- Impressive diesel engines
- Good looks
- Class-leading safety
- Limited boot space
- Not as fun to drive as some
- Controls are tricky to get used to
Volvo’s impressive premium hatchback is amongst the market leaders
The Volvo V40 used to be, until 2013 at least, a small family estate car. Since 2013, however, the V40 has been a prestige hatchback, designed to rival best-sellers such as the Volkswagen Golf, and the Audi A3. It is Volvo’s first foray into designing a 5-door hatchback, and they’ve really hit the nail on their first attempt. The V40 is good-looking, practical, and features a quality to rival even the most prestige brands. There are also some impressively economical engines, and an impeccable safety record - according to NCAP this is the safest car you can buy. The V40 really is the complete package.
Impressive quality let down by space
In the prestige hatchback sector, there’s a lot of quality to compete with when it comes to interior design and quality. The V40 is towards the top of the pile on both. There’s a disappointing amount of boot space, but standard kit is impressive.
When you step inside the V40, you’ll be immediately struck by the quality on show. There are soft-touch plastics used throughout, that are both pleasant to the touch, and of an impressively good standard. There’s also quality brushed metal trims, that give a classy, contemporary feel. The design is as you’d expect from a Swedish brand- it’s ergonomic, simple, and extremely attractive in a kind of upmarket Ikea kind of way. All in all, when it comes to the cabin environment, there are few rivals out there that can match the complete package of the V40.
Space-wise, the V40 is perhaps a little disappointing. The boot of the V40 is considerably smaller than nearly all of its rivals. It’s also an awkward shape and features a small boot opening. It’s certainly not the most practical of prestige family hatchbacks, but there’s still enough room for a couple of medium suitcases or a big weekly shop.
Equipment levels in the V40 are pretty impressive. Even the entry-level ES trim comes with electric windows, climate control, alloy wheels, and central locking. The next level SE trim is probably the pick of the bunch, adding automatic wipers, cruise control, and a nicer interior finish. There’s also good infotainment kit, with a DAB radio, Bluetooth, USB connectivity, and a 5” colour display - all as standard. Controls are a little tricky to use, but it won't concern too many, as there’s easily enough here to keep most drivers happy.
The interior of the V40 is certainly a solid package. The quality and design on show make the V40 feel genuinely prestige, and whilst there’s a lack of practical boot space, there’s an impressive range of standard equipment.
Good to drive, impressively refined
Suspension and Chassis
One area in which Volvo has improved massively over recent years is in its chassis design and ride quality. The chassis of the V40 is lifted from the excellent Ford Focus, and the V40 is, therefore, a great car to drive. Steering is sharp, and it handles twisty B-roads with aplomb. It’s not quite as good as an Audi A3, or a BMW 1 Series through the corners, but it’s certainly a lot better than Volvo have achieved in the past.
The excellent Focus chassis has also been tuned by Volvo to improve refinement. It copes with all but the nastiest of road surfaces and potholes, making motorway driving, in particular, a real pleasure. One area in which the V40 does disappoint somewhat, however, is the amount of road and wind noise that can be heard in the cabin. For a car that’s going to be bought by a lot of motorway drivers, it’s a little disappointing that more attention hasn't been paid by the Swedish manufacturer to this area.
Gearbox options on the V40 come in three guises - a six-speed manual, a six-speed automatic, and an eight-speed automatic. Most models come with either of the six-speed options, with only models higher up the range featuring the eight-speed as standard. All options perform reasonably well, though the manual could be a little sharper.
Impressively efficient engine range
When it comes to deciding how you want to power your V40, you’ve got the usual two options: petrol, or diesel. Engines throughout the range are impressively efficient, and there’s enough bite to put a smile on any petrolhead's face.
If you are a bit of petrolhead, and it’s performance you want from your V40, the quickest engine in the range is the petrol-powered 2.0-litre T5. With 245bhp, there’s enough kick to get you from 0-62mph in just 6.4 seconds. It is the thirstiest engine in the range, however, and the diesel-powered D4 manages an equally impressive 0-62mph time of 7 seconds, whilst also producing just 99g/km of C02, and bringing you a ridiculously high 74.3mpg. To achieve such performance with such impressive efficiency is astounding and is rivalled by few out there.
When it comes to eco-credentials, the best engine in the range is the 2.0-litre diesel-powered D2. With just 94g/km of C02 emissions, you’ll be contributing to saving the planet, whilst also paying zero road tax. This is also the best engine for the real money savers, as it offers up to 78.5mpg. With this engine, you’ll be saving money on both road tax and fuel, which will leave you with more money in your pocket to treat yourself to life's other luxuries.
The engine options in the V40 range really are impressive. The standout engine in the range is undoubtedly the D4 diesel, which offers lots of power, impressively low C02 emissions, and incredible fuel efficiency. But whichever engine your used Volvo V40 has, you’re not going to be disappointed.
Full marks in NCAP safety tests, impressive safety equipment
Like nearly every car in its class, the V40 easily achieved the highest possible 5-star NCAP safety rating. With scores of 98% in adult protection, 75% in child protection, and 88% in pedestrian safety, the V40 is the safest production car currently on sale. There’s also good standard equipment on offer, with six airbags, the usual electronic driving aids, and the impressive City Safety system, which spots objects in the road and employs an automatic braking system if it spots a hazard. If safety is your primary concern, there’s none safer than the V40.
Low running costs, so long as you avoid the cost of new-car depreciation
The Volvo V40 is an impressively cheap car to run. This obviously varies from model to model, but so long as you stick to the diesel engines, you’re going to get exceptionally low C02 levels, as well as incredible fuel consumption. The D2 and D4 diesel units both offer free road tax, which will make them attractive propositions to both company and private buyers.
Insurance-wise, the V40 is roughly at the same level as its closest rivals. The cheapest model to insure in the range is the D2 SE, which finds itself in group 17. The most expensive option is the T5 (245bhp) R DESIGN Pro Geartronic in group 31. You’re not going to be saving tonnes of money insuring the V40, but you’re certainly not going to be paying any more than competitors.
Depreciation is a large factor with the V40, but only if you choose to buy from new. With first year depreciation as high as 40%, you’re better off opting for an inspected used equivalent.
The Volvo V40 is an incredibly well-thought-out prestige family hatchback. It's the safest car you can currently buy. And, with an impressive interior, good levels of standard kit and exceptional diesel engines, the V40 really is a complete package. There’s a lack of space in the boot which may put some off, but the V40 is up there with the best.
Buying a used Volvo V40 online with Carspring
If you’re after a used Volvo V40 for sale, it can all feel like a bit of an ordeal. What, with long days spent around gigantic car supermarkets, or time spent trawling through classified websites, looking for that ideal used V40. Carspring makes it simple. Buy your next used Volvo online with the touch of a button. Simply decide on the model you want and choose how you want to pay.
Looking to finance your used Volvo V40? Not a problem, we work with our carefully selected finance partners to ensure that, if you’re paying monthly for your used V40, you know you’re getting the best rates. What’s more, with any Carspring used Volvo V40, you also get our 14-day money-back guarantee and 6 months’ free Carspring Warranty. Plus, you don’t have to leave your home. We’ll deliver your used Volvo to you at a time and place of your choice.
*This is an approximate figure based on the range of the car’s list price and the AA’s average 1st-year depreciation cost of 40%.