassis.

While the T5 is an all-wheeldrive, the T4 powers its front axle, which is no great sacrifice.

The car is still fairly competent when driven enthusiastically, even if it does not strike you as something you would remember a year from now.

The car copes with changes in road alignment dispassionately, with a steering that is quite flawless, but also a tad emotionless.

But as a family vehicle, the T4 excels as well as the T5.

Besides ample room, it is adequately insulated from the harshness of the outside world.

Seats are supportive yet comfy.

And the cabin exudes an ambience that conveys premium modernity and yet is restrained – which is the understated charm of Volvo cars. The XC40 T4 is an excellent choice for those who want an XC40 for well below $200,000.

It is a delicious deal – as long as your neighbour does not turn up in a T5.