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The exterior of a silver Volvo V40

Volvo V40 review

The Volvo V40's interior is spacious and well made with supportive and comfortable seats. Volvo's legendary safety record makes this one of the safest cars you can buy.


  • Unique styling
  • Great safety features
  • Roomy interior with good rear passenger space


  • Some controls aren’t easy to use
  • The boot isn’t as practical as rivals
  • Large steering wheel


“The V40 is about style, comfort and efficiency as well as typical Volvo safety.”

The Volvo V40 is a stylish hatchback that’s good to drive without compromising on comfort or equipment. The seats are super comfortable and it has an excellent driving position, giving you a great view of the road. The interior is upmarket with lots of space and some quality materials.
As with most Volvo cars, safety is incredibly good. The V40 features safety systems such as City Safety, which is Volvo’s active braking system that helps you to reduce or avoid an accident. It also has a solid body which adds to that extra feeling of safety.

The latest version launched in 2019 with the very distinctive ‘Thor’s Hammer’ style headlights, which gives it a stylish feel.

What’s the interior like?

“The brilliant interior is spacious and nicely designed.”

Volvo has done a great job with the V40’s interior layout and features. The floating centre console looks neat with space behind it for storage. Whilst the controls are well placed and designed with driver safety in mind, it still feels a bit crowded with small buttons that aren’t always easy to use.
The slightly oversized steering wheel can take a bit of getting used to, but apart from that, the driving position is excellent. With large, comfortable front seats, there’s plenty of space for both driver and front passenger, as well as for passengers in the back.
The general fit and finish of the interior is very good with a well-built, quality appearance. The cabin feels plush and upmarket. Boot space is good at 324 litres, which is big enough for several bags, but the boot design isn’t as practical as rivals such as the Focus or Golf.

What’s it like to drive?

“A comfortable drive with good engines and responsive steering.”

The V40 provides a very pleasant drive. It’s solid and firmly planted on the road, with very little lean in the corners. It has a great driving position despite the large steering wheel. The steering is light which makes it easy to drive and park in busy towns and villages. However, you’re able to tighten up the steering with a flick of the switch, so the character of the car changes to suit out of town driving.

The decent engines provide plenty of power for acceleration and effortless cruising on major roads. The entry-level T2 petrol and D2 diesel are both adequate and prioritise efficiency over performance. The automatic gearboxes are usually the better choice. Try to find a D3 diesel if you want a little more performance while retaining a degree of efficiency. The T3 and former range-topping T5 will provide even more power.

Is it cost-efficient to buy and run?

“High levels of equipment ensure good value and running costs are decent.”

You’ll pay less for the V40 than you will for most of the equivalent Volkswagen Golfs and around the same amount as for a Ford Focus or Vauxhall Astra rival. Despite its excellent safety reputation and systems, the V40 does tend to fall into higher insurance groups than its rivals, while road tax is on par.
Volvo introduced some fantastic engines with its Drive-e technology so you’ll benefit from crisp performance while enjoying fuel consumption figures as good as 83 mpg in the D2.

How reliable and safe is it?

“Like all Volvos, the V40 scores well on safety and reliability is also pretty good.”

Generally, the V40 scores well on reliability so you shouldn’t have any issues.
The V40 is well respected for its safety standards and equipment, with Euro NCAP giving it a maximum of five stars when crash tested.

Which one is best for you?

Best for economy - D2 (2.0-litre) Momentum

Best for family - T2 Momentum

Best for fun - T5 R-Design

Going middle of the range with the V40 is a great option, which will give you a choice of the 2.0-litre D2, D3, T2 or T3 engines. Unless you spend all your time in town, the D3 doesn’t have to work as hard as the D2 and is more pleasant to drive on longer journeys. The T3 is still fairly economical giving you the best blend of reasonable performance and economy, when compared with the T2 if you choose petrol power.
Look for the Momentum or even the Inscription models for the best equipment. Go for the R-Design for a stylish feel. If you want the SUV look with a raised ride height, the Cross Country should be suitable.

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