Volvo V40 D2 SE vs Rivals

  • We see how our V40 stacks up against the A-Class and Golf
  • All three are well matched for CO2 emissions and equipment
  • The V40 really shines when it comes to safety

The V40 hatchback has been a resounding success for Volvo with 9,122 sold by the end of September this year.

Pitched against premium rivals like the Mercedes-Benz A-Class and Volkswagen Golf, we were keen to find out how the V40 stands up against its popular German competitors.

Firstly let’s take a look at price – our long term V40 D2 is in SE trim with sat-nav and will cost you £23,070 to buy. It's another £1,485 if you opt for the Powershift automatic gearbox, bringing the grand total to £24,555.

The equivalent Golf, the 1.6 TDI SE 105PS DSG, will cost you £22,125. However, you will have to pay extra to get a sat-nav - either £735 for the standard navigation package or the £1,725 for the Discover Pro touch-screen DVD nav/radio system with integrated voice control.

So if you opt for the bells-and-whistles entertainment system the Golf is going to cost £23,850. It’s also worth mentioning that the Volkswagen Golf’s DSG automatic gearbox is far superior to the V40’s Powershift gearbox.

Mercedes-Benz A-Class

Stylish and refined, the Mercedes-Benz A-Class is more pricey than the Golf and the V40, especially if you’re after an automatic. The 220 CDI engine is the only one that comes with the 7G-DCT automatic transmission and that costs £26,745.

When it comes to CO2 emissions all three cars achieve 102g/km and fuel economy is well-matched too - with the A-Class having a 70.6mpg official figure, the Golf achieving 72.4mpg and the V40 pipping them to the post with 74.4mpg. Real-world figures will be lower, but the manufacturers' stats give you a relative idea how they'll perform.

In terms of power the Volvo sits right on the fence with 114bhp. The Golf has only 104bhp and the more expensive A-Class has 134bhp.

All three cars are well equipped with air conditioning, alloy wheels, cruise control, stop/start and a variety of safety systems available. When it comes to safety though, the V40 is in a league of its own and is currently the safest car you can buy in the UK. To find out why see my last report here.

VW Golf

The Golf is possibly the more conservative and mainstream of the three to look at but each of the cars have distinctive and stylish looks; which appeals most will be down to individual tastes.

When it comes to comfort levels and practicality there is little that can compete with the Golf, but the V40 gives it a good run for its money. It's got plenty of storage options, a decent-sized boot and excellent interior passenger space.

The Golf and A-Class are more accomplished on the road but were it not for that jerky and noisy Powershift gearbox in our long termer, the V40 would be more closely matched.

So back to the original question, does the V40 stack up well against rivals? The answer is a resounding yes. It sits between the Golf and A-Class but has industry leading safety credentials.

Volvo V40

It is an impressive all-round car that offers car buyers something different from the German cars. The A-Class would win with looks and refinement, the Golf with comfort and practicality and the V40 wipes the floor with both rivals when it comes to safety. Choosing a premium hatchback is harder than ever these days, so which one you choose is going to be a matter of what you want from your new car.

Look out for the next report on our V40 in the next week or so where we see how it fares when it comes to practicality.