Volvo V40 D2 SE: Practically speaking

  • Our long term V40 continues to impress when it comes to practicality
  • Finally a car that can cope with my addiction to caffeine and shoes
  • Heated seats a real plus now it's getting colder

Practicality is an essential part of any cars make-up as it needs to be able to cope with what everyday life throws at it.

Our V40 long term test car has proven time and time again why it is such a practical choice for car buyers and continues to impress us as it rises to all challenges from the school run to company car companionship - providing more than enough room for weekends away.  

Let’s start with the boot. With 402 litres available expanding to 1,032 litres when the seats are folded down, the V40 does well against the competition, beating the Audi A3 and BMW 1 Series.

I like to be prepared when I travel and the phrase ‘travelling light’ definitely doesn’t refer to me. I usually need a separate suitcase for my shoes alone. On a variety of trips the V40 easily coped with luggage requirements.

One of my colleagues was also impressed with the V40’s practicality when he needed to transport his racing bike to and from his parents’ house. Collapsing the rear seats is especially easy to do.

Volvo V40

When on a long journey, a trip to Costa is a must and it can be incredibly annoying if a car has cupholders that actually cannot hold anything even remotely resembling a cup or a bottle of water. They are usually either too small or in awkward positions.

Thankfully the V40 has plenty on offer and as you can see, is easily big enough to hold large cups.

Volvo V40

Not only that but our long termer also has deep door pockets and big glove box in which you can store other items and a reasonably sized cubbie that sits between the driver and front passenger - ideal if you need quick access to your things on the go.

Some cars could be accused of neglecting rear passengers when it comes to storage space but the V40 isn’t one of them. It has two cupholders that can be stowed away and a centre armrest and pockets available behind the front seats, which are ideal for magazines and books.

Bluetooth is mercifully simple to set up and the audio controls are easy to navigate around thanks to a clearly laid out centre console.

Volvo V40

Now it has become much colder, the heated seats, air-con and windscreen demisters are on call more often. Each has risen to the challenge brilliantly so far, quickly warming up the car.

There is only one niggle which could potentially take the shine off and that is the sat-nav, which doesn’t have a full postcode look-up feature. This can be a nightmare if you don't know the specific house number or street you're going to. This month I managed to travel to two Premier Inn's around Heathrow while still not finding the one I was looking for. But other than that the V40 is pretty impressive and will be able to cope with most everyday situations you find yourself in.

Mileage: 3530

Fuel economy: 49.5mpg