Long term report: Volvo V40 Cross Country
This month has given me the opportunity to see how cross-country capable the Volvo V40 Cross Country really is. When I say cross country, I mean soft-roading really. A group of 12 of us headed to Devon for the weekend, a 250-mile round trip mainly on motorways (for the bargain price of just £25 in diesel) but this did involve some rough terrain the closer we got to our accommodation.
Despite our model lacking the four-wheel-drive system of the range topping T5 model, it made light work of the rutted ground on the approach to our overnight halt, and made light work of everything we threw at it over the weekend.
However, the toughest feat our V40 had to overcome was some inter-brand abuse from a Vauxhall driver (of all people). Out of the five cars our group had taken – a Vauxhall Astra, a Corsa, a Nissan Note, a Ford Ka and the V40 – it was the Volvo that inexplicably came in for criticism. "Who brought the Volvo?" she barked. "Couldn't you get anything better?"
Now this still makes my blood boil. My only solace was that those who sat inside the car were nothing but impressed. But why is it that Volvos are still getting stick for being boring cars, when really they're nothing but? The V40 has enough mod-cons to make it feel luxurious, while the turbodiesel motor serves up more then enough poke. Enough to deal with a pesky Vauxhall Astra at any rate...
Model: Volvo V40 Cross Country D4
Price: £36,045 (as tested)
Engine: 1969cc, 4 cylinder, turbo-charged
Power: 190bhp, 400Nm
Max speed: 130mph
Mileage this month: 736
This month's highlight
Despite the abuse from friends, everyone really was impressed by the Volvo's subtle charms