Our Cars: Volvo V40 - October
Week ending October 26
Miles this week 200
Volvo V40 review
The V40 has been on holiday this week, and it was good enough to take my wife and me with it. We tend to favour the ‘we might need it so we’ll take it’ school of packing, so any car we take needs to be flexible.
The Volvo did well - bags, rucksacks et al were consigned to the rear seats, while perishables and cooking items resided in the boot.
The best bit of all was that once packed, nothing rattled! Apart from the incessant, irritating rattle that emanates from the driver’s side door pillar. A trip to the local dealership is imminent.
Week ending October 19
Driven this week: 500 miles
One of the benefits of my V40 is that it has a keyless start system, which means all I need to do is plip the button on the remote to unlock the car, then put the plipper in my pocket. It’s reasonably small and it’s smooth, so it doesn’t put holes in my pockets, which is great. All I need to do is get into the car, push the ‘start’ button, and off I go. Great.
So, it seems a shame that there’s a slot (oddly marked ‘keyless’) beneath the start button to put the key into. Such is the downside of having the ignition slot in so obvious a place.
I realise it’s there because lesser models without keyless ignition require you to put the key into that slot, but would it have really cost too much for Volvo to have a slot-free dash on higher-spec models?
By Euan Doig
Week ending October 12
Miles this week 237
When Volvo delivered my car I was delighted to see that cruise control was fitted as standard. I do a lot of motorway miles, and the ability to switch on a cruise system and allow the car to keep a constant speed is great.
However, I then spied that among the options on my car was a radar-guided cruise set-up – and as anyone who knows me will tell you, I utterly abhor such systems. They can only ever be reactive, when I can anticipate; they slow the car far too early and take far too long to get it back up to speed; and they make people drive badly, because people who use them suddenly forget all about proper lane discipline.
The good news is that Volvo allows you to switch off the radar-guided part of the system, and allows you to use it as a conventional cruise control – brilliant.
Week ending October 5
Driven this week: 590 miles
After much pontificating and a few phone calls to the Volvo press office, we finally got to the bottom of why our long term D2 V40 is the only model in the line-up with the relatively small 52-litre fuel tank.
We’d been scratching our heads trying to figure out why this should be the case, especially because the five-cylinder diesels come with 60-litre tanks and the petrol engines get 62 litres.
All sorts of theories were offered up, including that the four-cylinder diesel engine might require a different exhaust route to the rest of the engines, which could limit the amount of space for the fuel tank.
The truth turns out to be far less convoluted.
It seems that in order for our eco-focused D2 model to minimise fuel consumption, every gram of weight-saving counts, and by having a smaller, lighter, fuel tank, the D2 is able to post an official average economy of 78.5mpg and sub-100g/km CO2 emissions, which places it in the lowest 13% diesel tax band for company car drivers.
Our True MPG testers reckon the V40 will average closer to the 56.8mpg mark – but let's not tell the taxman!