Ed­i­tor’s in­de­ci­sion is fi­nal

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - GOODDRIVING -

cedes Benz that did not have the AMG badge, a sporty Merc that was more to­wards the af­ford­able side of the brand. That is, of course, rel­a­tive. I cer­tainly can­not af­ford one.

Here we had a Benz that could take on the Beemer for char­ac­ter.

The V40 is on the more af­ford­able side of Volvo and I be­lieve it cer­tainly is ready to over­take the com­pe­ti­tion in the pre­mium hatch­back class with sharp­ened fea­tures and char­ac­ter­is­tics from larger Volvos wrapped in a sleek, com­pact pack­age, as Volvo claims.

“The all-new Volvo V40 is the first new model that is fully de­vel­oped ac­cord­ing to our hu­man-cen­tric, De­signed Around You strat­egy. Charged with an out­stand­ing set of high-tech fea­tures it def­i­nitely will give our tough­est com­peti­tors a headache,” said Ste­fan Ja­coby, Pres­i­dent and chief ex­ec­u­tive of Volvo Car Cor­po­ra­tion.

I be­lieve Ja­coby has hit the nail on the head. I drove a num­ber of V40 model de­riv­a­tives this year and my re­sponse was straight­for­ward. If I was in the mar­ket for a new car and I could pay the price, I’d be walk­ing into a Volvo show­room.

I can bore you with a lot of tech­ni­cal de­tail. Th­ese two cars have ev­ery­thing that opens, shuts, clicks or di­als. Their ac­tive and pas­sive safety equip­ment is noth­ing short of mar­vel­lous. Both th­ese cars have got lovely en­gines, slick gear­boxes, great seats and beau­ti­ful in­te­rior and ex­te­rior de­signs. They are great to be in and to look at.

But even­tu­ally, for me, the clincher was the fact that the two cars gave me that pleas­ant drive wher­ever I put the wheels.

I be­lieve that is what buy­ing a car should mainly be about. Yes, price mat­ters. But it should not be all that mat­ters. Com­puter stuff mat­ters, but it should be the least of it all. Ditto gad­getry. All those things pale in im­por­tance in com­par­i­son with that sub­jec­tive lit­tle thing called love. You’ve got to love your car. And I loved th­ese two. For the prac­ti­cal of mind, this might be of lit­tle help, but I never said this was go­ing to be a con­sumer ad­vice col­umn. Happy driv­ing.

MUCH MORE: Volvo’s V40 could be de­scribed as a five-door hatch and it is one. But it is also so much more than that.

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