By on 2022-12-16 -
Volvo V40 - Used Car
THERE was a time when every time Volvo added a new model it seemed a few more items were added to the equipment list of its cars.
This meant that at one stage, it was producing 171 different versions of the V40 hatchback, and the secondhand market had some difficulty valuing them.
So when it comes to buying one of these excellent Golf-sized hatches secondhand, just make sure it has everything you want on board before you lay your money down.
This was a model built during the time Ford owned Volvo, and so as you might know, it's based on the second generation Focus - which is an excellent starting point.
I'm going to concentrate on the last and much simplified variation built after 2018, which has a basis of three models: Momentum, more sporting R-Design and lap of luxury Inscription.
The range of engines was also reduced to just four - two petrol and two diesel - and all are available with manual or ‘Geartronic' automatic gearboxes.
Looking at the classifieds, the diesel engines seem to be firm favourites and after 2018, there were just two offered.
The lowliest D2 has a 1.6 producing 120bhp and giving excellent economy of 61mpg. It can also cover the zero to 60 miles an hour sprint in a shade over 10 seconds and comes with very low emissions.
Then comes the 2.0-litre D3 with 150bhp, which covers the sprint in 8.3 seconds and yet can still return 55mpg. It too has very low emissions.
Two versions of the same 1.6-litre petrol were also available. The T2 has 122bhp and can reach 60 in 10.1 seconds, while managing 47mpg.
And the 150bhp T3 covers the sprint in 8.6 and can also reach a very best of 47mpg.
Before the 2018 changes there were also more powerful models - a 2 litre diesel with 190bhp, and 2 litre petrols with 177, or a storming 245 in the Tarmac-rippling T5 range topper.
Petrol economy is not up to the diesels, but unless you cover mega mileage, the lower prices may be more attractive.
Finally, there are crossover models called Cross Country with raised suspension and extra plastic cladding giving an SUV look, but they have the same range of engines.
Standard transmission on most was a six speed manual gearbox, but the six speed automatic is very good and loses little to the manual in economy.
All models are good to drive - as you might expect from the performance figures - and the Focus chassis is a very good starting point.
This is a premium hatchback in the same class as the Audi A3, and much of the time is as good to drive.
Refinement is top drawer and it's quiet at speed, with a comfortable ride even on the larger alloy wheels that are often fitted.
Roadholding is excellent, with very good body control through the corners and well-weighted steering.
And that refinement pays dividends on the motorway helping to make it a relaxed cruiser.
Visibility could be better when manoeuvring because of chunky rear pillars, but many will have parking sensors, and if you need them, they can easily be retro-fitted.
The seats are beautifully shaped and supportive and all have five doors making them much more family friendly than any three door.
Equipment in the Momentum trim is excellent, and includes heated electric mirrors, climate control, traction control, alarm, alloy wheels, excellent seat adjustment, loads of airbags and a DAB stereo with remote control.
Extras likely to be fitted to many include curtting edge safety tech like blind spot monitoring, autonomous emergency braking and lane keeping assistance and these come as standard in upper models.
Pay about Â£12,200 for a '19 19-reg T2 Momentum, or Â£17,350 for a '20 69-reg D3 Inscription auto.
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