The Volvo V40's cabin is stylish and good to look at. However, all is not well. The biggest issue is with the infotainment system and centre console, which are far too complicated to use.
My wife was unconvinced by my complaints – and said she thought I was being too harsh. I set the challenge, saying: 'The dual-zone climate control is set so that the temperature dial controls both sides of the cabin. All you need to do is change the temperature on only your side of the cabin.'
So we began half an hour of the fan being turned up and down, the whole cabin getting hot then cold, the heated seats being switched on and off, and even the navigation system being activated.
She eventually gave up and admitted that, yes, the system could be a lot easier to use. She's not wrong; style is one thing, but it's worth nothing if you can't actually use the technology behind it.
See our V40 on video
Week ending December 14 Mileage 11,862 Driven this week 462
I took the keys to Euan's V40 last weekend, with plans for a late-night drive back to London.
The roads were clear enough at 10pm to allow me a chance to play with the automatically dipping headlights.
Before I had even encountered another car, the first flaw exposed itself when the lights automatically switched to low beam when they passed a brightly illuminated road sign on the left of the car. Annoying, but better to be over-cautious perhaps.
The next oddity was that the V40 didn't dip when a car approached with the headlight closest to me only shining with the intensity of a sidelight. Cue one annoyed fellow motorist.
I would imagine there were plenty more annoyed drivers that drove past me that night. While the lights would dip of their own accord, the sensor needs to see the approaching car before they dropped the beam. Where possible I prefer to dip the lights when I can see a car is coming around the corner, so there is no chance of dazzling anyone.
Week ending December 7 Mileage 11,400 Driven this week: 200 miles
I’ve hardly been near the V40 this week, mainly because there has been a plethora of other cars in for our annual Car of the Year judging process.
However, one thing I do like when I climb back into it is the driver’s seat. The padding is supportive and well shaped, and the size seems just-so for someone my size. The fact that the seat heaters work quickly on chilly days is merely the icing, so to speak.
If I have one concern, it’s that the pale interior beige material is already starting to show a few signs of discolouration.