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Overall verdict

The Top Gear car review: Volvo V40

Overall verdict
Great-looking, great to drive new Volvo should be a fine car to own.


All-round abilities, classy interior, keen prices, very fuel-efficient engines


At the moment, not a lot. This is a very able new compact hatch indeed


What is it?

You’d think that of all the posh car brands building a rival to the safe, sturdy, sensible VW Golf, it should be Volvo. But no: for years, Volvo has missed the premium five-door hatch target, giving us small saloons, small estates and small three-door coupes instead. By the law of averages, it was bound to stumble across a winning recipe at some point: the launch of the five-door V40 hatch is it.

This is a vital car for the brand. It’s intended to be a step up for Golf buyers, for those who don’t want the flash of an Audi A3 or BMW 1-Series. On looks alone, it’s there: this is a rather foxy-looking Volvo, and even the bonnet has been kept low and sporty thanks to the trick addition of a pedestrian airbag. Underneath, there’s a Volvo-ised version of the fine Ford Focus platform, plus a range of engines that shame even Bluemotion Golfs for efficiency. There’s no doubting the potential it possesses.

Highlights from the range

Title 0–62 CO2 MPG BHP Price
The fastest
T3 [152] Inscription 5dr Geartronic
8.3s 132g/km 49.6 152 £26,735
The cheapest
T2 [122] Momentum 5dr
10.4s 137g/km 47.9 122 £21,150
The greenest
D2 [120] Inscription 5dr Geartronic
10.5s 118g/km 62.8 120 £27,385