What is it? Volvo has given the V40 a rugged appearance with under body cladding, a raised height and colour-contrasting bumpers. At its heart the V40 Cross Country may still be a hatchback but the extra body cladding certainly gives it more menacing road presence and serious attitude.
Who is it aimed at? Soft off roaders, like the Cross Country, are designed to bridge the gap between a family hatchback and a compact SUV but in reality they offer the same amount of space as a regular hatchback. Think of them as rugged hatchbacks with a modicum of off-road ability.
Styling? The V40 is one of the best looking hatchbacks on the road so the bumper cladding can only enhance its brawny appeal and the Cross Country is certainly eye-catching. Our test car came in a particularly enticing metallic Raw Copper.
Under the Bonnet? We drove the D3 Cross Country Geartronic. This 2 litre diesel engine goes from 0-62 mph in a swift 9.3seconds, before reaching a top speed of 124 mph. It was fitted with a smooth six-speed automatic transmission.
What’s it like inside? The V40 Cross Country shares its interior with the hatchback so it’s reassuringly simple and stylish. Space is good throughout but the sweeping roofline does compromise headroom a little in the front and rear legroom is only adequate. Boot space is identical to the hatchback and is a practical 335 litres that extends up to a maximum 1,032 litre. The boot opening itself is a little on the small side so bulkier items may prove difficult to actually fit.
On the Road? We loved the sharp steering and sporty ride in the V40 hatchback and on the road the Cross Country feels very similar. The extra height is evident only on sharp bends where there is a slight amount of body roll but what it loses in sportiness it more than compensates for in a smoother and more comfortable ride.
And Safety? The V40 is the world’s safest car and is packed with a host of safety features, including the world’s first airbag system to protect pedestrians so as expected the Cross Country is equally as safe. As standard, the Cross Country ES is equipped with City Safety technology, DSTC (Dynamic Stability Traction Control) system and Pedestrian airbag, power windows, ECC (electronic climate control), leather steering wheel and gear-knob.
Options? As standard, the Cross Country SE is offered with autofolding door mirrors with ground lights and black mirror covers, 16″ alloy wheels, rain sensor, textile/T-Tec upholstery, tread plates and silver roof rails. The Cross Country can be further enhanced by specifying the Cross Country Lux version. This includes the ample specification of the SE, plus leather-faced upholstery, active bending xenon headlights, 17″ alloy wheels, LED day-running lights, rear reading and theatre lighting. The V40 Cross Country is available from £22,595 for the D2 Cross Country SE, up to the T5 Geartronic Cross Country Lux Nav with All-Wheel Drive, from £33,875.
How about Fuel Economy? Our test car proved very economical and delivers a fuel sipping 54.3 mpg on a combined cycle of motorway and urban driving. Emissions are 137g/km of CO2.
Okay so the verdict? The Volvo Cross Country may not be rugged enough for some or have sufficient off road ability to appeal to others but at a time when few family cars really manage to set themselves successfully apart from the crowd the Cross Country makes a refreshing change.
Why you’ll buy one? Stylish; Performance: Safety
Why you won’t? Pricey; Visibility
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Volvo V40 D3 Cross Country Geartronic
Engine: 1,984cc, power output: 150bhpat 3,500 rpm, Max torque: 350 Nm between 1,500 – 2,750 rpm
Max speed: 124 mph
0-62 mph: 9.3 seconds
Emissions : 137g/km
Starting price: £22,595
Model price range: £22,595 – £33,875
No of Doors: 5
Euro NCAP: 5
Fuel type: Diesel
Fuel Economy (combined cycle): 54.3 mpg
Car Seats: Isofix points for two car seats in the back and both simply to fit.
Length (mm): 4369
Width (mm): 1802
Height (mm): 1445
Wheelbase (mm): 2647
3rd July, 2013