Volvo's V40 Cross Country is style and substance all rolled into one.
Photos: Joel Tam
It’s the age of having the best of both worlds. Consumers these days demand an amalgam of sorts, and often seek the ideal product that could cater to both theirs needs as well as wants. The automotive industry is no different; as such car manufacturers have begun offering unique models that sit comfortably in between two different model segments, resulting in the birth of crossovers.
These are regular cars that looks and drives like an SUV but yet come with very few SUV penalties; such as weight and size. Volvo has certainly hit the Swede spot with its V40 Cross Country T4, which brings to us the very best of the S40 sedan and the V50 estate in one car.
Aesthetics wise, Volvo has got the formula right. The very thing that captures your attention first would be the very sporty looking bonnet with its cuts and creases, and the extremely rakish windscreen. Throw in unpainted plastic cladding that runs all round, faux scuff plates (front and rear) and sleek silver roof rails, what you get is a jacked up hatch back with an off-roader presence.Â
As for the interior, in comparison to the exterior, it is nowhere as stylish. The design within the car offers a more subdued mood, and the interior seems to echo the very design vibe carried by its fellow stable mates. Though a tad drab, it might not necessarily be a bad thing at all as most of the bits are well constructed, and tastefully trimmed in black and aluminium.
Some areas, like the floating centre console and the sculpted door-pads do provide a tinge of peppiness, but that’s as far as it goes. Some parts that really appeal to me are the transparent LED illuminated gear selector, massive full-length glass roof and the fully digital dashboard instrument cluster (which has a switchable colour mode function to suit your mood - see photos below) featuring a high resolution TFT screen. In terms of space, the V40 Cross Country T4 can comfortably seat four adults and carry a substantial amount of stuff with its 335 litres boot.
On the move, the V40 Cross Country T4’s 1.6-litre turbocharged engine churns out 180 hp and 240 Nm worth of torque (270 Nm when in overboost). When dashing off the blocks, the V40 Cross Country T4 hit's 100 km/h in a respectable 8.5 seconds, with its power delivered to the wheels via a six-speed dual clutch automatic transmission.
With the car jacked up, many would assume that body roll would be much more pronounced in the V40 Cross Country, but the exact opposite is true. Round the bends, there is nary a hint of body roll, and it feels as if the car enjoys being driven with gusto.
Straight-line acceleration is linear and the car feels planted. The very things that make driving this Volvo spiritedly enjoyable are the brakes and steering. There is ample stopping power, with the brakes well served and a good amount of weight from the steering.
Packed with a slew of safety features, stylish design and excellent drive and handling, the V40 Cross Country is undoubtedly a very family oriented car. Volvo has certainly come a long way, and in the form of the V40 Cross Country T4, it is definitely style and substance rolled into one car!