Published on October 7th, 2013 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Volvo V40 T4 Test Drive Review
This is a Volvo that we have been waiting for. Having first seen it at the Geneva Motor Show 2 years ago, we were very impressed with its design. Then the following years we have been seeing this V40 on the road in various cities in Europe. Attractive from all sides, this Volvo V40 arrives in Malaysia just in time to challenge the very established VW Golf. Three variants were introduced at launch, the T4, T5 and Volvo Cross Country.
Let’s start with the looks. Very much like its biggest brother the S60 sedan this V40 has sharp edged styling and a squared off jaw. Simple alloy wheels look small under the large wheel arches that are waiting for T5 sized wheels. Side view mirrors hide very useful turn signals and the Volvo signature BLIS (Blind spot information). The side profile is very coupe like with a tapered of window area from front to rear. The rear tail-lamps are similar to the XC60 SUV and the rear hatch is divided between the slim rear glass and the metal panel. The V40 design shows long term acceptability from all quarters. Unlike the Volvo C30 coupe, this V40 has an evergreen design.
Step inside and the cabin is very well screwed together with good quality plastics around. Seats and door inserts are leather bound and the aluminium finish in between adds a touch of class. It is clear that this is Volvo mass market hatch catering to a new breed of buyers.
Instrument display is simple and easily legible with a circular LCD screen flanked left and right by meters. The sporty and grippy steering wheel had multifunction controls for blue tooth phone and radio controls.
Front seats have good padding and height adjustability. The glove box has a cooling vent for keeping drinks cool. The entertainment unit produces great sound and is I-Pod ready.
Luggage area is decent for a week’s family grocery shopping. There is a split floor beneath with a slim compartment for hiding away shoes, gym clothes, your laptop and also emergency items.
Start the T4 1.6-liter turbocharged engine and the well insulated cabin keeps noise out even when revving the engine. 180bhp might not seem a lot but drive this V40 and you will be surprised. Pushing this new Volvo hot hatch to its limits is an enlightening experience in many respects, but above all its massive fun. A shiny 6-speed gear shifter and bold instrument dials put you in the mood for white-knuckled driving, yet before I could hammer the T4’s spritely 1.6-litre turbocharged engine, I had to drive home from Volvo Car Malaysia’s office thru afternoon traffic with admiring glances from other motorists.
This V40’s saving grace is the engine, which has a strong bottom end that delivers a punchy 240Nm of torque from just @ 1600rpm. This torque sends a wave of constant and controllable power to the front wheels at such low revs which means you won’t have to downshift as often, even when traffic slows to a crawl. The car will pull away from just above idle and can pickup from standstill with some wheel spin if the throttle is hammered, which makes drivability one of its strong suits. As well as having one of the most flexible engines in the hot hatch segment, this Volvo V40 is also quite good for zipping in and out of traffic, switching lanes and parking. Ride quality is better than most of its rivals too. With good drive dynamics, a comfortable cabin and smart handsome looks, this V40 T4 will give its competitors something to finally worry about.
This Volvo V40 T4 sells from 173k with a 5-years free servicing, inclusive of parts, 5-years free warranty and 5-years Volvo On-Call cover that will provide owners hassle-free motoring.
Volvo V40 T4 Specifications
Engine: 4-cylinder Direct Injection Turbo
Power: 180bhp @ 5700rpm
Torque: 240Nm @ 1600-5000rpm
Transmission: 6-speed Powershift
Top Speed: 225km/h