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Volvo V40 Estate engines, drive and performance

1996 - 2004 (change model)
Performance rating: 3.5 out of 53.5

Written by Parkers Published: 6 June 2019 Updated: 6 June 2019

With just 109 bhp on offer, the 1.6 can feel underpowered and it feels strained, especially when fully loaded. 1.8 and early 2.0 models are adequate, but won’t inspire; the Mitsubishi-developed 1.8 GDI engine is quicker and more economical. Sporty models kick off with the swift 2.0T, which is well suited to the V40/S40 body. The range-topping 200 bhp T4 is manic but great fun to drive.

Four 1.9 diesel engines are available: 1.9 TD (1997-99), 1.9 D direct injection (1999-00) and 1.9 common rail (102 and 115 bhp, from 2000 on). Later models are preferred – they’re less workmanlike and more economical than the older Renault-developed diesels.

The standard V40 models are well suited to refined cruising; they offer a reassuring driving experience rather than an involving one. Turbo-powered 2.0T and T4 models spice up the offering and are more dynamic with a tauter (though unforgiving) chassis. Ride is suited to motorway work; it’s rough when it comes to A and B roads, especially on older models.

These are sporty-feeling estates