What is it?
What you need to know first about this, the Volvo V40 Cross Country, is that unless you order it as a range-topping, £33,975 T5 with a 247bhp turbocharged petrol engine, it comes only as a two-wheel-drive car, and is therefore no more able to cross a ploughed field than the standard V40. Unless its raised right height happens to prove advantageous.
Sill protectors and plastiminium skid plates you may get, but this is barely a mild off-roader, never mind something for venturing mud-wards when the asphalt runs out. There is, however, a useful advantage to choosing the faux off-roader version of the Volvo V40, which we’ll come to.
The Cross Country package costs £1000 more for the two-wheel-drive version, for which you get a car that rides 40mm higher and looks a little tougher than the stock V40, what with its standard-fit roof rails, a rear bumper with in-built (plastic) skid plate, a front bumper flaunting a much more emphatic lower air intake, upright LED running lights and plastic sill extensions.
Inside, there’s attractive upholstery of rather more robust texture than usual, but little else to differentiate this Cross Country species. All of which looks rather slight compared with the reconfiguring of the bigger V70 Cross Country that established the genre back in 1997, that car providing standard all-wheel drive and a generally more thoughtfully provisioned specification.
Consider the Cross Country package as merely a dress-up kit for the V40 and you’ll be less disappointed.