In the 80’s you could see a box on wheels from miles away and know it was a Volvo driving towards you. In the nineties and noughties (are we really still calling it by that terrible name?) they added some style but they still never quite stood out to me. In 2012, enter the Volvo V40:
Car Magazine took the V40 for a test drive:
Volvo has gone to great lengths to banish the legacy of staid, conservative designs that characterised its cars for many years, and the V40’s sharp styling will certainly appeal to young, trendy and individualistic buyers. There has been some confusion regarding the V40’s positioning in the Volvo line-up; Despite wearing the V nomenclature often reserved for the company’s station wagon offerings, it is not set to battle the likes of the entry-level Audi A4 Avant and C-Class Estate, but rather the A3 Sportback and BMW 1 Series. In this respect the V40 has its work cut out for it, but its packaging seems to indicate that it’s on the right track.
The interior is typically Volvo, with the floating centre console and good levels of perceived quality, but it still manages to look fresh. There are a number of stand-out styling touches, perhaps the most eye-catching are the illuminated gearshift, which is standard on the Elite trim level, but optional on the other two trim levels (Excel and Essential) and the option of a TFT instrument panel display with different colours and themes to differentiate eco- from sport settings.
The engine line-up spans from the D2 turbodiesel (86 kW/270 N.m), which has a claimed fuel consumption of just 3,6 l/100 km and CO2 emissions of just 94 g/km, to the turbocharged T5 petrol engine with 189 kW and 400 N.m of torque and accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 6,5 seconds. Between these two performance poles sit a pair of four-cylinder 1,6-litre petrol units in two states of tune: T3 (112 kW/240 N.m) and T4 (134 kW/240 N.m plus 30 N.m on overboost). A choice of six-speed manual and automatic transmissions are offered.
You can read the rest of the article here. For the first time a Volvo that doesn’t make me want kids, a dog and a woolen pullover to fit in with the other Volvo Drivers.