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Volvo V40 T5 R-Design car review
- Vital Stats
If you thought Volvos were super-safe but a little bit stodgy in the design department, you might want to take another look. The V40 R-Design prestige hatch is sporty, sleek, stylish, and really rather sexy.
Style & drive
The five-door five-seater V40 hatch is available in four different spec levels with a choice of four different engines - two petrol and two diesel. We slipped behind the wheel of the top-spec V40 R-Design Luxury which sports a powerful five-cylinder 2.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine with start/stop technology. The high-performance engine combined with the finely tuned steering and excellent dynamics make for a very exciting ride.
It handles like a race car on corners and has no fear of climbing hills. Rear vision is good and parking is a cinch due to parking sensors and a reversing camera.
The front seats are both electric powered, and seats both front and back are comfortable, though the centre seat in the rear should be reserved for little people only. There are three child seat safety anchors and the rear seats also come equipped with ISOFIX hooks in both outboard seats.
The interior design is attractive, although there are a few too many buttons on the centre console, which makes it a little confusing at first glance. Standard features include R-Design leather sports bucket seats, 18-inch alloy wheels with a temporary spare wheel, electronic climate control with a pollen filter, rain-sensing wipers, auto headlights, an eight-speaker sound system with CD/DVD/USB/iPod/MP3 connectivity, Bluetooth and a satellite navigation system. A great design feature is the digital instrument cluster where the driver can alternate between three different themes - Elegance, Eco, and Performance - with the display in amber, green or red accordingly. In Eco mode the driver is rewarded with a green light when eco-driving is optimal.
It has a five-star ANCAP rating and features eight airbags. As well as the driver, passenger, front side, curtain and driver's knee airbags, the V40 also employs the world's-first Pedestrian Airbag technology. Sensors in the front bumper register the physical contact between the car and the pedestrian. If contact is made, the rear end of the bonnet is released and at the same time elevated by the deploying airbag, which covers the entire windscreen wiper recess, about a third of the windscreen and the lower part of the A-pillars.
The V40 also comes standard with Volvo's City Safety system which uses radar and camera to detect cars, people and objects in the vehicle's path and can automatically stop the car to avoid a collision at speeds under 50km/h. Active safety systems include Anti-lock braking System (ABS) with Ready Alert Brakes (RAB), Hydraulic Brake Assist (HBA) and Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD), Emergency Brake Assist (EBA), and Dynamic Stability Control and Traction Control (DSTC). Volvo's optional safety extras include their Driver Alert System ($2075), Blind Spot Information System ($1275) and the Adaptive Cruise Control and Collision Warning with Pedestrian Detection package that includes Driver Alert ($6250).
The V40 T5 has a fuel consumption of 8.1L/100km and CO2 emission: 189g/km.
V40 D2 Kinetic 1.6-litre turbo-diesel manual - $34,990
V40 D4 Kinetic 2.0-litre turbo-diesel manual - $39,990
V40 D4 Kinetic 2.0-litre turbo-diesel automatic - $41,990
V40 D4 Luxury 2.0-litre turbo-diesel automatic - $45,990
V40 T4 Kinetic 2.0-litre turbo-petrol automatic - $41,990
V40 T4 Luxury 2.0-litre turbo-petrol automatic - $45,990
V40 T5 R-Design Luxury 2.5-litre turbo-petrol automatic - $49,990.
Describe the car in three words
Sporty, solid, safe.
What are the best things about this car?
The powerful engine combined with the tight dynamics make for an awesome drive.
And the downsides?
No key-free entry or keyless start (they're optional for $1500 extra).
What does it run on?
The V40 range consists of both petrol and diesel models.
Loved it. The V40 isn't too big, and isn't too small. It has got an amazing array of safety equipment, and is also seriously fun to drive.
If personified, who would this car be?
Scandal's Kerry Washington.