May 20, 2015 @ 12:31 PM

Review: Volvo V40 T4

The V40 T4 is looking to change its company's perception. Will Volvo’s hatchback win over the hearts of hatchback lovers? By Jerrica Leong


The V40 T4 is looking to change its company's perception. Will Volvo’s hatchback win over the hearts of hatchback lovers? By Jerrica Leong 

It’s generally perceived as an “old man” car in almost everybody’s eyes, but you have to admit that Volvo has drastically changed the entire line-up, and word is, the company is looking to change that general perception. I have to admit, that other than the 122S from back in the day, Volvo has never appeared on my radar. I too had the same perception that Volvo is old so I went to pick up the V40 with a heart determined to be changed. 

Will the V40 change my mind? Hopefully so. Perhaps this review would change your mind as well about Volvo’s “old” image.

Exterior (Score: 4/5)

The V40 has definitely gone through an evolution, the previous V40 had registered in my mind as a station wagon but this modern version is a Golf TSI contender instead. It’s all classy aerodynamic shoulder lines and stylish diffusers to make it a very elegant hatchback indeed. Those thinking to purchase a Golf TSI would pause in their decision when they look at the V40 T4.

My verdict: the V40 definitely does not look old, in fact, the car is drawing more attention from the younger executive generation than that of the older businessmen. 

Interior (Score: 3/5
)

It only looks big on the outside but the interior is sadly missing space. I peg that down as Volvo focussing on the safety aspect of their cars to create a huge buffer before the impact reaches the passengers. While the passengers in the rear will suffer a little from lack of space, the driver and the front passenger will enjoy the comfortable full leather seats and plenty of space to lean back. 

The minimalist would complain about the many buttons on the centre console and I would too if I hadn’t been given a crash course on which button does what and it would take more than five days to get used to these buttons! 

Power and handling (Score: 3/5)

A little reminder that this is the T4 I’m testing, so it’s no wonder that the car is very much down on power. The car takes a few milliseconds longer to get the heavy body up to speed but when you’ve hit the ideal rpms the V40 will give you the illusion that it is going very fast even though it isn’t.

Handling the V40 is a little tough, while it is easy to steer around at lower speeds making it ideal for the city, it is strangely hard to control at high speeds. There’s no need for the gym if you’re planning a road trip in the V40!

Tech and Safety (Score: 5/5)

This is a Volvo we are talking about so you can expect a high score for safety. The V40 comes with an arsenal of safety features, we have the basics and the more advanced like Blind Spot Information System with Cross Traffic Alert and Dynamic Stability and Traction Control (DSTC) with Advanced Stability Control.

In terms of tech, the V40 doesn’t have the most advanced compared to the more powerful counterpart. Speaking of which, the V40’s tech is built to cater to the connected generation who couldn’t live without a moment’s connectivity! 

Summary

It’s stylish but heavy, and the sexy curves attract the young executive who prefers a more relaxed lifestyle. While I’ve always had the impression that hatchbacks are for ladies, while the Golf begs to differ, the Volvo V40 certainly cemented the thought; the looks definitely drew more appreciation from the ladies than the men.

So does this mean that Volvo has successfully changed my perception about their “old” image? With the V40 T4 they did, but it’s going to take a little longer to impress the rest of the world. Hopefully this article would help!

Overall score: 15/20

Specifications
Price
RM175,888.00 OTR without insurance
Engine
1596cc, in-line 4, turbocharged, direct injection, 180bhp @ 5700rpm, 240Nm @ 1600-5000
Transmission
6-speed Powershift with Geartronic and Shift Lock
Weight
1452kg
 

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