And yet, in one instance, it saved me from a wreck. I was backing out of a parking space in a garage and didn’t see an SUV barreling around the corner. Sure enough, the XC40 slammed on the brakes. Surprised, I looked in the rearview mirror and saw the car speeding by.
You can, of course, buy or lease the XC40 the old-fashioned way; it starts at $34,195 and lease deals listed on Volvo’s website in mid-June began at $325 a month.
However, the subscription service is meant to wipe away the annoyances and responsibility of buying and maintaining a car (think: haggling over the price with a salesman and shopping for insurance).
Overall, the subscription process is straightforward: Prospective customers sign up online, select their vehicle and put down a refundable $500 deposit.
From there, Volvo and insurance partner Liberty Mutual review the customer’s application, and if it all pencils out, they reach out to make delivery plans at a dealership.
But there is plenty of fine print. The subscriber is on the hook for the entire two-year term _ there is no early-termination fee. And subscribers are capped at 15,000 miles a year.
Nichols declined to disclose the number of people who have subscribed to the XC40 since the program launched in November (customers began receiving cars in May), or the per-vehicle profit realized by the company. However, he said that 92 percent of U.S. subscribers are new to the brand _ and business has been brisk.
“We have completed a year’s worth of projected subscriptions in three months,” he said.
But the competition is growing.
Although subscription programs from Cadillac, Porsche, BMW and others are not yet offered nationally, their luxury services allow customers to swap in and out of different vehicles. Those programs are more expensive, starting at $1,500 a month.