Day 1 – First Impressions
The Volvo V40 D2 SE was dropped off on a Monday morning. My first thoughts of the car were how crisp and clear the bodywork looked in white, even on a dull day. I think that the V40 Volvo is one of the best looking Volvo’s ever to be made. Looking around the car you could see the sharply designed front bumper, grill, and splitter. It looks super modern and very interesting from all angles.
Taking the car out for the first time, I instantly liked the Volvo V40. Sitting in the car you feel well protected, and reassured by all the safety icons and sensors around the car. On the road, I was soon enjoying the feel of the relaxed and economical pace that the D2 model of the car creates.
Day 2 – The drive
The Volvo V40 D2 is fitted with a 1.6-litre diesel engine that puts out 115bhp and 270Nm of torque. The model on test drive was using Volvo’s automatic Powershift 6 speed gearbox. The engine and drivetrain setup, along with the low drag efficiency and stop/start technology, is super-efficient and helps to gain a fuel efficiency level between 65-78mpg.
Driving the V40 around you quickly slip into an efficient driving style without thinking about it. I believe this is because you have instant mpg readouts in front of you, and you can also feel the car stopping and starting on its own, and personally I felt that I needed to do my part to keep that high MPG up.
Day 3 – How does it look?
Taking the Volvo V40 out for an evening photo shoot was a good time to walk around the car, take a comprehensive look at it, and how it fits into different environments. It was clear that the Swedish design isn’t suited to just one particular environment; the Volvo V40 looks at home with either a rural or urban backdrop.
I think it’s interesting to look at; it appears to have an active sort of character about it. And when I see it driving around I can almost imagine that the person is off to do something important.
Day 4 – Do other people love it?
Off out with some friends in the evening, this was my time to gauge what other people think of the car. In short, the Volvo was highly admired. In particular, the interior design of the cabin area, and the digital instruments were thought to be well designed and easy to use. The other major thing that was identified was the unique-flowing driving style that the V40 D2 encourages the driver to take. The car makes you slip into a mind-set of gently and efficiently driving the V40 around.
Day 5 – Safe in the city
One of the major safety features on the Volvo V40 is City Safety. City Safety can help prevent accidents in town at less than 31mph. It works on a laser based technology that can sense an impending collision. In the first instance, City Safety prepares the brakes so that they respond faster when you press the pedal. And if you fail to brake, City Safety will apply the brakes for you and switch off the throttle to lessen the effects of a collision. Even better than this, if the difference in speed between your car and the one in front is less than 9mph, City Safety can prevent a collision from happening in the first place.
Needless to say, this is one part of the technology I didn’t test out; I’ll leave that to the experts! But I felt very confident driving a car that actually has the ability to avoid an accident if I was to a make a mistake. Very impressed!
Day 6 – Most Economical and Safest Motorway Journey Ever
A friend of mine was buying a classic car, and they asked if I would go take a look at it with them, this was a prime opportunity to put the Volvo V40 D2 on the motorway to see how it got on. There were so many elements of the car that I wanted to test on the motorway. It gave me the chance to test out some of the safety equipment, such as Lane Keeping Assist (LKA), Blind Spot Information System (BLIS), and the Collision Warning System.
The Volvo V40 is packed full of safety gear, but for me the single best, and simplest, bit of technology on the car is the Blind Spot Information System. It works by lighting up an orange light next to the wing mirrors on either side of the car when there is a car in the blind spot area. It works really effectively, as your eyes are already looking in that direction. I believe this system would stop so many accidents if it was fitted on all cars. What a brilliant invention.
I was very impressed that for some stretches on the motorway I got a higher figure of MPG on the dashboard than the MPH. For instance, at one point, I was doing 65mph in the D2 V40 and I was achieving 75mpg, it’s not often you see that.
Day 7 – Mature Choice
Taking the car out in the countryside, again a good opportunity to see how much fun I could have with this very mature car. I learned that you don’t need lots of power and stiff suspension to enjoy the drive. You can have just as much fun driving round in the ultra-safe cabin of the V40 burning the minimal amount of fuel required. Sometimes it’s nice just to be practical and comfortable whilst out for a drive.
The Volvo V40 D2 is a great car for many reasons. It’s the safest car ever tested by NCAP in collision testing, very fuel efficient, and very practical. Typically I wouldn’t consider these factors too strongly when buying a car. But after spending a week with this car it’s just such a smart decision to buy one. You can’t really beat the feeling of knowing you are driving the safest car around.