Volvo V40 Cross Country review
The Volvo V40 Cross Country Edition gives you all the strengths of the V40 with a hint of SUV about it, but it’s showing its age
What's not so good
Volvo V40 Cross Country: what would you like to read next?
The Volvo V40 Cross Country is essentially a beefed-up version of the standard V40, with a few SUV-inspired styling tweaks and a raised ride height. As such, you might consider it as an alternative to models like the Skoda Octavia Scout and Volkswagen Golf Alltrack.
However, unlike the V40, they are both estates and available with four-wheel drive.
The Cross Country Edition is effectively another trim level in the V40 range, alongside Momentum, Inscription and R-Design. But, it stands out from those other versions thanks to its unique look, with more ground clearance, a front skid plate, silver roof rails and side scuff plates.
Inside, there’s precious little difference between the Volvo V40 Cross Country Edition and other V40s, but that’s no bad thing. It feels very well built, is generally easy to use and you’ll have no problem getting comfortable. That’s not just because of the wide range of adjustment on the seats, but also because of the seats themselves are extremely supportive.
If the seats in the back aren’t quite as comfortable as those up front, they are still pretty good. Trouble is, there’s not much space back there: it can feel tight for taller adults and the small rear windows mean it can feel more claustrophobic than it actually is.
The boot is also a disappointment. Not only is its 324-litre capacity small compared to other hatchbacks, it’s far smaller than in SUV-style estates, such as the Skoda Octavia Scout or Volkswagen Golf Alltrack.
Also unlike those models, the V40 Cross Country Edition is not available with four-wheel drive. In fact, despite the SUV-ilke styling and extra ground clearance, it’s most at home on the road – and on the motorway, in particular, where it’s very quiet inside.
Don’t be fooled by those rough and tough looks: the V40 Cross Country Edition isn’t a proper off-roader. In fact, it doesn’t even have four-wheel drive
Sadly, the car’s suspension is stiff, so you feel even small bumps, which means the V40 never feels settled and isn’t that much fun to drive. Admittedly, the firm set-up stops the car’s body rolling too much in the corners, but the steering gives you little idea of how much grip the front wheels have. Essentially, the Cross Country – like all V40s – is showing the age of its basic design and more modern cars are considerably better to drive.
Compared with those other versions of the V40, this Cross Country Edition is available with a much smaller range of engines – just the D3 diesel and T3 petrol. The former comes with either a manual or an automatic gearbox, but the latter is only available with an automatic gearbox.
The two engines offer similar performance on paper, but the diesel is stronger at low revs, which makes it feel easier and quicker to respond in everyday traffic. It’s considerably more economical, too, so will make much more sense than the petrol-engined car if you do a high mileage each year.
In terms of list price, the Volvo V40 Cross Country Edition costs the same as the equivalent R-Design model and comes pretty well equipped. Then, as with other V40s, you can add some attractive option packs on top. These include the Winter pack (with heated seats and windscreen) and the Xenium pack, which includes electric front seats, a panoramic sunroof and an automatic parking system. There’s also the Intellisafe Pro pack, which brings lots of extra safety features, such as Adaptive Cruise Control, a Blind Spot Information system and Pedestrian and cyclist detection.
Overall, though, the V40 Cross Country is average at best. There are better-driving and more spacious hatchbacks than the V40; and, if you want a mainstream car with a hint of SUV about it, the Golf or Octavia are better places to spend your money.