The side exterior of a white Volvo V40

Volvo V40 review (2012-2019)

The Volvo V40 is a mid-size hatchback with a comfortable, high-quality interior. It's not as spacious as some rivals but it's good value, well-equipped and feels solid and reassuring to drive.


  • Great safety features
  • Good-quality interior
  • Comfortable and well-equipped


  • Feels a bit dated inside
  • Boot is on the small side
  • Rather fiddly infotainment system


“The V40's interior is very comfortable and uses high-quality materials.”

The Volvo V40 is a stylish hatchback with a premium look and feel. It's about the same size as a Ford Focus and is a rival for cars such as the Audi A3, BMW 1 Series and Volkswagen Golf.

The interior is very comfortable and uses high-quality materials although some rival cars feel a bit more modern and offer more space for people and luggage. A wide range of engines and trim combinations are available, with most giving reasonably low running costs.

The Volvo V40 was introduced in 2012, while the V40 Cross Country model – which has slightly raised suspension and some additional SUV-style exterior trim – arrived in 2013. An update in 2019 included some minor design changes.

What’s the interior like?

“The general fit and finish of the interior is very good with a well-built, quality appearance.”

The interior of the Volvo V40 looks a little dated compared with Volvo's latest models but it has a high-quality look and feel and it's very comfortable.

The slightly oversized steering wheel can take a bit of getting used to, and there are some rather small and fiddly buttons on the centre console, but the driving position is excellent. The front seats are large and very supportive and there's a good amount of space in the front. Back-seat space is only average – two adults will fit and the V40 should work as a family car but some other mid-size hatchbacks give you a lot more legroom and are easier to get in and out of.

Likewise, the boot is okay, with a capacity of 324 litres, which is enough for a few bags or a couple of suitcases, but the boot opening is rather small and cars such as the latest Ford Focus or VW Golf give you more load space.

What’s it like to drive?

“The V40 is very pleasant to drive, feeling solid and firmly planted on the road.”

The V40 is very pleasant to drive, feeling solid and firmly planted on the road, with very little lean in the corners. The steering is light, making it easy to drive and park in busy towns and villages.

The engines provide decent power for acceleration and cruising on major roads. The entry-level T2 petrol and D2 diesel prioritise efficiency over performance but are both adequate for everyday use. The automatic gearboxes suit the style of driving that the V40 is engeered for. Try to find a D3 diesel if you want a little more performance while retaining a degree of efficiency. The petrol-powered T3 and former range-topping T5 will provide even more power.

Is it cost-efficient to buy and run?

“You’ll pay about the same for the V40 than you would for an equivalent Volkswagen Golf.”

You’ll pay about the same for the V40 as you would for an equivalent Volkswagen Golf, so a bit more than you would for a Ford Focus or Vauxhall Astra . Despite its excellent safety reputation and systems, the V40 does tend to fall into higher insurance groups than its rivals, while car tax is on par.

Volvo 's engines are impressive in the way they blend performance and efficiency. The diesel-powered D2 model is the most efficient, claiming up to 78.5mpg according to official figures, although these were measured using a now-outdated methodology, so your real-world MPG is liable to be a fair bit less. Petrol engines claim up to 53mpg for the T3, with the same real-world caveat.

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Which one is best for you?

Going middle-of-the-range with the V40 is a great option, which will give you a choice of the 2.0-litre diesel D2 and D3 or petrol T2 and 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 entry-level Momentum or the mid-spec Inscription models for the best balance of equipment and price. Go for the R-Design for a stylish feel. If you want the SUV look with a raised ride height, the V40 Cross Country should be suitable and can tackle mild off-road terrain

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