Volvo has broken the mould with its new V40 shape. Gone is the boring sedan and station wagon-style vehicle, replaced by the edgy and elegant coupé hatchback.
The rear end is where this Volvo differentiates itself from others, with a curved rear glass that fits perfectly between the two elongated rear lights that resemble an SUV. The cross-country variant has a metal kick panel in front and rear diffuser at the back. It also has raised ground clearance in keeping with an off-road look. All these added features give this sophisticated vehicle a bit of a sporty, edgy look.
However, this vehicle is in no way an off-road vehicle. At best, it can tackle the odd gravel road. The rest of the design is typical Volvo and being Volvo, safety is a definite feature. This is evident in that this is the first vehicle in the world to come with pedestrian airbags – yes, pedestrian airbags.
The front seats are also standard Volvo with its signature curved headrest and soft comfortable seating. The floating dropdown panel is the same as in the previous S40 with storage space just behind it. This is fantastic to keep your cellphone out of prying eyes, which I guess is another safety feature as well.
The dashboard is digital and uniquely different to anything I have seen. It has a centre circle and rectangular shape around it. The interesting thing though is that the dials change based on your driving mood. There is elegant which makes the display a natural brown colour and has the speedometer in the centre. Flip the switch to economy and it changes to green with the fuel consumption highlighted. One more flip and the display changes to sporty red while the central display turns to a rev counter with a digital speed read-out. These changes transform the way you drive the car as well. I personally found that I was calm and relaxed driving in eco mode.
The car is easy to drive and the T5 motor has sufficient power to get even the most docile driver into trouble. The ride is soft and relaxed and even if you are stuck in traffic, you can just sit back in the soft hugging seats while most of the other drivers are frustrated by the slow traffic and uncomfortable seats.
This is a new breed of car and I see many a manufacturer leaning towards this shape. It’s roomy, looks good and being a Volvo it’s a safe sensible buy. Enough said!!
Car courtesy of Volvo South Africa.
Author: Azim Omar CA(SA) is a member of SAGMJ.