Review: Volvo 40’

The Volvo V40 Cross Country has a new face, twin exhaust pipes, more attitude and more cost.
The Volvo V40 Cross Country has a new face, twin exhaust pipes, more attitude and more cost.
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Volvo’s 40 series has its origins during Ford’s brief ownership of the Swedish maker, using the contemporary Focus as the base for the V40 hatchback

It was a good start. V40 remains the cheapest Volvo, from £20,715 for the 120bhp petrol T2. Tested here is the Cross Country version, not a lot more than a slightly higher-riding V40 with some tough-kid lower cladding in case you go on rougher roads. It has a new face, twin exhaust pipes, more attitude, more cost.

You get roof rails and bespoke interior trim and a higher bill – around £1,800 higher. Prices start at £24,015 for the 150bhp T3 petrol. On test is the D2, the 118bhp diesel entry model, from £24,375. As a stand-alone product it’s fine – as long as you can justify the price premium over the regular V40. It remains front-wheel-drive so offers no extra traction. The only version with 4x4 is the 242bhp petrol T5 at £34,330 with standard automatic gears. These are a £1,485 option on other variants.

The demo car was the Nav Plus, at £25,225. Extras included a £1,900 Intellisafe Pro pack which added collision prevention systems, lane-keeping steering, speed limit reading, adaptive cruise control, blind spot and cross traffic alert. The 17-inch wheels and 225/50 tyres added £550. A winter pack – heated screen, heated front seats, headlamp cleaning and rain sensors – was another £575.

The D2 is rated at 74.3 mpg and 99g. The highest I recorded was 52 mpg on my simulated commuter run. Other readings were in the mid to high 40s. All were well shy of that catalogue average.

The 2-litre engine pulls well but needs working to get near its 0-60mph time of 9.9 seconds. It also gets rowdy and the road noise was noticeable after a week with the Ford [see review left]. Then, as these things do, it faded into everyday acceptance.

Things I liked included the red dot against the speed limit on the speedometer, accompanied by a blinking mph display when the limit was exceeded. Rear passengers have handy seat-side trays for their bits and pieces. The seats fold away to extend what seems quite a small luggage boot over a high false floor.

The Cross Country’s days are numbered. Production of the V40 XC has started in Belgium. It has a new platform which will be used on future 40-series models. Prices for this prestige SUV start at £27,905. The first models are landing soon.