VOLVO V40 CROSS COUNTRY T4 MOMENTUM GEARTRONIC
A minor facelift reminds us just how much class Volvo’s smallest Cross Country possesses
TAKE an existing vehicle. Add a dash of extra ride height, a pinch of protective body cladding and a pair of shiny roof rails. Voila! You’re now looking at a lifestyle vehicle.
This, then, is the updated V40 Cross Country, essentially a raised version of the brand’s C-segment premium hatchback. While its appearance here is thanks to little more than a minor facelift, its very existence has perhaps never been more relevant, what with the fascination of today’s consumer with rugged, off-road-ready looks.
Like the standard V40, models bearing the Cross Country badge recently gained a handful of midcycle styling updates, including fresh treatment for the grille, new alloy designs and the option of the Swedish brand’s eyecatching Thor’s Hammer lighting signature. Inside, the changes are harder to spot, unless you opt for the new tweed-like upholstery, City Weave.
The T4 Momentum model under scrutiny here, though, boasts leather as standard, along with the sort of features – from a plush, electrically adjustable driver’s seat to rear parking sensors – that its German rivals often consign to the options list.
The V40 Cross Country rides with a certain litheness (even on optional 18-inch wheels) and is pleasingly refined at both city speeds and out on the highway, while its six-speed automatic transmission swaps cogs smoothly and intuitively. The 140 kw 2,0-litre, Drive-e turbocharged petrol mill in the T4, although carried over from the pre-facelift range, is perhaps the highlight of the package.
With 300 N.m on tap across the usefully broad range between 1 300 and 4 000 r/min, the front-wheel-drive cross hatch sees off the sprint to 100 km/h in 8,34 seconds. Handily, that considerable shove doesn’t come at the expense of efficiency, with
the T4 returning a figure of 7,0 L/100 km on our fuel route.
There are a few shortcomings to consider with the V40, however. The ageing facia, for instance, is somewhat button-heavy and thus not the easiest to use on the go. The stop-start system, meanwhile, is often over-eager, cutting the engine even if the brake pedal is not fully depressed. And, as with the standard V40, neither luggage (which we measured at 216 litres), nor rear-passenger space, is quite on par with that of the competition.
While the facelift changes little, it does serve as a reminder that the classy V40 Cross Country deserves more than a mere passing glance from those in the market for a premium hatchback with a lifestyle slant. It’s a comfortable, exceedingly well-mannered thing that, while by no means cheap, offers a certain sense of value courtesy of its extensive standard features list.
And, thanks to current consumer tastes, it’s more relevant to local buyers than ever.
1 The centre stack is positively riddled with buttons. 2 Rear legroom is not quite as generous as that of class-leaders. 3 Dropping the rear bench boosts utility space to 872 litres. 4 Added ride height lends the Cross Country some gravel-road ability.