Given Volvo are a luxury car manufacturer you'd expect the V40 to be stylish, and it certainly doesn't disappoint on this front. It's got a wide, sleek body with a distinctive grille and stylish headlights. You get 16-inch alloy wheels as standard too, while the SE Lux trim offers LED running lights and active bending xenon lights with a headlight cleaning system. The R DESIGN models have a sportier look as you'd expect, which includes a unique grille. The 2016 facelift added a new nose and an increased range of colours for further exterior customisation.
With a robust build, soft plastics, and luxuriously comfortable seats, the V40's cabin is one of the best around. It's also an extremely well-equipped car, with the standard specification including Bluetooth, an entertainment system with a five-inch colour display screen, electronic climate control and a leather steering wheel. The R DESIGN and R DESIGN Lux add sporty features to the interior, with the former offering textile and leather upholstery, a sports steering wheel and an 8-inch TFT driver's information display and the latter bringing leather-faced sports upholstery plus front and rear theatre lighting.
The V40's driving dynamics are a massive improvement on the S40 it replaced. While it's by no means a sportscar, the V40 is agile and grips well, meaning you can tackle corners with confidence. Driving enthusiasts can adjust the 'My Car' settings on the centre console to deliver a more engaging driving experience, with three driving modes available (Elegance, Eco and Performance) plus the option to adjust the steering weight. The V40's real driving strength, as you'd expect from a Volvo, is comfort. It delivers a silky smooth ride with minimal bumps or shakes, and refinement is very strong too, with minimal noise getting into the cabin.
One of the main selling points of the V40 hatchback is that it offers a premium interior without sacrificing practicality. It has a healthy boot space of close to 400 litres, more than most of its rivals in the premium hatchback market, which can be expanded to over 1000 litres when the rear seats are folded flat. Both the front and rear are roomy too, while there are plenty of useful storage compartments dotted around.
Engines and transmissions
Diesels are more popular than petrols on the used market, though if you prefer the latter there are a couple of good options. The T2 develops 120bhp and the T3 produces 149bhp, both being available with a manual or automatic transmission. The latter offers 240Nm of torque, meaning you can pull away from traffic lights quickly. The diesel range includes the D2, which offers 118bhp and an impressive fuel consumption rate of 78mpg, the D3, delivering 147bhp and 74mpg, and the powerful D4, producing 187bhp and 74mpg. These are all available in manual and automatic, though you might have to look hard to find an automatic D3 or D4.
The V40 makes everyday driving enjoyable thanks to its comfortable interior, plentiful equipment and smooth driving experience. The strong range of engines makes the V40 capable both in town and on country roads, while the excellent safety kit means you know you're in safe hands. A great option for families who want more than just a functional hatchback, but don't want to break the bank either!
Close to the top of the range in terms of safety and comfort - a great all-round hatchback.Search Volvo V40