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Sunday, February 12, 2017

Review of Volvo V40: Putting the fun back into functionality

Guest Post by Ben
Hi guys! So most of you who've been reading June's blog would know me better as Ben, AKA her instagram husband and fiance. We've had the pleasure of being extended the newly launched Volvo V40 for a couple of days to test drive, so read on to find out what we had to say about this new beauty!

European trends constantly call for new hatchbacks to leave the design boards of car manufacturers, so much so that some, like Volvo, jump on this opportunity to replace multiple models in their fleets with one versatile middle ground.


With the entry level S40 and the V50 estate starting to add more and more candles on their cakes, Volvo decided it was time to retire those two models and replace them with a jack-of-all-trades solution: the V40. Hence, the new swanky model Volvo lent to us was the Cross Country (CC in short), which comes with a whole bunch of stylish add-ons over the standard V40.


Looks-wise, the V40 is probably one of, if not the best looker in the Swedish manufacturer’s range. The carved lines bring about a sporty, outgoing nature, which flow smoothly towards the rear. The tail lights play with the curves nicely, accentuating the hips of the car for added character.


Volvo’s new grille design relieves the horizontal chrome lines in favor of a more discreet vertical design. The logo too was given a tamer once-over, and the result gives a younger vibe to the car, which matches perfectly the sexy-sporty curves of the body.


The headlights too have been redesigned and now sport a T shaped “Thor’s Hammer”, a design feature that is surely spreading across the new Volvo models.


As part of its enhancements over the base model, the V40CC gets side scuff plates and a matching skid plate at the rear to frame the dual exhausts.


The final exterior touch is given by a set of 18” black and chrome wheels shod in “Green Performance” Pirelli Cinturato P7 tyres, which contribute to the 40mm lift the CC gets over the base model.


Albeit dubbed “Cross Country”, this chariot will never be seen climbing the mounts of Valhalla. It will remain in the city, where its 4-pot turbocharged heart will power its front wheels in style.


The 1.9L T4 engine is a peach to drive on Singapore’s roads. Its quick-spool turbo provides a beefy 300Nm of torque from 1,300rpm all the way to 4,000rpm, and is more than enough to pull the 1.4 ton Scandinavian chariot off, traffic light after traffic light.

In addition to having a well-matched power plant, the strong chassis provides stability in corners and gives a good feedback to the chunky, nicely weighted steering wheel.


Inside the V40CC boasts still plates, sport pedals and a nice d├ęcor panel for the central console, which enhances the charm and sportiness of the cabin. The dashboard is customizable with 3 different display modes, from more classic-looking dials to the sporty, red tone display (our favourite, of course!).


The interior of the CC is highlighted by a panoramic roof, making the cabin more spacious and letting you see the Heroes in Valhalla smiling down upon you.




June: I personally adored this; although you can't retract the glass window and stick your body out like those cross-road movies, it helps to give the illusion of a bigger interior and is perfect for star-gazing at night. 

True to its reputation of building safe cars, Volvo has some safety features built-in the V40CC, such as the City Safety, which will hit the brakes for you if it detects someone popping in front of the car. While this feature can save lives, it has the annoying habit of smashing the brakes when you reach a carpark gantry, and had us shaking our heads like rock-n-rollas a few times during the test drive due to this.

An appreciated feature was the speed limit monitor – the V40CC displays a little speed sign on the dashboard to indicate the speed limit of the road you’re driving on. Handy to keep track, for the *cough* inner speed demon such as I... I mean June.


The V40’s sporty design features long front doors, making ingress and egress easy, at the detriment of the rear doors that feel too short, making access to the rear seats feel cramped. While June mentions she doesn't have a problem sliding out, our close friend Jon with his 1.94m stature had a tougher time with the foot well space.


The boot, however, is deep and spacious, and will easily hold all the luggage needed for a road trip to Asgard.

The Volvo V40 Cross Country is, overall, a nice city dweller. It comes with attractive looks, a decent engine combination, and some pretty add-ons from the base model that are sure to catch the eye. With only minor hiccups, it’s a good choice for anyone from younger crowds looking for sporty-looking, fun to drive transportation to more mature people looking for a versatile, family friendly ride.




June's notes: I found the V40 overall a nicely-balanced choice for families and those looking for a ride that boasts solid functionality but strikes the right amount of tinsels and bobs to make it stand apart from other models in the SUV category.

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