It’s not every week when you jump into a vehicle and feel an immediate sense of contentment. Volvo’s in general have always been a good car but sadly in years past, they lacked a little in the styling department. This has all changed in recent times with revised seductive styling featured on all models, including the V40 Cross Country that I find myself driving. Both the R-Design and Cross Country variants of the V40 are real head turners and they ooze quality on the inside and out. The Cross Country features rugged design that includes silver protective body panels, bigger wheels and tyres and an increased ride height by 60mm. Volvo built this car to navigate country roads and lanes with ease and it certainly inspires confidence on B roads or indeed loose terrain. Inside, the first thing that greets you is the striking two-tone leather seats with Volvo’s now traditional floating centre console.
The seats are super comfortable and heated, not that we need it thankfully at present. The ergonomic dash is perfectly laid out with easy access to the switchgear. Looking at the dash mounted TFT multi-media display screen is a pleasure and it displays useful journey information, satellite navigation and engine vitals that are clear, even in direct sunlight. The Bluetooth is also nice and clear but the big plus and where the Volvo beats many of its rivals is on the audio system. Regardless of your taste in music the Audyssey optimized sound system produces killer bass with delicate high-end tones to make you feel like you are at that gig, club or theatre.
So we now know that the V40 is good looking, has a delightful cabin but how does it drive? Well for me this 2.0-litre D3 is the model to have. After living with the R-Design 1.6 manual D2 for a week I must say I found it slightly underpowered. This D3 has148bhp and a respectable 258lb ft of torque which means the 100km/h dash comes up in just 9.6 seconds. In the mornings it’s not as refined as perhaps a TDI engine but when the temperature rises the V40 settles into a relaxed idle. After driving the Volvo for a week and averaging over 55mpg covering mainly motorway miles I can honestly say it has been one of my favourite cars of 2013. I dropped the car back to Volvo and glanced at the triangulated taillights as I walked away and thought it could be awhile before I experience such a pleasant week of motoring. The Volvo V40 D3 is available nationwide and we would urge you to take a test drive before considering others. You won’t be disappointed!
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