Design and Engineering

Design and Engineering

Good Arriving Down Under in March 2013 the Volvo V40 offers up a mix of performance, comfort and compact & curvaceous styling.

The Volvo V40 features the famous ‘V-shaped’ bonnet that gives the V40 a bold yet elegant look. Strong character lines bode well with the curvaceous styling of the V40 while the rear looks very compact and angular. The rear also features a set of unique tail lights that are in the shape of an ‘S’ and further add to curvy design.

T5 R-Design models feature a more sporting appearance, gaining a more aggressive front bumper with arrow shape LED daytime running lamps, side skirts and rear diffuser style rear bumper.

Overall, the Car Verdict team thinks the V40 looks pretty good, there is a good mix of styling lines, curves and masculine appeal.
Not so good Our only complaint would be the stubby rear end; the black window detail also breaks the overall flow of the vehicle. But hey, that’s just our opinion.
Interior and Styling

Interior and Styling

Good Inside, the V40 has a nice mix of quality materials and classy design. The dash features a slight slope the arches up behind the steering wheel, the touchscreen multimedia system fits snuggly into the dash, while all controls are located under a pair of air vents.

Depending on what variant you choose and option boxes ticked the V40 comes with a whole host of wood look trims, shimmering graphite or brushed charcoal highlights; plus leather and/or textile seats that come in a range of colour combinations.

The model we had featured Blond leather seats with charcoal highlights, this combination works really well.

The seats are very comfortable and supportive, there’s also plenty of side bolstering to keep you from sliding about when cornering at high speeds.

Volvo has replaced the traditional speed and tachometer and replaced it with a digital interface; the cool thing about it being digital is the speedo displays the speed limit of the zone you are currently driving in and flashes to let you know you have gone over the limit.
Not so good While the controls a user friendly we aren’t really big fans of the mass of buttons on the dash, it looks like an old school mobile phone touch pad.
Performance

Performance

Good The V40 range comes with the choice of two petrol and two diesel engines.

Powering T4 models is a 2.0-litre five-cylinder turbo petrol engine, producing 132kW of power and 300Nm of torque when matched to a 6-speed sports automatic transmission.

The T5 R-Design steps things up a notch, sitting under the bonnet is a 2.5-litre five-cylinder turbo petrol engine, producing 187kW of power and 360Nm of torque when matched to a 6-speed sports automatic transmission.

Powering the D2 is a 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel engine, producing 84kW of power and 270Nm of torque when matched to a 6-speed manual (no auto available).

Next up the D4 features a 2.0-litre five-cylinder turbo diesel engine, producing 130kW of power and 400Nm of torque when matched to a 6-speed manual (6-speed sports automatic transmission option).

Our test subject was equipped with the 2.0-litre five-cylinder turbo petrol engine, and we must say this engine is a rocket. There is smooth power delivery across the board and the 6-speed sports automatic transmission handles any situation with ease.

132kW might not sound like much on paper but the 300Nm of torque sends you in the right direction in a hurry. The official 0-100km/h is 8.3 seconds with the automatic gearbox (8.6secs for the 6sp manual), but this compact hatch feels so much faster.
Not so good Official combined fuel consumption is 5.3 litres per 100km for the automatic, we managed 11.6 litres per 100km, but in fairness we weren’t really driving with a frugal mindset.
Ride and Handling

Ride and Handling

Good The steering column’s thick tubing and stiff insulator increase the overall solid feeling of the V40, this also enhances the feeling of contact to the road.

Overall, the suspension feels quite good, handling most roads irregularities with ease. The V40’s suspension feels like it is geared more towards comfort rather than performance but does a fine job nonetheless.
Not so good The V40 has a cracking line-up of engines, but the suspension isn't as willing. When going for a spirited drive the suspension isn't as capable as the engine line-up.
Buying and Owning

Buying and Owning

Good There is peace of mind in knowing that the V40 range gets a 5 Star ANCAP rating with standard safety features including seven airbags.

There’s even a Pedestrian Detection system with Full Auto Brake that can detect if a pedestrian steps out into the road in front of the car. If the driver does not respond in time, the car can warn and automatically activate the brakes.

And, if that’s not enough Volvo covers the V40 range with a three-year, unlimited km warranty.
Not so good Once you start ticking the options boxes the price starts to climb quite dramatically, however the V40 is a quality vehicle.