The test car impressed from the outset. It looks great, is very comfortable and, with the four-cylinder D4 2.0L turbo-diesel engine nestled in the front, gets up the road beautifully. Like others I’ve driven recently, this Volvo feels planted and dependable.
187bhp (torque 295lb/ft) and the 0-62mph sprint being despatched in just 7.7 seconds, the Swedish company have done extraordinarily well in keeping CO² down to a mere 104g/km CO2 figure, despite this being the most powerful diesel on offer, driving through, in this case, a six-speed manual ‘box. BIK is 16% and an automatic is available.
The V40 D4 is fast yet subtle. No roaring fire-breather, it goes about its business quietly and unobtrusively and you are slightly surprised to find how far you’ve travelled in a short space of time. Fortunately there’s a big digital speed reading right in the centre of the rev counter and it will pay to keep an eye on it, legally speaking. Steering is fine, if a bit bland, and the, albeit long-throw, gear shift is accurate.
Volvo’s official consumption figure for this car is 70mpg with Stop/Start fitted. For our week, including delivery mileage, we managed 39.7mpg. That’s not as bad as it looks by the way. Our test route is very varied and all the while the car was being put through its paces. We reckon this figure will shoot up on a long trip under normal driving conditions with much more time spent in the sixth gear, on motorways for example.
Really, the Cross Country is just a high-riding version of the regular V40. Nevertheless, the handling is very good. A touch of understeer maybe if pushed but overall we found it to be very comfortable. Out on the road the car settled down to a comfortable fast cruise, and the suspension, whilst being not too soft, smoothed out the lumps and bumps of our ruined roads.
Volvo interiors have always been a strong point, with excellent fit and finish, comfortable seats – in this case – in a fetching two tone leather. Elsewhere there are smart, soft-touch plastics and an attractive and well laid out dash. The optional (must-have) fixed panoramic sunroof makes inside a nice, light place to be. This isn’t a huge car but the 324L boot is perfectly adequate and hides a proper space-saver spare. For a hatchback, maybe the boot lip could be lower.
SE Nav models get a 7.0-inch colour display, Bluetooth, USB, CD, multifunction steering wheel, climate and cruise plus navigation. Our car was in Lux Nav trim which adds a whole host of extras additionally.
At basic ticket price this isn’t a cheap car. Volvo’s have never been cheap and the quality standard is up there with the best as usual but with all the extras on board as featured it costs a wallet-clenching £37,400. That’s a lot. Basic starts around £28k. A fine car let down by the lack of all-wheel drive, although this is available on the petrol