Volvos sticking it to the Germans with their new premium five-door, five seat hatchback, the V40.
Its a bit of a looker, the V40. The now familiar Volvo grill is flanked by a pair of swept-back headlights, which signal the beginning of the cars distinctive waistline. As the cars shoulder line reaches the rear doors, it sweeps up into a hook before continuing on through the rear light clusters and around the tailgate, a feature Volvo says is an homage to the 1961 P1800.
The Swedish carmaker makes good use of LED technology for much of the cars exterior lighting. The indicators in the wing-mirrors, as well as the high-level brake light, and rear number-plate lights are all LEDs. LED daytime running lights are standard on the top-spec SE Lux model.
Also available is a full-length panoramic roof, though it adds 1000 to the already decidedly premium asking price.
ES and SE models make do with 16in alloy wheels. SE Lux models get 17s as standard, but a tasty set of 18s are available at a hefty 1250.
The V40 retains Volvos unique floating centre console, but adds such niceties as a frameless rearview mirror, LED mood lighting and a trick twin-level boot floor. Where the V40 really shines though, is in the volume of tech available.
Interestingly, for 350 Volvo will fit the V40 with digital instrument cluster, similar to ones seen in the Jaguar XJ and Mercedes S Class. The driver will be able to choose between three themes; Elegance, Eco or Performance. Eco mode rewards the driver with a green hue for especially economical driving, while in Performance mode the driver benefits from an enlarged speedometer and power reserve meter.
Also new to the V40 is Volvo Sensus, their new infotainment system. Every model gets a 5in display as standard, a 7in display is optional, as is navigation and premium audio.
The V40 will definitely be available with a choice of two petrol and three diesel engines, all of which will benefit from Start/Stop technology. Volvos flagship T5 five-cylinder has not been included in the price list released by the company.
The Focus based V40 is also available with two turbocharged petrol engines come from its more mainstream rival in either 150 or 180bhp states of tune.
If youre feeling especially green, the 115bhp D2 diesel manual boasts up to 78.5mpg, and CO2 emissions as low as 94g/km.
Both petrol engines are only available with a six-speed manual transmission, while the two more powerful diesel engines, the 150bhp D3 and 177bhp D4, are available with a six-speed Geartronic auto box at 1485.
Volvo will charge 19,745.00 for the base ES spec V40, with the D2 engine, when it reaches UK shores. Standard spec includes Bluetooth, electronic climate control, power windows, as well as Volvos City Safety system and innovative new pedestrian airbag.
SE models, that start at 21,345.00, add cruise control, steering wheel audio controls, keyless start and chromed exterior trim. Top of the range SE Lux models get leather seats as standard, as well as daytime running lights and 17in alloys.
An SE-Lux model, with the 177bhp D4 engine will set you back 26,795.00 before options.
As no-ones driven the V40 yet, it remains to be seen as to whether itll make a viable alternative to the BMW 1-Series
, the recently unveiled Mercedes A-Class and the old favourite, the Volkswagen Golf
. On the surface though, with a starting price of around 400 more than the BMW, it better be good.
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