If your priorities are running costs or company car tax, the entry-level D2 diesel engine is the way to go. It’s perfectly adequate in everyday motoring, whether in town or on the motorway, and it’s smartly priced. However, be aware that its performance isn’t as effortless as that of the best equivalent diesels in key rivals such as the Volkswagen Golf.
If you’re willing to pay more to get stronger performance, both the D3 and D4 diesels are good options; the D4, in particular, is efficient considering the power it offers, and makes the V40 satisfyingly fast.
There’s a broad range of petrol engines in the V40 line-up, but we’d avoid the high-powered 2.0-litre T5 because it’s not fun enough to justify its high price. Of the rest – which are 1.5 or 2.0-litre turbocharged units, depending on whether you go for a manual or automatic gearbox – the T3 is our favourite; it’s smooth and happy to rev hard.
All the diesel engines can be had with an automatic gearbox; the D2 and D3 get a six-speed unit, while the D4 has an eight-speeder. There’s a similar split with the petrols; the T2 and T3 can be ordered with a six-speed auto, while the T5 gets the eight-speed ’box as standard.