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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

Fast diesels can offer it all – the performance to outpace a hot hatch, but the potential to return 50mpg. So is this D4 version of the new Volvo V40 the pick of the range?

Under the bonnet of the BMW 120d rival is a 175bhp 2.0-litre five-cylinder turbodiesel engine – and with a gutsy 440Nm of torque from only 1,750rpm, it’s very responsive indeed.

The 0-62mph benchmark takes 8.3 seconds, but what’s more significant is the overtaking urge; all you have to do is flex your foot and you’re past slower traffic. Volvo’s Geartronic automatic helps. It has six well spaced gears and gels impressively with the warbly five-cylinder engine, making for a smooth, fast car.

It’s economical, too. Volvo claims 54.3mpg and 136g/km of CO2 for the Geartronic, although the six-speed manual version is even more efficient, promising 65.7mpg and 114g/km.

There’s plenty of grip, and the ride is comfortable. Add precise steering and you might think the V40 D4 has it all sewn up. But our mid-specification SE Nav model costs £26,280. That’s a lot of money when you consider a BMW 120d Sport auto is £26,210 and is faster (0-62mph in 7.3 seconds), more powerful (181bhp), more efficient (62.8mpg and 119g/km) and even more fun to drive.

That said, our test car was well equipped. SE Nav brings satellite navigation, 17-inch alloy wheels, self-levelling headlamps and a roof-mounted rear spoiler, along with chrome window surrounds.

The V40’s interior looks classy, and is high-quality and logical to use, too. The seats are comfortable, the dashboard clearly laid out with a five-inch display screen, USB and iPod connectivity, while the floating centre console is still a neat touch, despite its advancing years.

Safety kit includes a pedestrian airbag – a first on a production car – plus curtain airbags and the City Safety emergency braking system as standard. Room in the back is just about adequate, too, although six-foot passengers might find headroom to be a bit tight.

So is the D4 the pick of the V40 range? Not really. It’s fast, but pricey. We reckon that the lower-powered D2 and D3 diesels are better all-rounders.

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143 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
And here are three more reviews I found today:

Australian review:

New Zealand review:

And a Spanish review with excellent photos:


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192 Posts
How 62mpg is more economical than 65mpg is I don't know...

Pricey or not, the d4 is still my choice (with polestar to push it to around 200bhp to beat those german thugs)

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192 Posts
UK D3 review:

The V40 deserves to be a huge hit. Stunning looks and decent performance combined with safety innovations and low CO2 emissions make it a talented all-rounder. It’s not perfect, and the high pricing and quirky cabin may deter some buyers. But with bags of character and racy R-Design models in the pipeline, it’s set the bar high for new rivals on the way.
It's been more than 15 years since Volvo last sold a five-door hatchback in the UK, so the pressure is on for the new V40 to make an impact. It won’t be easy, though, with the new Audi A3, VW Golf and Mercedes A-Class also going on sale later this year.

The V40 would fare well in a beauty contest against its rivals, thanks to its sleek front end and tapered headlights – just like the S60 saloon’s. At the back, the glass section across the boot and curved tail-lamp clusters are inspired by the C30 coupe.

The bold design statements continue inside, most specifically with the floating centre console. The dashboard layout is a little cluttered, but plush materials and sturdy build quality make up for it.

This is a well equipped car: the entry-level ES gets Bluetooth, climate control and Volvo’s City Safety auto braking system as standard. Further eye-catching features include the beautiful frameless rear-view mirror and colourful TFT crystal dials – although the latter cost £350, even on top-spec versions.

There are areas where styling chic compromises practicality, though. A sloping roofline makes rear headroom for six-footers quite tight, and while the boot has a clever £100 optional false floor, the capacity could be more generous – it’s only 335 litres.

Our car’s 2.0-litre D3 will be the most popular engine choice after the sub-100g/km D2, and on the road it doesn’t disappoint. On cold starts it’s not as refined as one of VW’s TDIs, but the car quickly settles to a refined cruise.

With 148bhp and 350Nm of torque from a mere 1,500rpm, it feels really responsive in-gear, and quick bursts of acceleration are rewarded with a five-cylinder exhaust warble. The six-speed gearbox has a long yet accurate throw, and although the steering is not as communicative as in some rivals, it’s weighty and direct.

The V40 is the last all-new Volvo that will use Ford underpinnings – but as it shares its chassis with the Focus, it handles very well. Body roll is controlled, and on the demanding Welsh roads of our test route the D3 showed a remarkable resistance to ruts and bumps, shielding the driver from all but the worst imperfections.

Yet the most impressive thing (certainly for fleet buyers) is that, thanks to stop-start and regenerative brakes, even this sporty diesel emits only 114g/km and returns a claimed 65.7mpg.

Such figures make the V40 a hugely attractive alternative to mainstream hatches – and Volvo is rightly expecting strong sales.

Key specs
Price: £24,595
Engine: 2.0-litre 5cyl turbodiesel
Power/torque: 148bhp/350Nm
Transmission: Six-speed manual, front-wheel drive
0-62/top speed: 9.6 secs/130mph
Economy/CO2: 65.7mpg/114g/km
Equipment: Bluetooth, colour display, City Safety, 17-inch alloy wheels, cruise and climate control, keyless entry
On sale: Now
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