As for the engine range there are three petrol options, a 1.5-litre T3, which is only available with an auto 'box, and two variants of the 2.0-litre four-cylinder unit to choose from, while there is also three variants of Volvo's 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel engine too. Most are channelled via an eight-speed automatic gearbox, while the T3 and the diesel engines can be had with Volvo's slick six-speed manual.
Good news for company car drivers, then? Well potentially, because at £23,750 placing itself among the mid-range Audi A3 Sportback and the higher echelons of the Volkswagen Golf range, while our options-heavy test car was a whopping £37,295. That means despite an 18 per cent tax banding, a higher rate company user would pay £2685 a year.
In 2016, the Volvo V40 was given a minor facelift, most noticeable is the 'Thor-shaped' LED day running lights that premiered on the XC90 along with the introduction of a few more fuel-efficient engines.
Back in 1997, Volvo was the creator of the off-road estate car genre with its XC70. The idea was to take a standard road car and beef it up with a sprinkling of mud-plugging ability.
However, with the V40 Cross Country there’s not much genuine green-lane talent. It’s front-wheel drive (four-wheel drive only being available on the T5 petrol version), and apart from a ride height that’s been raised by 40mm, basically all that’s changed from the standard hatchback is the addition of some shiny roof rails and a dash of black plastic on the lower bumpers and sills. From a distance it requires a knowing eye to tell them apart.
The infotainment system comes with a 5.0in display, DAB radio and Bluetooth connectivity, while upgrading to Cross Country Pro trim will get you Volvo's Sensus system with sat nav and an uprated sound system. As for the rest of the standard equipment, the Cross Country models get scuff plates, a skid plate, 16in alloys, numerous Volvo safety systems, climate control and electric windows, while upgrading to the Cross Country Pro models add a leather upholstery, cruise control, and auto wipers and lights.
Like the outside, the inside isn’t much different to that of a conventional V40, and sitting in the front that’s no bad thing. The seats are comfortable and it’s easy to get a decent driving position in what is essentially a premium-feeling cabin, helped by little touches such as the textured soft-touch dash and, at least in the car we drove, a copper-finish veneer on the centre console.