Volvo V40 Cross Country Test Drive Review
Volvo V40 Cross Country – Click above for high resolution picture gallery

Volvo V40 Cross Country Review

Car Tested: 2013 Volvo V40 Cross Country D3

Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 34,30,010/-

Just like every Volvo, the V40 Cross Country has high amount of safety equipment.

After being showcased at the 2012 Paris Motor Show, Volvo’s latest offering, the V40 Cross Country has touched Indian shores. It is based on the V40 hatchback which was launched in the global market in 2012. In India, the V40 Cross Country is available only in one variant which is the top of the line D3, imported via the CBU route. This baby Volvo offers the convenience of a hatchback along with the ruggedness and high ground clearance of a crossover. It has been intelligently positioned in the market as it targets two segments, one the entry level luxury hatchback which has been spearheaded by the Mercedes A-Class and the other, the compact luxury SUV segment comprising of the BMW X1 and the Audi Q3. Can the Volvo V40 Cross Country with its contemporary design, exhaustive feature list and legendary safety equipment give the mighty Germans a run for their money? Let’s find out.

Volvo V40 Cross Country Test Drive Front Volvo V40 Cross Country Test Drive Rear

Exteriors – The Volvo V40 Cross Country has immense presence on the road. The designers have given it a sleek stance with a butch appearance, while retaining the traditional Volvo design philosophy. Basically, it is a spruced up hatchback measuring 4.37 metres in length, treated with matte black cladding all-around and 40 mm of added ground clearance to give it a crossover look. The front fascia is dominated by a large honeycomb black grille outlined with chrome. The swept back smoked headlamps stare aggressively at you. The front bumper gets smart cladding with integrated DRLs and a silver skid plate on the chin.

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The side profile of the V40 will give you a sense of its lengthy dimensions. There are two simple character lines on the side, which gives it a steady look. One breaks out neatly from the headlamps and rises up till the rear bulging tail lamps. Another line emerges from the front wheel arch and continues till the rear bumper, highlighting the black cladding alongside. The gloss black door mirrors and window frames along with the panoramic roof gives a neat contrast to the body. The international version of the Volvo V40 Cross Country gets side skid plates too, which is absent in the Indian version.

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The rear of the V40 Cross Country is very eye catchy, which evokes a second glance. The swoopy tail lamp cluster is the party piece of its exteriors, which defines the robust shoulders of this Volvo very well. The tailgate also gets gloss black treatment embossed with Volvo badging and the roof gets tipped with a chunky integrated spoiler. The bottom is finished in good mix of black cladding and silver skid plate with Cross Country badging engraved neatly. The dual exhausts finished in chrome adds to the sporty appeal.

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Interiors – Enter the Volvo V40 ‘s cabin and the interiors reflect the brand philosophy – ‘Designed Around You’. The extensive use of copper and beige colour tones hug you inside the cabin yet feel spacious and airy, thanks to the fixed large panoramic glass roof. The quality inside the cabin is top notch, everything feels built to last. Though the design of the dashboard is not as pleasing as its German rivals, it has some special elements like the floating centre console (a bit dated though), big TFT infotainment screen, dual tone finish and some chrome highlights. The steering features all the necessary controls and has well carved out contours making it comfortable to hold.

Volvo V40 Cross Country Panoramic Roof Volvo V40 Cross Country Tunnel Centre Console

The AC vents have wide range of air flow and cools the cabin quickly. Behind the floating tunnel centre console is a hollow space, where you can keep some knick knacks. Other stowage spaces include deep cooled glove box, front armrest with power socket, front cup holders with sliding lid, all four door pockets with bottle holders and neatly placed rear cup holders. The TFT infotainment system offers Bluetooth, single DVD player, USB and AUX connectivity producing rich sound via 8 speakers. The cabin comes equipped with several mood lighting colors and an illuminated gear knob, which looks cool at night.

Volvo V40 Cross Country Screen Volvo V40 Cross Country TFT Display

Instead of the conventional analogue metre on the instrument cluster, the Volvo V40 features an 8-inch TFT digital display, on which you can chose between three different themes. The Elegance theme shows up a graphical analogue style display with copper background. The ECO theme displays the same analogue style speedometer but with a blue background and an ECO guide to let you know about your driving style. We liked the Performance theme the most which goes all red and displays the RPM reading in the centre with digital speedometer and tells you how much power is available on tap.

Volvo V40 Cross Country Leg Room Volvo V40 Cross Country Boot Space

Volvo has thrown in a long list of safety and convenience features such as seven airbags, ABS, EBD, Traction Control, ESP, City Safety Technology (auto brakes up to 50 km/hr to avoid collision), Cruise Control, Park Assist System, Leather Seats with ventilation, Rear Parking Sensors with Camera, Keyless Entry and Push Button Start and so on. The front seats are extremely comfortable with good support and both are electrically adjustable. Seats at the rear are comfortable and supportive too with adequate knee room but there is a limited head room for tall passengers. The rear seats are best suited for two as there is a big hump in between and the centre feels hard with no support. The boot space is capacious, which can gobble up a couple of big suitcases with ease.

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Performance – Volvo offers the V40 Cross Country in both petrol and diesel versions globally but in India, the carmaker is offering the V40 Cross Country with a single diesel engine option, which is derived from the S60 and the XC60 but in a lower state of tune. The oil burner under the hood is an in-line 5-cylinder, 2.0-litre turbo diesel engine producing 150 BHP of power and 350 Nm of torque. Crank up the engine and it is easily noticeable on the outside as well as inside that it’s a diesel powered car. The engine is highly responsive, tap on the throttle and it collects quick momentum effortlessly.

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There is a negligible amount of turbo lag until 1500 RPM, post which the car shoots ahead instantly. Pulling power is such that there is some amount of torque steer and the V40 wheel spins too. 0-100 km/hr comes up in 9 seconds and the top speed limit is 205 km/hr. The lower end of the RPM range is good enough to amble around the city, whereas the mid-range is the strongest where all the fun lies. Redline comes in at 5000 RPM. Between 3500 RPM to the redline power delivery gets gentle but in all, the engine never feels out of power.

Volvo V40 Cross Country Road Test

At 100 km/hr in top gear, the RPM needle ticks over 1900 mark. The 5-cylinder motor feels refined but filters a throaty note inside the cabin when revving hard with a hint of turbo whistle. The V40 Cross Country is paired to a 6-speed automatic transmission that changes cogs well in time and can be controlled manually via the gearlever. Steering mounted paddle shifts are sorely missed on the V40. In the D mode, gears shift early and smooth for easy drivability in the city. Flick the gear lever to the left and it enters Sport mode which holds up the gears longer, keeping the engine on the boil. The manual mode gets engaged only when you flick the lever up (+) or down (-). Expect a mileage of 10-11 km/l in the city.

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Driving Dynamics – The Volvo V40 Cross Country is made on the modified Ford C1 platform with a front-wheel drive setup. It offers a sweet balance of ride and handling. On the move, the V40 feels sturdy at any speeds, soaking most of the bumps silently. It’s only when you hit a sharp and rough patch on the road, the suspension thud filters through. The suspension is on the stiffer side, which means high speed stability is commendable without any vertical or bouncy movement inside the cabin. Pushing the V40 to its limits is a delight, as it takes on corners orderly without losing track.

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When pushed too hard there is some understeer and a hint of body roll because of the increased ground clearance. The steering feedback is surprisingly good too. At low speeds it is light and firms up nicely at high speeds, giving a sense of confidence to tackle high speed cornering. Stopping power is worth appreciating, as there is no drama while shedding speeds and the pedal bite is good too. The Cross Country moniker is only used for visual appearance and the provision of skid plates shouldn’t be taken seriously to go off the road, as the V40 Cross Country is only a 2-wheel drive car and the ground clearance is still not up to off-roading standards.

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Verdict – The V40 Cross Country is Volvo’s most exciting offering yet in India. It may not enjoy the brand appeal of the BMW X1 or Audi Q3, but what it offers in terms of overall design, quality, features, performance and safety, it is right up there. It is definitely worth considering if you are not looking for a status symbol but want to own a capable yet fun to drive entry level luxury car. EuroNCAP has crowned the V40 as the safest new car they have ever tested which makes it the safest car on our roads. The pricing is definitely on the higher side but it comes with an unending list of equipment including first-in segment features, which does try to justify the higher amount you pay for this well rounded vehicle.

The Volvo V40 Cross Country is an all-round package with good list of equipment on offer. While the car is a bit expensive, it does offer a unique experience.

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What’s Cool

* Strong Performance
* Ride Quality
* Steering Feedback
* Long List Of Features

What’s Not So Cool

* Brand Appeal
* No Paddle Shifts
* CBU Pricing

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2013 Volvo V40 Cross Country Specifications

* Engine: 1984cc, 5-cylinder, twin scroll turbocharger
* Power: 150 HP @ 3500 RPM
* Torque: 350 Nm @ 1500-2750 RPM
* Transmission: 6-speed automatic
* Top Speed: 205 km/hr
* 0-100 km/hr: 9.3 seconds
* Fuel Consumption: 11 km/l (City)
* Fuel Type: Diesel
* Suspension: McPherson Struts (Front), Multi-Link (Rear)
* Tyres: 225/50/17
* Brakes: Ventilated Disc (Front), Disc (Rear)
* Safety: ABS, EBD, Traction Control, ESP, Park Assist System, Blind Spot Monitoring, 7 Airbags, City Safety

2013 Volvo V4o Cross Country Dimensions

* Overall length x width x height: 4370 mm X 1783 mm X 1458 mm
* Wheelbase: 2646 mm
* Front/Rear Track: 1552/1540 mm
* Turning Radius: 5.45-metres
* Ground clearance: 145 mm
* Boot Volume: 335-liters
* Fuel Tank Capacity: 60-litres
* Kerb Weight: 1578 kgs