What is it?
Having spent the first half of the year making the S60 and V60 better cars, Volvo’s latest Drive-E powertrain family is now being offered in the smaller V40; the immediate effect of which is to turn the D4 model from a middling contender into a serious challenger.
With the new 187bhp 2.0-litre, four-cylinder diesel engine aboard, the car delivers 99g/km CO2, 0-62mph in 7.4 seconds and 74mpg combined. That makes it every bit as parsimonious as a BMW 116d EfficientDynamics – and a shade quicker than a Volkswagen Golf GTD.
That’s with the standard six-speed manual gearbox (tested here); there’s also the option of Volvo’s new eight-speed Geartronic auto, which still manages 109g/km CO2 and 67.3mpg. The oil burner’s petrol-powered equivalent migrates too, making the latest T5 a presumably spirited 243bhp alternative.