A new stylish hatchback is set to take the automobile scene by storm. The new Volvo V40 is the latest addition from a company known for making one of the safest cars money can buy.
Stylish Swedish Design
The new V40 looks more like more of a two door coupe rather than a hatchback. This is thanks to the low roof and bonnet design. At the low sweeping front bonnet is a wide high gloss grill that gives the car its aggressive and sporty look. Next to the large grill are stylish and powerful headlamps. Daytime LED running lights are set into the lower corners of the front end. They give the lower front of the car a “blade design” appearance. In between the daytime running lights is a large lower air intake with an integrated air splitter. The wide front shoulders stretch from just behind the headlamps while the classic Volvo V-shaped bonnet has bolder edging. At the side it has large side mirrors with LED turn signals. The roof has a wedge shaped that contributes to the lean-forward stance.
|Aggressive looking front|
The windows have curvy look that echoes the roofs wedge shaped design. The new V40 rides on classy wheels. One can choose between 16, 17 or 18 inch rims. On the roof is a large fixed panoramic glass roof, stretching from the front windscreen to the backrest of the rear seats that makes the cabin even airier and brighter.
|V40 with the sport package|
The roof is tinted to reduce infrared radiation into the cabin. A fabric curtain under the roof provides shade and can be used to block out the sun for part of the cabin. At the back rear tail lamps are positioned high, for maximum visibility, and follow the curvature of the shoulders. Stylish reflectors and a large rear diffuser are visible as well. Twin exhaust pipes sit at each end of the black diffuser.
Eco-friendly power plants and dynamic chassis
The new V40 will be available with a choice of turbocharged diesel or petrol engines. A 1.6 litre four-cylinder D2 is the crown jewel of the diesel range. The engine only needs 3 litres of fuel to cover 100 kilometers. It has an output of 115hp and 270Nm of torque. Top speed is pegged at 185km/h and it will need 11.7 seconds to get to 100km/h form 0. The next two diesel engines are the five-cylinder 2.0 litre D3 and D4. The D3 produces 150hp and 350Nm of torque. The D3 engine has a top speed of 209km/h and it will accelerate from 0 to 100km/h in 9.1 seconds.
|One of its many engines|
The more powerful D4 comes with 177hp and 400Nm of torque. 0 to 100km/h takes 8.2 seconds while top speed is an impressive 220km/h. Both engines will need 3.6 litres of fuel to cover 100 kilometers. The petrol list consist of three engines namely the T3, T4 and T5. Both the T3 and the T4 are 4-cylinder engines. The T3 produces 150hp while the T4 delivers 180hp. Top speed for the T3 is 209km/h and the T4 is 225km/h. The 0 to 100km/h acceleration with the T3 is 8.4 seconds while the T4 will need 7.3 seconds. Both engines deliver 240Nm of torque. The top of the range petrol engine is the T5. The 2.5litre five-cylinder engine produces 254hp. 0 to 100km/h takes around 6 seconds. Top speed is pegged at 250km/h. All engines except the T5 are matted to a six speed manual gearbox as standard. The diesel D3 and D4 can be ordered with a 6-speed automatic transmission.
|Rear sport exhaust system|
The T5 comes with the automatic transmission as standard. Power from the engine is sent to the front wheels. Power is managed by a dynamic chassis set up. The car comes with an Electrical Power Assist Steering (EPAS) system. One can select between three levels of power assistance. In Low mode the system provides a high degree of power support, making maneuvering easier. Medium mode has lower power support to offer more road response at higher speeds. High mode is the ultimate setting for the enthusiastic driver, contributing to the car’s dynamic character.
|Plenty of storage space in the boot|
The Electrical Power Assist Steering also allows for the integration of safety and driver support functions that involve the steering, such as Lane Departure Warning and Park Assist Pilot. The fully independent front and rear suspension uses MacPherson struts at the front to give the V40 improved handling capabilities.
|Looks more of a two door coupe|
The chassis also features a Dynamic Stability and Traction Control (DSTC) system that uses a roll angle sensor. The sensor makes it possible to identify any skidding tendency at an early stage. This means that the stability control system can step in earlier and with greater precision ensuring the car remains stable on the road.
|Wide grill finished with a glossy paint|
The new V40 also features Corner Traction Control. The system brakes the car’s inner driven wheel, causing more power to be transmitted to the outer driven wheel. This allows the driver to corner more tightly while reducing any tendency to under steer. Four wheel discs (ventilated at the front) Anti-lock braking system (ABS), Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD) and Electronic Brake Assist (EBA) are on hand to ensure the car comes to a stop in the quickest and safest way possible.
Safest hatchback ever
The V40 comes with a host of safety equipment. The first one is Pedestrian Airbag Technology. This uses seven different sensors in the front bumper register the contact between the car and the pedestrian. The rear end of the bonnet is released and at the same time elevated by the deploying airbag, which is sited under the edge of the bonnet. The inflated airbag covers the area under the raised bonnet and approximately one third of the windscreen area. The raised bonnet (made from soft metal) helps to absorb the pedestrian impact, while the airbag helps to cushion the pedestrian reducing injury. The system works at speeds of between 20 and 50 km/h.
|Electric mirror and window buttons|
Pedestrians will also benefit from another system called Pedestrian Detection with Full Auto Brake. This uses a radar unit integrated into the car’s grille, a camera fitted just behind the interior rear-view mirror, and a central control unit. The radar detects any object in front of the car and determines the distance to it. The camera determines what type of object it is. If a pedestrian is detected, the driver first receives an audible warning combined with a flashing light in the windscreen’s head-up display. At the same time, the car’s brakes are pre-charged. If the driver does not react to the warning and an accident is imminent, full braking power is automatically applied. The system works at speeds below 35km/h. To prevent low speed accidents, the new V40 comes fitted with City Safety system.
|Daytime LED lights and stylish headlamps|
The system uses a laser sensor that keeps an eye on traffic in front of the vehicle. It can detect vehicles and other objects up to 6 meters. City Safety helps either avoid or reduce the severity of the collision by automatically braking the car and reducing the throttle response. A new Lane Departure Warning helps the driver stay in the intended lane while Blind Sport Information System (BLIS) uses radar to monitor and alert the driver to rapidly approaching vehicles up to 70 meters. When reversing a system called Cross Traffic Alert uses the same radar sensors at the rear end of the car to alert the driver to traffic crossing from the sides. The function warns of traffic up to 30 meters from the car. The system alerts the driver using an audible signal and warning signal in the center screen.
|Rear arm rest|
Other driver assistance systems include active high beam, active bending xenon lamps (for better illumination when taking corners) and Road sign Information which displays road it has detected on the road on the instrument panel. The V40 can also park itself thanks to the Park Assist Pilot. The system uses sensors that scan the road for a suitable parking space. If found the system the system takes over the steering while the driver controls the car speed.
A display guides the driver step-by-step until the car is correctly parked. When parking is completed the driver is notified by an audible signal and a text message. The driver can also monitor the progress by a rear park assist camera that displays information on the infotainment system.
There is enough room for five occupants inside the car. It has a large and wide instrument panel with stylish dials. A TFT (thin film transistor) instrument display information about the car. It has three theme setting. There is “Eco” theme which has a green background and includes an economy meter to allow you to drive as economically as possible.
|Classic Volvo V-shaped bonnet now has a bolder edging|
A green light is illuminated when your eco driving is optimal. Next is the “Performance” theme which has a red background illumination and includes a power meter that tells the driver how much power is being used and how much is available. In this mode, the tachometer is centralized on the instrument display, and speed is shown digitally. The last theme is the “Elegance”. This has an amber illumination and gives a more conventional dash display. It’s perfect for calm and a relaxing drive. The floating centre stack more sculpted compared to other Volvo models. It is larger at the top and shrinks a bit at the bottom.
|TFT instrument display|
This helps to increase knee room for driver and front passenger. The centre stack comes as standard in charcoal colour. It can be upgraded to Shimmer Graphic colour in higher trim levels. Modern Wood and Centre Court trims are available. The infotainment system sits at in the upper part of the centre console. It’s available as either a 5-inch screen or a 7-inch screen. All functions can be controlled from the steering wheel, or by controls directly below the screen. Luxury materials, including leather, aluminium and high-quality fabrics, are used throughout the interior. The front seats have a sporty design while the outer rear seats are also noticeably sculpted, to offer greater comfort and support. There is extensive storage space.
Below the armrest is a storage compartment suitable for CDs and other small items. It also has a connector for either USB/iPod or AUX. Two cup holders and a 12V power outlet are integrated in the console in front of the armrest. The glovebox is refrigerated with cold air from the Electronic Climate Control system. The interior lighting give a theatre like lighting feel by using LED lamps that light up at strategic places in the interior. Once can choose between seven different modes for interior lighting.
|Rear seats with plenty of legroom|
The reading lights front and rear can be dimmed. There is an optional gearshift knob for the automatic and manual transmissions which is transparent and LED-illuminated from inside. There are also LED lights in the door panel storage pockets. The rear seats can fold down to boost rear storage space while the front passenger seat can be folded to accommodate longer items.
Generous across the range
The V40 is available in various trim levels. The entry level model is the V40 ES. This comes with standard equipment like City Safety, Pedestrian Airbag, Bluetooth, High Performance audio with 5-inch colour display screen, ECC (Electronic Climate Control), 16-inch Matres alloy wheels, DSTC (Dynamic Stability and Traction Control), power windows, a leather steering wheel and gear knob, and textile floor mats. A cooled glovebox is also standard. Next is the V40 SE. The SE model comes with a T-Tec interior, cruise control, steering wheel remote controls and keyless start added to the standard equipment on the ES model. It also has autofolding power door mirrors with ground lighting and chrome exterior trim on the outside.
|Illuminated gear stick|
Rain sensors with automatic wipers are also standard. The top of the range model is the V40 SE Lux. This adds leather-faced upholstery, 17-inch Mannan alloy wheels and LED day running lights as well as active bending xenon lights with a headlight cleaning system. All V40s can be ordered with three optional packages. There is Winter Pack that adds heated front seats, heated front windscreen and a headlight cleaning system. It also adds active bending xenon lights, headlight cleaning, LED day running lights, heated front seats, heated front screen and rear reading, theatre and front door side step lights. Another called Driver Support Package adds active bending xenon lights, headlight cleaning, LED day running lights, heated front seats, heated front screen and rear reading, theatre and front door side step lights.
|Stylish rear design|
To make the V40 look sportier a Sports Pack is available. This adds a sports chassis, 17-inch Segomo alloy wheels and three-way adjustable steering with memory. With the Sport Package one can also order the V40 with 18-inch Taranis alloy wheels. All versions come with a standard High Performance Audio System that uses a CD and RDS radio, four 45W amplifiers, USB/iPod input, eight speakers and a 5-inch screen. A High Performance Multimedia system comes with a DVD and seven-inch colour display screen is also available.
|Large panoramic roof|
However to enjoy excellent interior sound one can order the V40 with the top of the range Premium Multimedia Sound audio system. It has Dolby Pro-Logic II surround sound and Dolby Digital 5.0 Cinema Edition, a DVD and seven-inch screen, 5 x 130W digital class D amplifiers and 10 speakers. It also comes with Digital TV and DAB (Digital Audio Broadcasting). All audio systems come with Bluetooth hands-free for telephone and music streaming.
The new unique Volvo hatch back is priced at £19,745 (Kshs. 2.6 million excl. taxes) for the ES 115bhp diesel, rising to just under £27,000 (Kshs. 3.6 million excl. taxes) for the 180bhp SE Lux (petrol and diesel have the same power and price).