The Volvo V40 is a delightful looking car, both sleek and thoroughly modern, it needs to be as faces tough competition in the Audi A3 the Volkswagen Golf and the BMW 1 Series. In order to compete the V40 builds on all that is great about Volvo cars, namely comfort and safety, the V40 excels in both areas, following NCAP testing the V40 is officially the safest car on sale in the UK, airbags are all over the car protecting driver and passengers but the Volvo goes further; all models have City Assist, which automatically stops the car if you are traveling at up to 18mph and due to hit something, and if you are over this speed and you do hit a pedestrian then the airbag fitted at the top of the bonnet will deploy to stop the pedestrians head hitting the windscreen, the Volvo is the first to offer this but we feel it will become very popular as manufactures scramble to keep up.
The V40, even in the basic ES trim, is very well equipped, 16″ alloy wheels, electronic climate control, steering wheel controls paired to the 5″ audio display screen, power windows and leather steering wheel / gear knob, the SE adds upgraded upholstery, keyless start, auto folding power door mirrors with ground lights and cruise control, the SE Lux is the pick if funds stretch with leather-faced upholstery, 17″ alloy wheels, LED day running lights and active bending xenon headlights with a headlight cleaning system. The R-Design is the sports car 17″ Ixion alloy wheels, silver door mirrors. embossed nubuck textile/leather upholstery, sports steering wheel and pedals, an 8″ active TFT crystal driver’s information display and R-Design aluminum inlay. Note the panoramic roof is a £1000 extra across the range.
The three diesel engines in the V40 are excellent, The four cylinder two litre D2 has 120 brake horse power and offers combined economy of 85.6 miles per gallon yet can still propel the V40 to 62 miles per hour in 10.6 seconds and on to a top speed of 118mph this engine is only available as a 6 six speed manual in the V40 or with the Geartronic automatic in the V40 Cross Country which is a higher riding more rugged version of the V40, but it does not have 4 wheel drive, it is front wheel drive only to mobility customers. The four cylinder two litre D3 has output of 150 bhp and is available as a six speed manual or a Geartronic Automatic gearbox that will return 54.3 miles per gallon with lots of overtaking power. The new four cylinder 181bhp D4, with only 99g CO2, can reach 62 miles per hour in 7.4 seconds and still return a claimed 74.3 miles per gallon.
The Volvo V40 is a car to put on your shortlist if you want an alternative to this German dominated sector, it looks great, it is safe, comfortable and has an excellent range of engines that are powerful, economical and Green, the D2 has a CO2 output of only 94g.
Winter Best Buy – Volvo V40 D2 SE 2.0 litre diesel 120bhp manual (standard or cross country) – £299 Advance Payment (£59.58 wpms)
Winter Best Buy – Volvo V40 D2 Cross Country ‘SE or Lux’ 2.0 litre diesel 120bhp Automatic – £399 Advance Payment (£60.25 wpms)