As one of Volvo’s oldest models, the V40 is feeling its age in the driving department
Volvo’s V40 engine-naming strategy isn’t the easiest to understand. For example, manual petrol T2 and T3 cars get a 2.0-litre engine, while, strangely, the automatic versions get a 1.5. Then there’s the 2.0-litre D2 diesel and the more powerful D3 of the same size.
Of the four available engines we’d say the D2 diesel makes the most rounded choice. It has enough low down pull to feel comfortable in town and on the motorway while offering impressive fuel economy and CO2 emissions.
There was a time when the V40 felt up there with the class best, but times have moved on
That said, don’t rule out the petrols if you spend the majority of your time driving in town. The T2 is cheaper to buy than the D2, doesn’t feel off the pace and is quieter and smoother in terms of engine noise and vibration. It’s fuel economy and CO2 emissions are sensible, too.
There was a time when the V40 felt fairly agile, but as one of Volvo’s oldest models, the competition has moved on and left it behind. Its steering is well weighted but not particularly engaging and although there isn’t much wallow and lean through bends, there’s no doubt an Audi A3, Mercedes A-Class and BMW 1 Series all feel keener to change direction,
The same goes for comfort. On its smallest alloy wheel options, the V40 is just about acceptable, but models with larger alloys wheels and stiffer sports suspension – such as the R-Design model – feel pretty firm and jarring over broken UK roads.