Volvos brand new V40 Cross Country is the latest in a line of pseudo off-road models dating back to 1997, with the launch of the original V70 Cross Country.
The Cross Country models might not take you as far as a Land Rover, but for a little all-weather ability without sacrificing Volvos legendary practicality, theyre usually just the ticket.
The V40 is probably the most stylish Cross Country model yet, but what does it offer over the regular car? Weve delved into the press release to pick out the five most significant features.
1. Style and substance
Volvos V40 is already a bit of a looker, and its styling went down well in our 10/10 review from a few months back
. It hasnt suffered from its metamorphosis into chunky off-roader either, with plenty of black plastic and burnished metal details marking it out as something a little different. It also rides a little higher, and has neat details like subtle roof rails and a large honeycomb grille to enhance its off-road image. Volvo calls it rugged, and wed have to agree – in a sort of understated, Swedish way.
2. Painted brown, goes green
D2 diesel models will be mighty tempting to company car users and thrifty private buyers, as it sneaks under the 100g/km of CO2 barrier, puffing out just 99g/km. That means no road tax, and it sits in the 13% band for company car drivers. It also does up to 74 mpg, but the 1.6-litre diesel still produces 115 horsepower and 210 pounds-feet of torque. Want more? D3 and D4 diesels are also available, producing up to 177 horsepower.
3. All-wheel-drive but only on the T5
Many of Volvos previous Cross Country models have offered all-wheel drive as standard, but on the V40 Cross Country its exclusive to the range-topping T5. With 254 horsepower from its 2.5-litre five-cylinder engine, the T5 is more about performance than fording through forging fjords, but if you can afford the 34 mpg economy then youll revel in its high performance – 0-60mph takes only six seconds. A 1.6-litre, 51 mpg turbocharged T4 petrol sits just below the T5.
4. [Insert IKEA/practicality clich here]
The transition to soft-roader hasnt affected the V40s practicality, which variously includes 60/40 split rear seats, a split-level load area, a passenger seat that flops forwards to increase space for long, flat-pack Swedish furniture store items, and plenty of small item storage too. Volvo is particularly proud of its special ice-scraper receptacle in each of the front door panels.
5. If youre in the mood
If we were trendy enough, wed frequent cocktail bars and enjoy some mood lighting as we did so. Sadly, the closest well get to mood lighting is behind the wheel of the V40 Cross Country, which uses strategically-placed LEDs to illuminate areas of the interior at night. You can even set the lighting to adapt to interior temperature, going from blue to red if its cold, hot, or somewhere in between.
We already like the V40 – a lot – here at carwow, and the Cross Country doesnt change that. In fact, it looks like a fun vehicle for those outdoorsy pursuits the brochures would have you believe everyone partakes in.
Its a pity that more of the models arent equipped with all-wheel drive – were not sure how many will really spend full whack on the T5 just to get AWD – but it does mean that the V40 keeps its competitive fuel economy figures. Pricing hasnt yet been announced, but order-taking starts in October and the first cars will be delivered in January 2013.
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