Our Cars: Volvo V40 - June
Week ending June 28
Driven this week 30
Volvo V40 review
I drove the Volvo V40 for the first time in months this week (blame its long absence for repairs after being rear-ended back in March), but found it as frustrating as ever.
While the interior feels classy and modern, and the seats are excellent, the V40 is undermined by its fussy centre console layout, unsettled ride and sticky clutch.
Our car might stand out in a car park, thanks to its bright red paint, but it's the Audi A3 Sportback and Volkswagen Golf that are the standout models in the premium hatch class.
By Steve Huntingford
Week ending June 21
Driven this week 114
With the rear end of the Volvo restored back to its former glory after a close encounter with a runaway van, it was great to see the V40 back in the car park, ready for action.
I've owned several Volvos in my time and I was keen to see how our V40 measured up. The incentive for my own Volvo purchases has always been huge load areas and bomb-proof build quality but in that respect, the compact V40 looks a little lacking. The boot space is pretty poky although the folding boot floor at least affords some meaningful load control, even if those loads are tiny.
The V40 is a good looking car but it is the interior which impresses but I had reservations about how tough it would be. The pale Linne cloth seats look vulnerable but with over 15000 miles on the clock, it still looks very sharp indeed with no obvious signs of wear.
Efforts do need to be made to keep it that way though. I had to pick up 18 lengths of wooden tile batten for a DIY project. Fitting them in meant taking advantage of the old Volvo party trick of folding the passenger seat flat to get a longer loading area. just right for my 2.4 metre timber.
Worried about the seat fabric however, I used the removable carpet mats to protect it during the five or six mile drive home. That I could fit the timber in at all was a testament to the pragmatism that has underpinned the brand for decades. I'm delighted to see that is still very much part of the brand DNA, even in something as self-consciously stylish as the sharp-suited V40.
By Nigel Donnelly
See our V40 on video