Volvo V40 D3

R-Design

Volvo V40, front
Volvo V40, front
Volvo V40, front
Volvo V40, front
Volvo V40, front
Volvo V40, side
Volvo V40, rear
Volvo V40, rear
Volvo V40, rear
Volvo V40, rear
Volvo V40, interior
Volvo V40, boot

VOLVO'S V40 is the Swedish car maker's biggest seller in the UK and has just undergone a mid-life makeover four years after being launched in 2012.

The refresh has been modest rather than major, in line with an ‘if it ain't broke don't fix it philosophy' - which makes a lot of sense.

Generally the V40 has aged well. It's a tidy and stylish looking hatchback that pretty much ploughs its own furrow design-wise but has that hard to define desirability factor.

The refreshed V40 doesn't look radically different with the key exterior modifications being new lights and a radiator grille.

There's a range of new paint colours to choose from along with new alloy wheel designs too.

The V40's interior trim has been upgraded and in line with current trends technology has been upgraded to offer a higher level of connectivity with smartphone users now enjoying the ability to ‘talk to' their car.

Further changes include new trim level names - Momentum, Inscription and R-Design.

On the engine front the Drive-E diesel engine has been modified and boasts lower emissions. In lower powered 118bhp D2 form it's down from 94g/km to 89g/km, which is good news for company car drivers.

There's also a new petrol engine available in the V40 Cross Country range.

On the inside Volvo hasn't tinkered too much with its distinctive ‘floating' centre stack, which still oozes Scandinavian sophistication and adds to the car's premium feel.

In terms of practicality its stylish looks impede ever so slightly. Its 335-litre boot isn't the biggest and headroom in the rear is curtailed somewhat.

That said it's a comfortable car to travel in and also a very safe one, which won't come as a surprise given Volvo's enviable reputation in this regard.

At one point it was singled out by Euro NCAP as the safest car it had ever tested.

It has since lost that top spot - to its larger sibling the Volvo XC90.

Safety systems include an auto brake function at speeds of up to 31mph and the world's first pedestrian airbag.

As a driver's car the V40 is decent. Overall I found it both enjoyable and rewarding to drive.

The 2.0-litre diesel engine delivers power seamlessly and smoothly too and in 148bhp D3 form it feels sufficiently sprightly.

While the V40 hasn't been radically overhauled its refresh has enough newness about it to eusure it sits near the top of many buyers' prospective shopping lists.

FAST FACTS

Volvo V40 D3 R-Design

Price: £25,495

Mechanical: 148bhp, 1,969cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 130mph

0-62mph: 8.4 seconds

Combined MPG: 80.7

Insurance Group: 21

C02 emissions: 101g/km

Bik rating: 20%

Warranty: 3yrs/ 60,000 miles

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