Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0

Five engines are available including two petrol and three diesel units. The most popular engine in the UK will be the 115bhp D2 with the 1.6-litre diesel engine. It is mated to a smooth-shifting six-speed manual (only) gearbox. Even though this is the most fuel efficient engine in the range performance levels are respectable – zero to 60mph in 11.2 seconds with a top speed of 115mph.

A 2.0-litre D3 producing 150bhp and 350Nm of pulling power is also available. It can complete the benchmark sprint in 9.1 seconds (8.8 when using the automatic) and has a top of 127mph (124mph with the auto gearbox). Both turbo-diesels are available with a six-speed automatic transmission or six-speed manual gearbox.

The most powerful diesel engine on the range is the five-cylinder 2.0-litre D4. It has a power output of 177bhp and has 400Nm of pulling power. This means it can get from zero to 60mph 8.2 seconds (7.9 with the auto) and goes on to a top speed of 130mph for both the manual and the auto ‘box.
One petrol engine is available on the 2WD car – the T4 1.6-litre GTDi. It has an output of 180bhp and 270Nm of pulling power including 30Nm of over-boost when accelerating. The T4 is available with the automatic six-speed transmission or a six-speed manual gearbox.

The flagship engine – the T5 254bhp 2.5-litre five-cylinder petrol engine is also the only car that gets the AWD system. The T5 may only make up 2% of total sales but this version is cracking fun and the AWD system makes it practical in wintry conditions.

Overtaking can be completed with ease thanks to the 400Nm of pulling power including the 40Nm of over-boost delivered during acceleration. The sprint to 60mph can be completed in six seconds with the automatic gearbox (manual ‘box is not available) and goes on to a top speed of 146mph. For a car of this size that is some feat.

The Volvo V40 Cross Country is similar to the standard V40. The driving dynamics are competent – it’s as good to drive as a BMW X1 and better than an Audi Q3.

Even with the raised height (40mm over the V40) there is not an awful lot of lean in corners when driving enthusiastically. Front-end grip is adequate and if you choose an all-wheel-drive version then you will have peace of mind in adverse weather conditions.

If you enjoy your driving, especially when on twisty single-lane carriageways, then make sure you configure the ‘My Car’ settings on the centre console. The more spirited drivers are likely to set the steering to ‘high’ making it faster and sharper than when on the 'low' and 'medium' modes. The biggest downside is that the steering feels largely artificial even when ‘high’ is selected.