Comfortable Hatchback: Volvo V40
We all know how car makers are vying to tap every inch of the exclusive segment of compact crossovers in the country, and why shouldn’t they do so when the uber cool Indian car aficionados want to be seen in them. So how does one go out scouting for the right car for them, especially when there are a plethora of these candid beauties available? It’s simple – we go for looks, performance, comfort and the snob value (this will make a deep hole in your pocket though). And that is exactly what this new vehicle from Volvo is all about.
The car promises the owner’s pride in the first glance itself. It’s something that the neighbours or other fellow drivers have not seen around on our grumpy roads. Our golden tinged V40 had the onlookers (including the ones cruising in their Audis, BMWs and Mercedes) craning their necks for a better glance at the car, owing to the Volvo’s aerodynamic aesthetic capabilities. The car looks a little too grounded for Indian roads, but the 145mm ground clearance ensures you give the potholes a miss. What get’s your attention first is the V-like bonnet that announces the arrival of this car. The raked back windscreen, backlights which are angled backwards and the rising waistline compliments the car’s smooth and sleek looks. Though the car does resonate of a low flying rocket from the outside, from the inside it is quite spacious, albeit staying true to Volvo’s design prowess and keeping things traditional. The comfortable sporty seats make sure you are at ease even at high speeds. There is fantastic support for your back and thighs. And there is plenty of room for your head and legs as well. With minimalist details all gracefully trimmed down in black and aluminium, the car does, however, miss out on giving you a luxurious feel. What really left us awestruck is the massive full-length glass roof. This is also a very practical cabin with plenty of space for water bottles and other odds and ends. What makes this car stand out is how they’ve put efforts in making it a driver’s favourite pet. With a shining white floating central console and transparent LED illuminated gear selector, the car gives that extra bit that brings out the nomadic driver in you. There is a big boot space as well, probably because the car comes without a spare tyre.
Under the hood is a five-cylinder 148bhp D3 2.0-litre diesel engine that is used in Volvo’s other variants in the country. The engine is extremely responsive and quick. There is no turbo delay from the six-speed automatic transmission, which makes the front wheel drive V40 leap forward as soon as you put your foot on the pedal. Step hard on the gas and the V40 takes off more than promptly. We were able to clock 0-100 in under 9 seconds, leaving us asking for more. What comes as a surprise is an ease with which the car zooms past other contenders on the road and its easy manoeuvrability even at speeds above 160 km/hr. The brisk handling and prompt braking lives up to Volvo’s name and promises sheer excitement in store for the driver.
Clearly, Volvo isn’t hoping to notch big numbers across the country, but this car is bliss for driving enthusiasts. The V40 brings in effortless driving and spacious cabins coupled with an excess of Volvo’s acclaimed safety features, making it one of the safest cars to drive. Having tested the likes of A Class, B Class and X1, Volvo clearly brings more excitement and gets a big thumbs up from us.