What's the used Volvo V40 hatchback like?
In a market which includes some truly strong rivals, the Volvo V40 needed to be good from the off. Taking the Ford Focus as its base wasn’t a bad start. And there are few clues to the car’s mainstream heritage from simply sitting in it: the Volvo gets plenty of brushed metal trims and soft-touch plastics for all the major touch points to give this Volvo enough quality to edge it ahead of its main competitors. In fact, it’s only really beaten by the Audi A3.
The V40 has a large and fairly confusing range of engines, but we'll try and simplify them here. The range kicked off with an economical 115bhp 1.6-litre D2 diesel, followed by two versions of a 2.0-litre five-cylinder diesel in 148bhp D3 or 177bhp D4 forms. These were all replaced from 2015 onwards by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel engine in three separate flavours: a 118bhp D2, a 148bhp D3 and a 187bhp D4.
Petrol options begin with a turbocharged 1.6-litre engine in two different states of tune (148bhp T3 and 178bhp T4) and a short lived 254bhp 2.5-litre five-cylinder T5. As with the diesels, all petrol engines were replaced from 2015 with a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine in either 120bhp T2, 150bhp T3 or 242bhp T5 outputs - unless you wanted a petrol automatic, because that used a 1.5-litre petrol in T2 and T3 guises. Don't ask...
V40 drivers will benefit from a whole suite of safety kit, including an airbag which pops out from under the rear edge of the bonnet to protect pedestrians from striking the base of the windscreen; and City Safe, a system which has the ability to bring the car to a halt if you get too close to the car in front.
ES-spec Volvo V40s get climate control, electric windows all-round, a Bluetooth handsfree system, CD player and a DAB radio. SE adds cruise control and height adjustment to the driver's seat, while SE Lux has full leather upholstery. R-Design cars are equipped with sports seats, additional lighting in the interior and a body-kit for the exterior, making this more of a style package rather than an upgraded model.
On the whole, the interior of the V40 is a pleasant place to spend time in, but there are a few too many buttons on the dashboard that can be confusing to use at a glance and the infotainment system isn't the paragon of intuitiveness it should be.
The V40's boot isn’t as commodious as its main competition either. There's a narrow boot opening that doesn’t help with loading awkward objects such as a child’s pram, and there's a noticeable step in the floor when the rear seats are folded down. The variable height boot floor (which was an option) improves matters, and allows you to secure your shopping bags, or hide valuable items beneath it.
Page 1 of 5