Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Volvo V40: Better by Design?

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Volvo V40: Better by Design?

Article excerpt

SPORTINESS doesn't have a great deal to do with power.

Some of the worst sporting familysized cars often pack quite a lot under the bonnet, then flounder when presented with a twisting country road. But to the surprise of some observers, Volvo's V40 has proved to be a satisfying drive, even in its humblest guises. The kind of car indeed, that begs to be dressed appropriately, perhaps with the R-Design trim package that Volvo expects over 25% of UK customers to choose For the test we settled on a drive in the 190bhp D4 diesel model, good for 60 from rest in just 7.4s on the way to a 143mph maximum. Like other models in the line-up, it delivers a very good compromise indeed of absorbent ride and assured handling composure, even if - or perhaps especially if - you don't go for the optional Sports chassis set-up.

Engine-wise, most potential V40 diesel customers will probably be quite happy with one of the lesser V40 diesels, either the 120bhp D2 or the 150bhp D3.

Both get the brand's latest Drive-E 2.0-litre engines. In the entry-level D2 it's no ball of fire of course - 62mph takes 10.5s on the way to 118mph - but it's as fast as most will need it to be.

Low mileage buyers need to factor in the possibility of petrol power too, especially if they don't like the rather clattery diesel noise you get on startup.

T2 and T3 variants use a 2.0-litre four cylinder 'Drive-E' unit in manual form - and rather curious, a 1.5-litre unit if you order them in automatic form.

Either way, the power outputs are the same, T2 and T3 variants resectively putting out either 122 or 152bhp. The T3 is good for 60 in 8.3s on the way to 130mph. If that's not enough, there's a flagship T5 model putting out 245bhp, good to flash past 60 in 6.4s en route to 149mph.

So, what will set your V40 apart if you opt for it in R-Design trim? …

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