Having launched in South Africa as the world’s safest-ever hatchback in 2012, the Volvo V40 has been updated for the 2017 model year with a more premium, classier look, and a renewed sense of character. V40 Cross Country models also receive design tweaks, the results of which add an even more adventurous feel to the range.
Designed in line with new and future Volvo cars, including the all-new Volvo XC90 and the forthcoming S90, the signature ‘Thor’s Hammer’ LED daytime lights now feature on some models and the new Volvo iron mark takes pride of place inside and out.
The updated Volvo V40 places emphasis on the individuality and unique personality of the driver in every respect. The Swedish design and uniquely Scandinavian approach to life means the Volvo V40 is different – much like the individuals to which it appeals. ‘It’s your journey’ is the creative campaign developed by Volvo Cars to signify this distinctiveness.
While the timeless designs of the V40 and V40 Cross Country remain largely unchanged – and still incorporate a subtle nod to the iconic Volvo P1800 Coupe of the 1960s – the mid-cycle facelift incorporates a number of subtle design tweaks to keep the compact hatchback up-to-date.
Available as standard on certain models and as a cost-effective option on others, new all-LED headlights which feature Volvo’s new ‘Thor’s Hammer’ light signature give the V40 range an injection of class and luxury – and bring it in line with other new Volvos like the all-new XC90 and forthcoming S90.
New grille treatments for all derivatives enhance the visage further, with the grilles now featuring vertical bars. R-Design derivatives also receive a new grille treatment in line with their sportier personalities. Naturally, the new Volvo iron mark, which was first seen on the all-new XC90, takes pride of place up front. New badging for Inscription and R-Design models now also adorns the tailgate, as well as front door sills.
New wheel designs enhance the side profile, with a vast array of elegant and sporty options available for V40 and V40 Cross Country derivatives. At the rear, the contemporary Volvo design, which harks back to the cheeky C30 and even the 1972 1800 ES Shooting Brake, remains unchanged.
On the inside, Swedish luxury takes on a new meaning in the compact hatch. Uprated materials like soft leather and soft-touch finishes continue to feature, with new floating centre stack decor panels available for a more modern feel. The familiar digital instrument cluster remains available, with its crisp graphics and excellent responsiveness maintaining a smart ambience in the cabin.
Charcoal, blond or amber interior colour schemes are available, alongside a new, timelessly trendy City Weave arrangement – inspired by the elegant Volvo Concept Estate. City Weave sees a blond/charcoal interior matched with a unique tweed-like textile pattern on the seats, and a two-tone blond/charcoal steering wheel – the ultimate expression of trend-setting retro design.
A new set of contemporary colours are also available, with the likes of striking Bursting Blue, dapper Denim Blue, pastel Amazon Blue, glowing Luminous Sand and the S90 signature Mussel Blue available for the first time on the V40.
While the Volvo V40 exudes class and style in every direction, the Cross Country versions bestow the range with cheeky and adventurous alternatives for those who like to express their more audacious personalities.
Featuring a raised ride height (up by 12 mm to 145 mm), roof rails, black bumper cladding and slightly bolder nose treatment, the V40 Cross Country makes no bones about its business as a lifestyle enabler – especially with the availability of all-wheel drive in the range-topping T5 AWD derivative. On the inside, contrasting stitching and a different lighting scheme reiterates the difference in character.
Available with all engine and gearbox combinations on standard V40 models, the R-Design upgrade releases a truly energetic look and feel. A sportier body kit with aggressive front and rear bumpers, large (functional) exhaust tips, bespoke 18-inch alloy wheels, sports seats and a more expressive interior ambience are included in R-Design models – turning any ordinary V40 into a spirited, muscular sports hatch.
Introduced during the first half of the V40’s life cycle, Volvo’s Drive-E engines power each and every V40 and V40 Cross Country derivative. Engineered and built by Volvo Cars, the modular engines, all turbocharged and available in petrol or diesel guise, bestow the V40 range with industry-leading efficiency potential – as well as great performance.
With the exception of the 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol Drive-E engine in the V40 T3 automatic model, the entire line-up is powered by new-generation 2.0-litre Drive-E engines.
From the 2.0-litre turbocharged diesel which powers the V40 D2 – which can consume as little as 3.4-litres per 100 km and emit just 89 g/km of CO2 – to the powerful 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol unit in the V40 Cross Country T5 AWD, which puts out as much as 180 kW and 350 Nm, the entire range of engines ensures an optimal balance between driveability and efficiency. The gearbox range continues to include six speed manual, six-speed Geartronic (automatic) and eight-speed Geartronic transmissions.
Despite having originally appeared in 2012, the Volvo V40 remains one of the best-performing cars in the world in Euro NCAP safety tests, and it remains the leader in its premium segment. Its five-star safety rating was made possible not only by Volvo Cars’ relentless development of safety technology, but also by its supplemental safety assistance systems. They helped the car achieve a 100% score in the Safety Assist category – an accolade the V40 shares with the all-new XC90.
Standard safety equipment naturally continues to include seven airbags, ABD, EBD and ESC (stability and traction control), and the world’s only pedestrian airbag is still available as an optional extra. City Safety is still fitted as standard to all variants, which uses autonomous emergency braking to avoid collisions with vehicles travelling ahead.
In addition, the optional Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) with Cross Traffic Alert (CTA), Driver Alert System, Lane Keeping Aid, collision warning with full auto brake and pedestrian and cyclist detection, and Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) systems are available as optional safety extras which further elevate the V40’s safety assistance arsenal – while making driving easier at the same time.