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 a 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 used 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 narrowly beaten by the Audi A3, and feels more plush than the BMW 1 Series. Its infotainment isn’t anywhere near as good either, though, and there are a few too many buttons present to make it a paragon of intuitiveness.
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.
On the downside, the V40 isn’t as commodious as its rivals. Its boot has a narrow opening which doesn’t help with loading awkward objects such as a child’s pram, and the rear seats leave a noticeable step in the floor when they’re folded down.
Things are improved with the optional variable boot floor, however, as it renders the floor flush and removes the step. And when the boot floor is lifted, it can be secured in place to hold your shopping bags, or you can secure valuable items beneath it.
The V40 has a large range of engines to fit most budgets, including a 1.6-litre D2 diesel which was replaced, in 2015, by a 2.0-litre D2 engine. Combined with the excellent levels of standard equipment available on SE specification cars, the Volvo V40 can make an interesting used alternative to the BMW and Audi norm.