The Volvo V40 is a 5 door small family car which was first launched at the Geneva Motor Show, 2012. Being a replacement for the Volvo S40 and the Estate V50, the V40 R-Design meets the needs of the most demanding drivers. It’s a combination of exclusive exterior and interior styling, optional sports chassis and responsive engines that creates a sporty yet refined 5-door performance hatchback. This car is expected to roll out in India by June this year and will be competing against the SUV’s from some of the luxury automobile companies like the BMW, Audi and Mercedes.
What gets anyone’s attention on the Volvo V40 first are the aggressive, beak-like bonnet with its cuts and creases, and the extreme rake of the windscreen. There’s a strong bonnet ‘V’, the headlights are angled back appropriately, the black roof looks stunning, and the rising waistline and the tight-fitting top meet each other at the rear of the car quite elegantly. Off-roader details include an unpainted plastic cladding that runs around the car, faux scuff plates, both front and rear, and sleek rails that seem to float over the roof. The Cross Country also gets 40mm more ground clearance and larger tyres than the regular V40 hatch. It’s not exactly your regular off-roader, but you’ll get plenty of attention, for sure.
Though the exterior of the V40 are eye catching, the interiors are not that flashy. As soon as you enter inside you will be welcomed by a plain, IKEA-like surfaces with minimalistic details which are all tastefully trimmed in black and dull aluminium. Some large bits, like the floating centre console and the sculpted doorpads give the cabin a bit of a lift. Still, that plush feel you get from something like an Audi cabin is missing. However what’s good inside the vehicle is the shiny white central console and the transparent LED illuminated gear selector. They either look extremely cool or a touch garish, depending on your perspective. Other unique bits include a frameless rear-view mirror and a massive full-length glass roof.
Nearly all Volvos have brilliant seats, and the V40 is no exception. It takes mere seconds to get comfortable and there is fantastic support for your back and thighs. This is especially noticeable if you’ve just climbed out of another car. Head, elbow and shoulder room at the front of the V40 is plentiful too. This is also a very practical cabin with plenty of space for water bottles and other odds and ends. Legroom at the rear is sufficient for most frames and since the rear bench seats are placed higher up, they gives passengers at the rear a better view of the road ahead. Headroom for very tall passengers could be an issue though due to the tight-fitting roof.
The Volvo V40 will be coming with a variety of engine options. There will be four petrol variants namely T2, T3, T4 and T5 and three diesel variants namely D2, D3 and D4. The petrol variant with 2.5 litre, 5 cylinder T5 engine will be producing a maximum power of 254 bhp and a torque of 400 Nm. The diesel variant with 1.6 litre, D4 engine will be producing a maximum power of 180 bhp and a torque of 270 Nm. All the engine versions will feature the Start/Stop function along with braking energy regeneration. The Regenerative Braking system basically helps in restoring the energy that is lost in the entire braking process. The partially recovered energy is then stored in battery, resulting to greener cars. On an average with the manual transmission, the vehicle can accelerate from 0-100 km/hr in 8.6 seconds, whereas using automatic transmission the vehicle accelerates from 0-100 km/hr in just 8.3 seconds.
The Volvo cars are known to be the safest cars in the world, and same is the case with the Volvo V40. This car has received 5 star ratings in crash test and is the highest scoring car in its segment. Some of the safety features includes reinforced passenger compartment which though is light weight has a high strength. Other safety features includes energy absorbing frontal structure, side impact protection system, dual stage airbags for front passenger and driver along with side airbags and inflatable curtain, and safety seat belts with anti-submarining protection which restricts the occupants from sliding out of their safety seat belts in case of a collision.
Volvo V40 clearly isn’t a car for everyone, especially when it will cost around Rs 25,00,000. The car doesn’t sit high enough off the ground to have genuine SUV appeal, and with the two-wheeldrive version you won’t find it useful as an off-roader as well. So basically, the Volvo V40 Cross Country is a luxury car but not one in the traditional sense. This is one you buy with your heart.