Imagine the pressure of constantly striving to maintain the title of being one of the ‘world’s safest cars’ – in a world where technology evolves at a manic pace and innovation is outdated as soon as it’s released.
Our destination today has pretty much the same problem, which is fame! It is one of the most instagrammed places in the world.
It also earned the title of the ‘New7Wonders of Nature’ – and at the ripe very old age of 260 million years old, Table Mountain is older than the Andes, the Alps, the Rocky Mountains and the Himalayas.
Table Mountain is sheer natural beauty – and gives Capetonians a blanket of security because of how it towers over the city, majestically.
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And the Volvo XC40 has just about the same amount of class and beauty. It is reliable and the design is as close to perfection as a small SUV can possibly get. That’s big praise, but it’s well deserved. There is something about this very Volvo that makes me feel as though it’s in full control driving me, and I am not driving it.
It could very well be because the plan with the XC40 was to create a new motoring experience with new rules – where less is more. The interior, although packed with features, is supremely minimalistic. So no super-stacking the features all over the dash and the console.
The new design elements, and pockets of details definitely give the cabin a refreshed look – as compared to its competitors. A breathe of fresh Swedish air, if you must.
Some things you don’t know about Table Mountain? It is the only terrestrial structure in the world to have a constellation named after it. A French astronomer named the southern constellation Mensa after the iconic landmark.
There are many ghosts stories that haunt the mountain – a most famous one revolves around the governor of Cape Town who made an enemy. As an act of revenge, his enemy found a flute used by a leper and presented it to the governors son. The son contracted the disease and his own family forced him into exile. He fled to a hut on Table Mountain and died there alone. And when the sun sets you can hear him playing his flute.
Table Mountain never stops growing. Over 250 million years ago, Africa was considered to be the centre of supercontinent Pangaea – when it fragmented into two parts Africa emerged as a stand-alone continent. Table Mountain resisted folding because of its tough granite base, deflecting the forces downwards instead. This resulted in the mountain slowly beginning to rise, a process that still hasn’t stopped.
The Volvo has a host of small features to titillate the potential buyer – there’s a special space for phones to charge, a foldout hook for small bags in the boot, and loads of storage space.The drive – is velvety smooth and the handling intuitive – like it’s driving itself. It almost seems too easy to steer. I love it! What I don’t love are the gears. You have to engage them with a double shift every time, for the technology the car boasts, this seems a little primitive.
Conclusion: The XC40 offers you a great host of functionality, an exceptional drive and fuel efficiency. It’s a winner in its segment of small SUV’s and safety comes standard which is peace of mind especially on South African roads.
Visiting the mountain in the shape of a table will always be one of South Africa’s most memorable experiences, much like the experience of the volvo.
Specs and features:
- 2.0-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder engine with 140 kW and 300 Nm
- 8-speed automatic gearbox
- 0-100km in 8.4 seconds
- Pilot Assist system
- City Safety
- Run-off Road protection
- Cross Traffic Alert
- 360° park camera
- smartphone storage space
- Harman Kardon premium sound