Recommended. An excellent premium hatchback that might surprise you.
Volvo could be seen as having a certain image over the years, but if you’ve never driven one you really ought to.
The new V40 is a prime example - it’s up there with the best of them.
It’s good across the board and the R-Design, which is being heavily promoted as a Swedish car built for British roads, is the standout of the range.
The automatic gearbox is a highlight as well; it’s one of the most seamless out there at the moment. Even those who prefer a manual will find it a dream, which the option of semi-automatic changes via paddles available.
There’s an excellent range of engines – with the 120hp, 150hp and 190hp diesels all capable of mid-70s to the gallon and clean enough for free or minimal road tax.
They suit the car very well, with lots of power, but, that said, the petrols aren’t bad either, with a tasty 245hp topping the range.
Handling is great and this feels like a real driver’s car.
Inside, the cabin is modern and well-designed, as you might expect from a Volvo, and the panoramic roof is an excellent addition as well.
Being a Volvo, there’s lots of safety kit on board.
One of the highlights is the adaptive cruise control. It’s one of the best we’ve experienced, because it’s not overly cautious and can be adjusted to suit as well.
Also available is park assist and a rear view camera and you can also have collision warning with auto brake, pedestrian and cycle protection, lane-keeping aid, driver alert control and more.
If you’ve never considered a Volvo before, the V40 is an excellent place to start.
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