The Swedish brand Volvo in India is famous for their long route buses. An automotive brand that re-wrote rules of the long distance bus journey in India is also slowly and steadily making inroads into the luxury car market. The luxury car market here is dominated by the German giant trio: BMW, Audi, and Mercedes Benz.
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The smart looking Volvo V40 is the starting range for the Volvo luxury cars in India. The car is pegged against the likes of the BMW 1 Series and the Mercedes Benz A-Class.
Gone are the days when Volvos looked boxy and boring, the new V40 is a testimony to the advancements Volvo has made on the design front. Volvo V40 may be one of the safest cars in its segment and yes it is still practical. But it also looks great particularly after the design tweaks it has undergone in the last update.
Volvo has carried over many styling features from its more expensive models into the ‘little’ V40, like the larger Volvo badge and the headlamps with the ‘Thor hammer’ DRLs. The car has a smooth flowing design all across. The car retains the characteristic simple and understated design language of Volvos of yore. The V-shaped bonnet and the signature Volvo grille defines the face of the V40, giving it a mature and serious look. The grilles are finished in either black or chrome depending on the trim you choose. The D3 Kinetic variant gets 16-inch Matres alloy wheels whereas the R-Design variant gets 17-inch Ixion alloys. The most distinguishing design element is at the rear. The concave curve between the boot and the rear lamps gives an edgy and sophisticated look to the car and we simply love it. Overall, the car has a well-proportioned and sporty stance making it the most beautiful car in its segment.
The Scandinavian style philosophy of simple yet elegant theme continues into the interior as well. The dash has got an innovative layout with an unusually tall central column and the small cluster of buttons. The interiors are made up of the best of materials and craftsmanship. The seats are finished in Scandinavian leather. However, we feel the basic design of the dashboard has started to show its age.
The driver gets plenty of adjustments for both the steering wheel and the seat. Finding the perfect driving position is not at all a problem in the V40. There are sufficient cup holders and storage bins. The car gets sufficient legroom at the front as well as the rear. The rear seat is better suited for two adults. The boot is surprisingly large and practical for a car of its size.
The car can be had in three upholstery themes:
Leather amber in charcoal interior with blond headlining.
Leather blond in charcoal/blond interior with blond headlining.
Leather charcoal in charcoal interior with charcoal headlining.
How it Drives and Perform
The Volvo v40 is powered by a five cylinder 2.0-liter diesel motor that dispenses a max power of 148 hp and an impressive 350 Nm peak torque. The engine is mated to a 6-speed automatic gearbox. The engine is pretty smooth and has a sweet thrum when revved. The car has a visible lag till 1700 rpm and post that the turbo kicks in and the car strongly pulls all the way up to 4500 rpm. The engine gives an enthusiastic flavor to the car. The car breached the 100 kmph mark in 9.2 seconds and can touch a top speed of 204 kmph. The car is also pretty fuel efficient and returns an average mileage of 14.1 kmpl.
The car handles pretty well and is surprisingly grippy in the corners. The ride quality is slightly stiff but gives a comfy ride on rough patches as well.
Volvo cars are known for their class leading safety and the V40 lives up to the expectation in this aspect. The car gets:
2 step airbag for driver and passenger side
Inflatable curtain airbags
Knee airbag on the driver side
Pedestrian protection system
Cut-off switch passenger airbag
Intelligent driver information system