2016 Volvo V40 T2 R-Design Review
Volvo claims that the new V40 T2 R-Design was built to express individualism and be “a car that goes beyond the everyday”. This is certainly true at first sight and continues to develop as you spend more time with the car – no easy task in the modern age. The V40’s striking looks help it stand out in a crowded hatchback market, providing something different to the mundane, familiar shapes we’ve come to expect in recent years.
The V40 has quite an imposing figure, with its V-shaped bonnet and its muscular shoulders stretching behind the headlights. These features, along with others, highlight the car’s individuality and indicate its sporty character. Dynamic LED headlights borrowed from its larger sibling, the XC90, adorn the front of the car, leaving a big impression with whoever catches sight of them. Heading to the back of the car, its sharp, rear pillar length taillights and twin chrome exhausts confirm the sporty presence of the car.
Inside, the V40 is smaller than its heavy set body suggests, however, there is still plenty of room for four adults to sit comfortably. Volvo describes the interior as “the best of Scandinavian design” and this certainly holds true. The cabin is surrounded with the same comfortable, light and natural materials you’d expect to find in a Swedish home. This dedicated craftsmanship creates a relaxing environment, allowing passengers to enjoy every journey. Intelligent use of natural light and bright colours make it feel bigger than it is, especially when you go for the optional panoramic glass roof.
Acceleration in the V40 is very responsive, with on-demand power at your feet. This is due to Volvo’s Drive-E powertrain, which provides performance and fuel economy in equal measure. The drive feels sporty and comfortable with a thrilling sense of adventure, as well as control. However, there is a sense that it would benefit from slightly more power, as it feels sluggish when you’re trying to accelerate to higher speeds. Volvo describes the R-Design as “performance-inspired”, which explains the lack of power in favour of better fuel consumption. This compromise is welcomed, as the extra miles and comfort make it the perfect long distance runner.
Equipment is abundant in the V40’s cabin and it’s all controlled by Volvo’s Sensus Connect system at the centre of the dashboard. The system has a simple and intuitive interface that provides users with free map and traffic updates from its satellite navigation system. There is also a huge range of apps and phone connectivity, allowing users to stream their favourite music wherever they are. This is aided by the stunning premium 10 speaker sound system provided by audio experts, Harman Kardon. Volvo On Call enables you to turn the heating on from your phone on cold mornings, so it’s ready to drive straight away without having to wait for it to heat up or defrost.
Volvo has pulled out every stop to balance style, comfort, performance and fuel economy with the new V40 T2 R-Design and they have succeeded at their task. Imposing looks ensure its presence is noted wherever it pulls up, while its interior styling and performance at the wheel provide an enjoyable driving experience. This helps keep the V40 ahead of its rivals in every aspect, bringing together luxury and reliability, no less than you’d expect from the esteemed Swedish manufacturer.