Volvo V40 68-plate RHD cornering shot

Volvo V40 review

Costs & verdict

Manufacturer price from:£21,415
What Car? Target Price£19,309
Review continues below...

Costs & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2

There’s no softening the blow – the entry-level V40 costs around the same as the equivalent Audi A3 (the entry-level Audi is considerably cheaper still), which is much more composed to drive and has a much smarter interior.

The V40’s resale values after three years will be lower than rivals, too; it’s predicted to depreciate more quickly than the Volkswagen Golf, while fuel economy is also lower than that claimed for the Audi A3. Better news is that company car tax for the diesel models is on par with the rest of the class.

Equipment, options and extras

Entry-level Momentum models are well equipped; as well as the infotainment system mentioned earlier, there’s cruise control, hill-start assistance and automatic lights and wipers. It’s also only available with the T2 and D2 engine options that come with the smaller 16in wheels and smoother standard suspension, so overall it’s the better choice.

If you move up to R-Design, you get 17in alloy wheels, electric sports seats and a leather steering wheel, while the more luxurious Inscription trim gives you a more smartly styled interior and leather upholstery on ergonomic seats. It’s too pricey to recommend, though.

Cross Country models get little more than a raised ride height, 18in alloys and roof rails, but there’s no cost premium over the equivalent R-Design model. The bigger wheels don’t help its ride and its SUV style doesn’t bring any off-road prowess, though, so we’d recommend sticking with the lower trim levels.

Reliability

Unfortunately, the V40 didn’t do particularly well in the 2018 What Car? Reliability Survey. It finished 12th out of 14 contenders in the Family Car category and was beaten by everything from the Kia Ceed to the BMW 1 Series.

Volvo as a manufacturer finished 21st out of 31 contenders for reliability, too, which is equally disappointing. The three-year/60,000-mile warranty is on a par with most rivals, while there’s also three-years protection on paintwork and eight on rust perforation.

Volvo V40 68-plate RHD infotainment

Safety and security

Some good news is that the V40 comes with a long list of safety equipment as standard. As well as the usual array of airbags and electronic driver aids, the V40 has a City Safety system – Volvo’s name for automatic emergency braking (AEB) which automatically applies the brakes if you get too close to an obstacle in front. Volvo has also fitted an external airbag that pops out from under the bonnet to cover its windscreen and front pillars in the event of a collision with a pedestrian. For even more safety assistance, you can opt for the Intellisafe Pro pack that also adds collision warning, lane keeping assistance and a driver attention alert system.

These extra features helped the car achieve Euro NCAP’s top five-star safety rating. However, this was way back in 2012, when the organisation’s tests were far less stringent than it carries out today.

Security kit includes an engine immobiliser and an alarm, and security experts Thatcham rate the V40 highly for resisting theft and break-in.

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Verdict

The V40 has been on sale for many a year now, and that fact really shows. With coarse diesel engines, a harsh ride, poor infotainment and claustrophobic rear quarters, the V40 is not up to the standards of the Audi A3. Throw in a high price list and it just doesn’t make sense.

  • Lots of standard equipment
  • Comfortable seats
  • T3/D3 have impressive performance
  • Firm ride
  • Confusing infotainment
  • Too much road noise

What's important to you?

Performance & drive
Interior
Passenger & boot space