Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2
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.
Equipment, options and extras
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.
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.
Safety and 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.