Volvo has arrived at a five-door format for the V40 by trial and error. It previously thought the S40 four-door saloon was the answer. Later, it looked to the three-door-only C30. Now it seems to have adopted segment convention for a 4.4m family hatch, but only with the begrudging reluctance you’d expect of a company used to going its own way.
With an underbody made of hot-formed and boron alloy steel, the V40 is slightly larger than the Audi A3 Sportback and BMW 1 Series – although an overall height of less than 1.45m gives it a more sleek, sporting profile than, say, the Volkswagen Golf. The V40 range was expanded to include a more rugged model - the Cross Country - similar to the Golf Alltrack, Skoda Octavia Scout or the Infiniti QX30.
Like every other Volvo for decades, the V40 has a transversely mounted engine, providing more passenger space and better crash deformation than a longitudinal one. Four-cylinder turbo petrol and diesel units are offered, almost all with lightweight aluminium construction and all driving the front wheels only, except for the range-topping Cross Country model which comes with Volvo's all-wheel drive system
A model expected to play a sizeable role in the V40’s UK sales mix is the is a mid-range 148bhp D3 turbodiesel. The cleanest engine in the V40 line-up - the 118bhp 2.0-litre D2 oil-burner - as well as a 188bhp D4. Buyers can also choose between a 120bhp, 148bhp and 242bhp 2.0-litre petrols, and while those wanting an automatic T2 and T3 models get a 1.5-litre petrol engines providing the same output as its bigger capacity rangemate.