Volvo V40 - A stylish quality SUV

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THE rugged Volvo V40 Cross Country is an attractive premium small SUV with a rather misleading name because some potential owners and admirers wrongly assume the whole range is four wheel drive writes Bryan Longworth.

For the stylish Cross Country has increased ride height plus roof rails, sills and special tough looking bumpers which all give the impression that this is a small off-roader.

But in fact only the top model has four wheel drive availability and all the other models like my test car the V40 Cross Country D3 Geartronic SE Nav have two wheel drive although several people including a passenger wrongly assumed it was a 4x4 because of the name.

I know that most manufacturers in this sector have cars with two and four wheel drive but it is the Cross Country name that is a tad misleading plus the fact that another Volvo car produced many years ago had the Cross Country name and was only available with four wheel drive.

Having cleared up that point the V40 Cross Country is a premium small SUV with striking styling and is a car for the owner who wants something different at the top end of the market where it competes with rivals from Audi and BMW.

My test car which cost £25,620 was powered by a 2.0-litre four cylinder diesel engine from Volvo’s new engine range which had a top speed of 124mph a zero to 62mph time of 9.3 seconds a combined fuel consumption of 54.3mpg and CO2 emissions of 137g/km.

It was loaded with optional extras including the driver support pack at £1,900, winter pack £500, six speed automatic transmission ?1,485 plus nine other options which took the overall price to a hefty ?32,630.

However, the driver support pack which includes collision warning with full auto brake, pedestrian and cyclist detection, lane keeping aid, driver alert control, road sign information display, speed camera warning and blind spot information system all helped to make this a very safe car and well worth the extra money.

The new diesel engine had a smooth and lively output and I found the steering, handling and road holding combined to make this a very enjoyable car from a driver point of view and the classy, roomy and comfortable interior made this a very satisfying vehicle for both driver and passengers.

I particularly liked the user friendly controls and instruments especially the large digital speedometer which was easy to see in all driving conditions and is a feature that more manufacturers should adopt.

There is a large load area at the rear but owners beware of the folding floor above the spare wheel for somehow I managed to trap a finger when closing it which was a very painful and bloody experience!

The Swedish manufacturer enjoyed the best sales for many years last year with the V40 and V40 Cross Country being the top sellers which is not surprising because the Cross Country in particular is a premium small SUV for owners wanting a stylish quality car with rugged looks that really cuts the mustard.

Fact File

Model: Volvo V40 Cross Country D3 Geartronic SE Nav.

Output: 150bhp.

Engine: 2.0-litre four cylinder diesel.

Drive: Two wheel drive.

Transmission: Six speed automatic.

Top speed: 124mph.

Acceleration: 0 to 62mph 9.3 seconds.

Fuel consumption: 54.3mpg combined.

CO2 emissions: 137g/km.

Price: £25,620 on the road.