The handling is simply not up to par. The driver feels slightly detached from the whole experience.
Interior design could have been better, especially the console.
The Volvo V40 is a classy and thoroughly modern five door family car. First released in 2012 it brought back the V40 name to the Volvo lineup, the last car of the name having gone out of production in 2004. Volvo chose American Chris Benjamin to design the exterior lines and a great job has been done, the V40 is one of the most distinctive and modern-looking cars on the market. It was awarded the title of "Best Executive Hatch" in 2012 by the Scottish Car Awards.
The engine lineup is simple yet effective and is standard throughout Volvo models. Starting with two petrol engines of a 1.6 litre ecoboost variety, coming in either a 150 BHP or 180 BHP form. The second petrol option is the powerful 254 BHP 2.5 litre powerplant. The range is rounded out by two diesel options, the 1.6 litre Ford Duratorq and the 2 litre I5 Volvo diesel. The latter engine being available in either a 150 BHP or 177 BHP specification. The fuel consumption of the 1.6 litre Duratorq is one of the best in the class and economy throughout the range is helped by the ability to choose three driving modes (Elegance, Eco and Performance).
Trim levels for the V40 are solid across the board with options like climate control, Bluetooth, a 5-inch screened entertainment console and traction control all coming as standard for the entire range. Trim levels run from the ES, SE to SE lux, the high end of the range including such goodies as keyless ignition and full leather upholstery. As is to be expected from a modern family car, the V40 boasts a five star NCAP safety rating and even includes a pedestrian airbag as standard. It's not only a safe car to drive but one of the better cars to be run over by!
The main competition for the V40 in terms of styling and performance comes from the BMW 1-Series and the indefatigable VW Golf. This is some very stiff competition and in terms of a pure driving experience it must be said that the Volvo has been unable to best the BMW. It does compete well with the BVW Golf though and as such finds itself in the top 3 models of the 5 door family hatchback class. Well worth a look.