Recommended. A well-built, mostly well-priced, and good to drive premium hatchback.
Volvos are sexier than they used to be. Long gone are dependable but staid designs – today Volvos look smooth, modern and attractive. That’s not least thanks to the sleek design language going on with the marque’s flagship, the XC90.
That’s filtered down to smaller cars and the baby Volvo – the V40 – gets the same look. Indeed, it shares the same headlights. So the V40 looks good, in particular the sporty R-Design.
But does it do all of the other stuff? Yes, it does, thankfully.
Power comes from three diesels, with 120hp, 150hp and 190hp. Volvo has always been somewhat benevolent when it comes to engine choice, so here we have three options to suit all needs – the smaller of three makes something close to 80mpg and gets as low as 94g/km on emissions.
Even the more powerful options don’t concede much on those figures. And they’re all pokey and satisfying to drive, a good combination of smooth power and very good economy.
In the real world we managed high-40s without any effort.
If you’re a petrol purist then there’s three options again – 122hp, 152hp and the mighty 245hp. The only real reason to choose the two smaller ones if is your mileage is low and it’s not worth shelling out a bit extra at purchase for a diesel. The sporty 245hp lump makes 62mph in just six seconds.
The V40 handles in a nicely dynamic fashion on the more fun roads, making for an engaging drive and it’s also a solid cruiser. On the inside, the cabin is well-appointed, if a little dull.
There’s loads of tech available, including a fully connected infotainment system and all the usual bells and buttons – heated seats, parking camera and so on.
Being a Volvo, there’s plenty of safety tech – indeed, it leads the way in this department – and the only slight niggle is a cramped rear passenger space; the boot is reasonable, though.
With prices from around £20k the V40 certainly gives rivals like the Audi A3, VW Golf, BMW 1 Series and Mercedes-Benz A-Class a run for their money.
1. Nicely put together inside and out.
2. Decent economy figures.
3. Good to drive.
We don't like:
1. A bit dull on the inside.
2. Tight in the back.
3. Nothing else.
Most fun: The 245hp T5 petrol gets to 60mph in just six seconds.
Most sensible: The 120hp D2 diesel nudges 80mpg on paper.
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