Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

T2: Judgement Day

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

T2: Judgement Day

Article excerpt

THE Volvo V40 T2 returns a combined fuel economy figure of 51.4mpg, emissions of 127g/ km and costs less than PS21,000 with a few options ticked.

The 122bhp 2.0-litre 'Drive-E' engine you get in manual models doesn't want for torque and the whole package hangs together extremely well. The small Volvo has come of age.

You might well be thinking that 122bhp from a petrol-powered Volvo that's rammed full of Swedish build quality equals a car that goes up the road like a darted sloth, but the T2 is lighter on its feet than you might imagine.

The reason? Underneath the butch good looks is the chassis of a Ford Focus, for as long as most can remember the best driver's car in the family hatch sector.

While it's true that Volvo aren't owned by Ford any more, having come under the aegis of Zhejiang Geely since 2010, the V40 nevertheless benefits from that Ford chassis expertise in offering good steering, excellent body control and a decent ride quality.

The four-cylinder engine doesn't weigh much and as such, turn-in is much sharper than the popular diesel models. The 2.0-litre unit you get in manual models develops 220Nm of torque, which is as much as you'd get from a Clio Renaultsport 200 Turbo, so it's no slouch.

The transmission is a six-speed manual as standard and although it doesn't have the shortest throw in the world, like the rest of the V40 range, you'll find a positive action.

Opt for the auto version and curiously, the engine changes completely, to a smaller 1.5-litre unit, though the power and efficiency outputs remain the same.

Visibility out of the car is a weak point, with the chunky rear three-quarter pillars making angling out of oblique junctions or parking spaces a bit trickier than it need be. That's the price we pay for style, I guess.

The V40 T2 presents a combined fuel consumption figure of 51.4mpg, which isn't too far off the diesels and the 127g/km CO2 figure is only 28g/km down on a D3 diesel -which is very good going. Go for the 1.5-litre auto version and the fuel figure is the same, while the CO2 return rises only slightly - to 129g/km. …

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