Volvo V40: off on holiday

  • Our V40 heads to Heathrow Airport
  • We find out if the V40 is well suited for motorway travel
  • Comfort levels continue to impress

Going on holiday is a great way to test a cars practicality - especially when you’re packing for at least a couple of weeks.  

For the first time ever I went away over the Christmas period and embarked on a three week tour of the USA. With 46kg of luggage available between the two of us, as you can imagine, packing was a bit of a nightmare - especially when you have a wardrobe and shoe collection as vast as mine!

But after many attempts, the suitcase finally zipped up, the hand luggage was ready and it was time to fill up the car.

Although the 402 litres available in the boot were not quite enough to fit two large suitcases in, the second case fitted easily and neatly on the back seats with the hand luggage and coats going into the boot. Volvo doesn't build a three-door V40, and it's becoming clear why.

Volvo V40

Thanks to the ample storage options around the car I also avoided getting into a flap when arriving at the airport car park. My paperwork was stowed away neatly in the glove compartment ready to present at the barrier and my phone, iPad and purse were all stowed away in the door pockets and the cubbie that sits between the driver and front passenger.

From where I live in Peterborough, getting to Heathrow is around 100 miles and a route that usually consists of the A1, A421, M1 and the M25.

En route seemed the perfect time to ask: is the V40 a good motorway car?

Well, comfort levels are excellent. The heated seats in particular are a welcome addition, especially on the journey home as I tried to adjust from the 27 degrees temperature I had just left. They are part of the optional Winter Pack, which costs £1,350 and also includes equipment such as a useful heated windscreen, LED daytime running lights and even an illuminated gear knob.

V40 heated seats

Our V40 also comes with eight speakers and 4 x 45W amplifiers - standard across all the V40 range - which has great sound quality however loud you go, even for the dance music fans out there. The system can get a little confused if you try to skip too many tracks at the same time, though.

The seats are soft and the audio controls and sat-nav are so easy to use, even with a little jetlag it’s difficult to get it wrong.

Thanks to all the safety kit in the car, if you are a little jetlagged, the V40 will warn you if you stray off the lines and advise you to take a break if you do it a little too often. Don't forget though - you should never drive if you feel it is too unsafe to do so.

The Powershift gearbox, which we are not a fan of as highlighted in previous updates, performs much better when travelling at a constant speed too and was relatively quiet when cruising.

So in answer to the question, the V40 is an excellent motorway car and continues to impress us with its versatility and compatibility as a practical family car.

Current mileage: 4918

Tested mpg: 45.3 (calc)