Is also for verve
It’s easily Volvo’s best compact to date, but the opposition is daunting
1.6-litre turbo diesel. The key new technology— the improved City Safety software and a pedestrian impact airbag system— will be standard.
The look and feel of the interior plastics on the V40 is a marked step up and the equipment level is predicted to better its rivals. For the record, the A3 starts at $41,300 and the BMWfrom $39,593.
As a car pitched at the the prestige market, there’s a lot of tech in the V40 and most of it is useful. An instrument panel with three separate themes brings, according to Volvo, the ‘‘ interaction between car and driver into a new dimension’’.
Rubbish, but it’s a good gimmick that might impress potential buyers. The information, layout and colours change depending on the theme— elegance, eco and performance. Bluetooth with audio streaming will be a more appreciated feature, but owners will be rewarded if they take the time to dig through the menus and learn what
this car can do.
Wide and low is the look Volvo set for the V40, to emphasise size in the compact hatch. It works— the car squats on the road and the wedgy design is instantly identified as a Volvo front or rear. The interior is a step up from the C30 and shows Volvo is serious about being seen as a prestige player. The grey plastics on previous cars have been replaced by a classier charcoal look that is soft to the touch on all the key surfaces. A 5.0-inch infotainment screen jumps to 7.0 inches if the satnav option is ticked, but the resolution is good even on the base unit.
The only criticism applies to the rear seats where adults will be longing for leg room.
Saving lives— the occupants’ and those around them— is the hook on which Volvo has long hung its hat. The V40 takes that to the next level and Volvo expects five stars. Eight airbags are standard, including the world-first pedestrian impact airbag.
The system uses seven accelerometers to determine whether the front bumper has hit a human leg, rather than a pole or shopping centre bollard. If it is human, it gives more than the metal objects. At that point, the system fires a pair of explosive charges to pop up the rear of the bonnet, giving more cushioning distance before the pedestrian hits the engine— and making room for an airbag to deploy and cover the trailing edge of the bonnet and the base of the windscreen.
The City Safety software pre-brakes the car if it anticipates a rear-ender with another vehicle. The threshold has been raised from 30km/h to 50km/h in the V40.
Blind-spot assistance, lane
World first: Protection includes an airbag for pedestrians