Barnstorming Volvo V40
MOST of the Volvo V40s sold in this country up to now have probably been diesels, because there is such a wide variety of them to choose from.
But at the top of the petrol range is the barnstorming T5, which is quicker to 60 mph than the Ford Focus ST and quite a few other cars that are reckoned to be good performers.
The Cross Country version has raised suspension and is the only car in the whole V40 range with four-wheel drive.
That seems a bit strange really, because people who live in the country would buy the diesel version fitted with it. Mind you, many farmers take their two-wheel drive cars across the fields when they want to and don’t even think about it!
The T5 has a 2.0-litre turbo powerplant producing an excellent 245bhp but is only available in Pro spec at the top of the range and with a standard eight-speed automatic gearbox
This is not a car that you buy for economy but for performance. It is hugely quick from any speed, with massive reserves of power under the right foot.
The engine is quiet and refined throughout most of its rev range and will also pull from low revs when the gearbox allows. This has Drive, Sport and Manual settings and most owners – as ever – will rarely bother doing the changes themselves because the automatic does it so well.
It’s very good in normal Drive, but click it into Sport and everything becomes that much more immediate and responsive, with a quicker kickdown and higher speeds in every gear.
Because of this performance and its excellent and very safe cornering, it is very enjoyable for an enthusiast.
The sat nav is not touchscreen controlled and is operated by small buttons in the centre console. Other equipment includes automatic lights and wipers, multi-function steering wheel, voice activation, radar controlled cruise, keyless entry and starting, parking sensors with a camera, electric heated leather seats, alloys and alarm. It also has start/stop, but this only works if you keep your foot on the brake.
Safety is second to none of course, with loads of airbags, lane departure warning, collision warning, proximity warning and automatic braking if the car senses danger ahead.