The V40 Cross Country is available with Volvo’s D3 2.0-litre diesel engine, with 148bhp output and the option of a manual or automatic gearbox, or with the 1.5-litre T3 petrol as an automatic only.
The diesel is a good bet. It offers plenty of poke for everyday driving, and you won’t have much trouble taking on motorway trips. It also gives you the strong low-rev pull that diesels are famed for, so you won’t find yourself having to change down a gear too often.
It’s a shame the T3 petrol isn’t available in the Cross Country with a manual gearbox, but the automatic gearbox isn’t too disappointing. It’s smooth and happy allow the engine to rev hard, but the T3 does lack the low-down pulling power you’ll experience in the D3 diesel.
Whichever engine you go for, there’s quite a bit of road noise at higher speeds and the diesel engine does sound gritty and strained if you let it rev. At least on a steady throttle or at lower speeds it’s fairly quiet. The petrol is much quieter most of the time.
The V40 Cross Country is adequate but unexceptional in terms of its ride and handling. It doesn’t feel too jarring over bumps and ruts but the body moves about a lot, leaning heavily through corners and bobbing up and down over most scruffy surfaces. All of the family car and small SUV rivals mentioned drive more keenly and have a better ride quality.
Still, at least it settles down well at higher speeds, and while the steering feels vague, it’s weighted well enough to offer confidence whether you’re in town or on the motorway.