The majority of the core V40 range is competitively priced, undercutting rivals such as the Audi A3. We’d advise against the high-end versions, such as the R Design Pro trim, D4 Cross Country or any T5 model, because they’re far too expensive regardless of how well equipped they are.
If you plan to sell your car after three years, the V40 could end up costing you more than pricier rivals because it’s predicted to lose its value faster than both the Audi A3 Sportback and Volkswagen Golf. So despite having a lower purchase price, it’s likely to cost more when all the ownership costs are factored in over 36,000 miles and three years.
Company car tax for the diesel models is on a par with that of the best cars in the class. Fuel economy will also be very good on all the diesels, particularly if you stick with the manual gearbox rather than the slightly less efficient automatic.
Volvo V40 equipment
Entry-level Momentum models are pretty well equipped, coming with climate control, remote central locking, electric windows all round and alloy wheels. We’d recommend mid-range Inscription trim, though, which adds rear parking sensors, leather seats, automatic wipers, and plusher exterior and interior trim. R-Design and R-Design Pro have sportier looks inside and out; they’re pretty pricey, however.
Cross Country models get little more than a raised ride height and chunkier bumpers for a fairly hefty initial outlay. Pro models add sat-nav, leather seats, cruise control and rear park assist to R-Design and Cross Country models. We’d stick to cheaper Inscription trim.
Volvo V40 reliability
The V40 is too new to have been featured in our latest customer satisfaction survey, but Volvo as a manufacturer did very well, finishing in the top quarter of all the brands rated. The three-year/60,000-mile warranty is on a par with most rivals’, and three years’ roadside assistance is thrown in, too.
Volvo V40 safety & security
The V40 is the class benchmark for safety. As well as the usual array of airbags and electronic driver aids, the V40 has a City Safety system that automatically applies the brakes if you get too close to the vehicle in front. Volvo has also fitted an external airbag that pops out from under the bonnet to cover the windscreen and front pillars if sensors detect a collision with a pedestrian.
These extra features helped the car achieve a maximum five-star crash test rating from Euro NCAP. The only disappointment is that you can’t add rear side airbags, which are available on some rivals, including the VW Golf.
Security kit includes an engine immobiliser and an alarm, and security experts Thatcham rate the V40 highly for resisting theft and break-in.
Volvo has been pretty generous with standard equipment on the entry-level V40, because it has alloy wheels, a leather-trimmed steering wheel and gearknob, climate control, DAB digital radio, Bluetooth audio streaming and handsfree functions. On top of that it has a USB input, a 5.0in colour screen, audio controls on the steering wheel and a whole host of clever safety tech, including automatic emergency city braking and a pedestrian airbag. Not available with the T5 petrol engine.
Our pick Inscription
This builds on the standard specification of Momentum with leather seats, a colour TFT information display for the driver, sat-nav, rear parking sensors, auto lights, cruise control and a few trim upgrades inside and out. It has all the equipment you’d need at a reasonable price.
On top of Momentum models, you get sports seats, a colour info display for the driver, additional interior lighting and a sporty looking bodykit. More of an appearance pack than a trim that adds useful equipment.
In addition to R-Design, you get sat-nav, leather seats, auto wipers, cruise control, rear parking sensors and bigger wheels. Well equipped but expensive, stick to Inscription if you can live without the sporty looks.
On top of Momentum trim, you get different wheels, copper trim and off-road look body styling. Like R-Design, it’s effectively an appearance pack.
Cross Country Pro
As well as the kit you get on Cross Country models, Pro adds leather seats, the TFT driver’s display, sat-nav, rear parking sensors, auto wipers and cruise control. Like R-Design Pro, you get plenty of equipment but it does work out rather expensive.