Browse the Volvo V40 line-up today and you'll feel like you've just entered the latest role-playing game. You don't just go out there and drive your car, first you have to choose your character.
Even in its most basic form, the Volvo V40 is an unconventional presence in its segment. Unlock the full map and you'll see it flanked by two other types of heroes, both available with the standard model's full range of engines.
From the land of the hot hatches, comes the V40 R-Design, which may or may not back up its claims with performance, depending on the powerplant.
And from the world of... typical Volvo-ness, we have the V40 Cross Country, which promises a crossover experience with or without all-wheel drive.
We don't quite like stuff that includes the word "without", so we wanted to test drive a Volvo V40 Cross Country that had all-wheel drive. This meant that we had to also use the range-topping T5 petrol engine. How unfortunate.
But before we shut the door and see if the turbocharged five-cylinder still has the vibe that made it famous on the previous-generation Ford Focus ST and RS, we can't help notice something.
The V40, in any of its incarnations, is a proper hatch. Volvo has left the laboratory-like experimental nature of their previous compact, the C30
, behind. As we've just seen, they're still playful, but this time it's all serious.
The Cross Country ups this ante and tries to pose as something more than just a hatchback with a heftier ride height. Nice attitude, time to see what the rest of it is made of.Continue reading