If you’re drawn to the V40 by Volvo’s reputation for practical, comfortable transport, you’ll probably be quietly impressed by what you find. That it doesn’t lead the class on space is perhaps a slight shame, but it’s not a major surprise, given the car’s average outward dimensions.
The V40 offers passenger accommodation levels and usable boot space that’s as generous as the most practical hatchbacks in most dimensions, but no better.
But the air of simplicity and unpretentiousness that characterises the cabin is much more appealing than its sheer size. This is a car entirely devoted to everyday use. The driver’s seat is mounted a little higher than we’d like, but it’s where it is to grant excellent all-round visibility.
The outer rear seats are mounted slightly further inboard than the hatchback norm, providing a better view forwards and more shoulder and elbow room for occupants three and four. The fifth seat is slightly compromised, but how often do you actually carry five?
In the front, the primary ergonomics are excellent and the materials solid but entirely unostentatious. Liquid crystal instruments provide excellent legibility in any light. And although we’re not sure about the usefulness of the ‘eco guide’ economy meter, which simply reminds you how much throttle you’re using most of the time, the set-up reeks of good sense.