Why buy the Volvo V40?
If you’re looking for a mid-size hatchback that’s comfortable, stylish and packed with safety features, the Volvo V40 is well worth a look. It’s a practical five-door car with an interior that has a premium feel and most versions are well-equipped. It’s good value and there are some very fuel-efficient engines to choose from.
Volvo V40 range and updates
The V40 was introduced in 2012 as the first mid-size hatchback made by Volvo in many years. It was available new until 2019 and Volvo updated it a number of times over those seven years. Changes included new engines, new trim levels and more up-to-date tech. The design was subtly updated in 2016 with new headlights featuring Volvo’s ‘Thor’s hammer’ design (which creates an illuminated T within each light) and upgraded interior materials and tech.
There’s a wide selection of engines available in the V40, ranging from efficiency-focused diesels to high-performance petrols. There are models with manual or automatic gearboxes and some have four-wheel drive.
You have lots of trim levels to choose from. They’re all well-equipped, with the top-of-the-range SE Lux and Inscription models particularly so with their heated leather seats. R-Design models have a sportier look while the Cross Country has additional SUV-style design features and raised suspension.
Volvo V40 tech and features
At minimum, every V40 comes with climate control, DAB radio, CD player, a USB input port to stream music, eight stereo speakers and front and rear electric windows. The vast majority also have cruise control, Bluetooth, parking sensors and keyless start. You’ll probably come across models with ‘Nav’ in their name: these have sat nav plus a voice-command control system and a DVD player.
Volvo V40 running costs and value
Volvo updated the selection of petrol and diesel engines many times and their fuel economy covers quite a large range. According to official figures, diesel models give average fuel economy of 47mpg to 78mpg, which is very good for this type of car. Models with the D2 engine are the most efficient. Petrol models give average fuel economy of 34mpg to 53mpg, which is about average for a mid-size hatchback.
High mpg numbers translate to low carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. The official figures show that petrol models emit 124g/km to 189g/km and diesels emit 94g/km to 126g/km. As a result, no V40 will cost much in annual Vehicle Excise Duty (car tax) and in some cases there’s no VED to pay at all.
The V40 generally costs less than its premium-brand rivals, so it’s pretty good value.
Volvo V40 vs rivals
Other premium-brand mid-size hatchbacks you may want to consider include the Audi A3 and Mercedes-Benz A-Class and you may also want to look at rivals from ‘mainstream’ brands such as the Ford Focus or the Peugeot 308. The V40 scores highly for comfort, safety equipment and standard features compared with most rivals. It’s decent value but it’s not very competitive for back-seat space or boot capacity.