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View all Volvo V40 reviews
Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0

Comfortable, pleasant to drive and well-equipped - a sound all-rounder

Volvo V40 Hatchback (12 on) - rated 4 out of 5
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PROS

  • Good to drive but composed ride
  • Exceptionally comfortable seats
  • Good refinement levels
  • Lots of standard safety equipment

CONS

  • Fewer engines offered as of 2018
  • Dated media system 
  • Cramped interior space
  • Cluttered, button-heavy centre console

PROS

  • Good to drive but composed ride
  • Exceptionally comfortable seats
  • Good refinement levels
  • Lots of standard safety equipment

CONS

  • Fewer engines offered as of 2018
  • Dated media system 
  • Cramped interior space
  • Cluttered, button-heavy centre console

Other Volvo V40 models:

Verdict

The Volvo V40 is a compact premium hatchback competing for sales with the Audi A3 Sportback, Volkswagen Golf, Mercedes-Benz A-Class and BMW 1 Series, but has been around much longer than most of them. It's got a tough job on its hands to measure up to them, but it offers slick styling, a comfortable interior and excellent value - especially when you consider how much safety equipment is available and how it manages to blend an enjoyable drive with impressive comfort. Much in the same way the VW does. There's also a jacked-up version called the V40 Cross Country, for those who prefer a more rugged look but not necessarily the off-road ability to go with it.

Volvo V40 engines: two petrol and two diesels

Since the V40 was launched, Volvo has slimmed down the engine range, leaving just two petrols and two diesels. Petrol power is provided by the 122hp, 220Nm T2 and the 152hp, 250Nm T3 - both of which are available with manual and automatic gearboxes. Diesel engines, meanwhile, come in 120hp, 280Nm D2 form and 150hp, 320Nm D3 form - which can both be specified with manual or automatic gearboxes. With similar claimed fuel economy between the two petrols and the two diesels proving similarly frugal, it's the more powerful models that appeal most here, if you can afford them. Previously, more powerful T5 and D4 engines were available which were really rather good for stealthy performance. If you want a V40 with stronger performance, you'll need to seek out a used version of one of these.

Volvo V40 R-Design interior

Volvo V40 offers impressive safety 

Typically for Volvo, safety is high on the list with all manner of active systems available as standard or as optional extras. To ensure the greatest pedestrian safety the company has crammed an airbag under the bonnet. This system features a bank of sensors in the front bumper that activates the airbag if it thinks the car is about to hit a pedestrian. The car then lifts the rear of the bonnet clear of the engine and puts a cushion over the base of the windscreen and front pillars. In a belt-and-braces approach, there's also a camera on the front that'll prompt automatic braking if detects an obstruction, as well the option of blindspot monitoring, lane-keeping, automatic parking and a suite of airbags around the car. Inside there are some nice touches including impressively comfortable seats, a frameless rear-view mirror and a backlit gearknob.

What's the Volvo V40 like to drive?

Really rather good - the V40 flies under the radar compared with its rivals but it feels very similar to the accomplished VW Golf from behind the wheel. That's to say it's quite and refined with nicely weighted steering, a comfortable ride even on larger alloy wheels and good body control in the bends. On the motorway it's relaxed and very quiet, and makes for an excellent all-rounder. The only black marks on the move are the restricted visibility when manoeuvring - the windows at the back are quite small and the pillars at the rear of the car are chunky, so it's a good thing parking sensors and cameras are available to assist here.

Parkers verdictShould you buy a Volvo V40?

The V40 is a good all-rounder with its comfy, well-equipped interior, smooth ride and tidy road handling. It's slightly feeling its age, though, lacking some of the newest technology, which could hold it back - though it's still packed with plenty of safety kit. So the V40 is definitely safe, but is it exciting enough to warrant bypassing the Audi, BMW and VW showrooms?

Read on for our full V40 hatchback review

Red Volvo V40 R-Design

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