In many ways – the Volvo V40, reminds me of a bespoke suit. It is tailored to have a perfect fit for an individual, it carries a unique aesthetic that is specific for certain types of occasions, it stands out in a subtle way and it looks classy.
The V40, in its now practical form replaces the 3 door C30 and joins a segment dominated by the ubiquitous and brilliant Volkswagen Golf. The V40 carries behind itself a brand that is synonymous with safety, quality and reliability. This theme continues when you start to acquaint yourself with the car. The fit and finish is executed brilliantly, and quality materials are used throughout the cabin.
This model was equipped with the upgraded leather that all cross country models get as standard. Whilst on the topic of standard features, the list is endless. The car came with a panoramic roof, a ten gigabyte internal hard drive, electric adjustable and heated memory front seats, dual climate control, automatic wipers, automatic and turning xenon headlights, keyless entry, pedestrian detection system, to name but a few.
All these features compliment how the car drives. The D3 model owned had the optional 19 inch wheels, but the ride managed to retain control and not compromise the fun factor of the drive even when the pedal hits the metal. The steering is well weighted on all driving modes. The car manages to stay composed under hard cornering and has great straight line stability at high speeds, particularly if you consider that this on a higher ground clearance than the normal V40.
This D3 engine is what I felt, is the sweet spot of the bunch from a value point of view. There are some drawbacks however. While the engine is great and returns great fuel consumption, as I managed a solid average of 6.0/100km, it can be a bit grumbly, especially at low speeds. The high and sloping window line compromises visibility upfront (unlike the similar lower window slope line that is in the Honda Civic hatch that helps increase visibility). To make this a little worse – the turning circle is not great either, so any 3 point 10 will be a nightmare.
The boot, like the cabin space, is also smaller compared to rivals like the Civic hatch, Golf Mk 7 and the Audi A3. You do not even get a full spare wheel with the compromised boot space. However, I did notice that the rear seats are angled by a few degrees – so the rear passengers will get an angled view of the front – instead of directly facing the headrests. A slight but beneficial change.
So this is like that bespoke suit, that comes with a 5 year dry-clean maintenance plan. You cannot go for a jog in it. But when you wear one, all the impracticalities that come with it – will not bother you, even for a moment.
*klyvQue is business analyst by day, start-up co-founder, car guy during rush hour and entrepreneur in between everything else. Thanks klyvQue for sharing your thoughts with us.
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