Volvo V40

Volvo V40 review

Interior
Manufacturer price from:£21,415
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Driving position and dashboard

There’s a wide range of seat and steering wheel adjustment to help you find a good position, and the V40 has the most comfortable seats in its class. All models get adjustable lumbar support as standard for the driver, although only plusher variants get it for the front seat passenger. It’s a shame the dashboard isn’t more logically laid out, though. It’s confusing at best, because there are too many small buttons that are hard to tell apart at a glance.

However, one neat touch is a system that enables you to choose between three different ‘themes’ for the dials; this is optional on cheaper trims and standard on the more expensive ones. The layered menus you have to go through on the driver’s information readout, which you navigate using a scrolling wheel on the end of the indicator stalk, are a bit convoluted, though, and can make it tricky to find what you’re after.

Visibility, parking sensors and cameras

Forward visibility in the V40 is fair, but rear visibility is quite poor, because the rear windows narrow noticeably and the thick pillars at the back of the car cause big blind spots. The high, slim rear window can make it hard to judge where the back of the car ends, too.

Rear parking sensors are standard on Inscription and ‘Pro’ versions of R-Design and Cross Country trims. You can also get front sensors, a rear camera or Park Assist Pilot – a system that will steer the car into a space as you operate the throttle. If you want additional assistance on the move, there’s an optional blind spot monitoring system that also warns you of any traffic crossing your path as you reverse.

Sat nav and infotainment

All V40s get a digital radio, CD player, Bluetooth handsfree connection and audio streaming, plus a USB input that will allow full control of Android and Apple phones through the standard 5.0in colour display. It’s a shame, though, that the system is controlled via a combination of fiddly, small shortcut buttons and a rotary dial that scrolls you through layers of menus. It’s not always easy to guess where you should be looking to find simple functions, such as travel updates on the radio, or turning off voice guidance if you’ve added the optional sat-nav (which also brings a 7.0in screen).

Controls on the steering wheel are standard on all models, and make it easy to do the basic things such as skipping a track or changing the volume. The V40 also has one of the better standard sound systems in the class; an eight-speaker set-up is standard, while an upgraded Harman Kardon system is available as an option.

Volvo V40

Quality

The Volvo’s cabin is one of the smartest in the class, beaten only by the Audi A3 for overall perceived quality. Brushed metal finishes and a variety of soft-textured plastics and materials mean that it looks classy and modern, and feels high-end in all the key places. The switches are well damped, and it’s not until you start prodding around beneath the seats and in the footwells that you find some sharp-edged plastics.

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Trims
There are 13 trims available for the V40 hatchback. Click to see details.See all versions
Momentum
Volvo has been pretty generous with standard equipment on the entry-level V40, because...
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£19,514
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Momentum Nav Plus
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£20,286
Average Saving £1,980
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Momentum Edition
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£20,512
Average Saving £2,003
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R Design
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£21,411
Average Saving £2,094
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Inscription
This builds on the standard specification of Momentum with leather seats, a colour TFT...
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£22,101
Average Saving £2,165
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R Design Nav Plus
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£22,182
Average Saving £2,173
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Cross Country
On top of Momentum trim, you get different wheels, copper trim and off-road look body s...
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£22,569
Average Saving £2,546
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R Design Edition
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£23,212
Average Saving £2,278
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Cross Country Nav Plus
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£23,330
Average Saving £2,636
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R Design Pro
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£23,543
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Cross Country Pro
As well as the kit you get on Cross Country models, Pro adds leather seats, the TFT dri...
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£25,120
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Cross Country Edition
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£25,218
Average Saving £2,857
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Inscription Edition
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£25,354
Average Saving £2,496
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