Volvo V40 Cross Country

Volvo have already taken the 4×4 world by storm with the highly popular XC range of SUVs. Now Volvo have taken some of the more successful elements incorporated into the XC SUVs and combined them with the styling of the V40 to create a fun, capable and versatile five-door hatchback: the Volvo V40 Cross Country.

The Volvo V40 Cross Country has been designed for people who want something a bit smaller than a full-on SUV but still want all the handling features. You might not be thrashing a Volvo V40 Cross Country up a river bed but if you want to get around down, go along a gravel road or two, head up to the ski field and whip the family down the beach and park on the grass, this is the car for you. I’ve seen (and lived in) homes in hill territory that have steep driveways that are a pain to negotiate without AWD – and I know that if you’ve ever had the embarrassment of having to be towed out of your own driveway thanks to a combination of slope and slipperiness, you never want to go through it again. People like these are the ones for whom the Volvo V40 Cross Country were created.

Features of the Volvo V40 Cross Country that give it that bit of something special begin with the driver aids – or perhaps you could call them active safety features. If I lived somewhere with a lot of steep terrain, the Volvo V40 Cross Country would certainly rate highly on my list, thanks to its hill descent control function, which works in with the AWD to keep everything moving along nicely, even if you’re negotiating a steep road in wet weather. Other things that make the Volvo V40 Cross Country extremely safe on the road include the dynamic stability and traction control with advanced stability control, the corner traction control system and the engine drag control. However, the designers at Volvo know that occasionally, people like to have a bit of fun on a back road and slide the odd corner – so Sport Mode is selectable in the Volvo V40 Cross Country, meaning that you can let the rear wheels slip a bit – as long as the super-smart Volvo V40 Cross Country detects that you’re using the steering wheel and accelerator the way you should.

However, one thing to bear in mind is that the diesel variant of the Volvo V40 Cross Country comes with front wheel drive rather than full-time AWD. Why they’ve done this, I don’t know. Maybe it’s because the diesel engine’s torque makes it less necessary.

Volvo have been known for making safe cars for a very long time, and the Volvo V40 Cross Country continues in this very sensible tradition. It’s so smart that it can do nearly everything except take itself down to the supermarket with a shopping list and buy the groceries for you. Let’s say that your typical daily drive will see you going through a mixture of traffic levels (heavy and light), where you’ll have to negotiate lane changes and queues at a range of speeds. The Volvo V40 Cross Country has heaps of driver aids to help you through every tricky situation where there’s potential for a crash. Some of these are options (which are well worth considering when you buy your Volvo V40 Cross Country) but others come as standard. Standard active safety features (apart from the traction control/stability control package) include:

Collision-sensing City Safety package that detects the relative speeds of you and the car in front and preps the brakes and makes them super-responsive to stop you rear-ending the guy/gal in front
Anti-locking brakes with hydraulic brake assist – and the ready alert brakes that work with the City Safety sensors.

  • Active bending lights for “seeing around corners”
  • LED day running lights – vital for dull grey days
  • Rear park assist

One of the more intriguing safety options in the Volvo V40 Cross Country is the “Road Sign Information” feature, which detects speed limit and “no passing” signs way ahead and display these on the dashboard for you, complete with a warning if you exceed the speed limit. It’s like having a co-pilot in your Volvo V40 Cross Country!

All of the information from the sensors can be displayed on the SENSUS colour screen, where you can monitor and adjust your settings quickly and easily.

Naturally, all the passive safety features you can think of are incorporated into the Volvo V40 Cross Country: airbags everywhere, anti-submarining seats, a whiplash protection system with active head restraints and side impact protection. One of those airbags is a pedestrian airbag. That’s right: if the Volvo V40 Cross Country detects that you have hit a pedestrian in spite of the sensors, it will activate an airbag to cover the front bumper and bonnet area, meaning that the unfortunate/scatterbrained pedestrian won’t be hurt too badly. This is a world first for Volvo and is one of the things that puts the Volvo V40 Cross Country ahead of rival five-door hatchbacks.

However, in spite of being super-safe, the Volvo V40 Cross Country is no slouch on the road. You have two engine choices in the Volvo V40 Cross Country: one petrol and one diesel, but they’ve both got plenty of what it takes. The 2.5-litre petrol-powered variant of the Volvo V40 Cross Country (the T5 AWD) is a five-cylinder turbo unit with start-stop technology, 187 kW of power at 5400 rpm and 360 Nm of torque in the 1800–4200 rpm. The 2.0 litre diesel engine variant (the D4) also has five cylinder and is a turbo unit with the start-stop technology, and its power peaks at 130 kW at 3500 while the torque peaks at 400 Nm in the 1750–2750 rpm range. Coupled up to the six-speed automatic transmission and driven in a mixture of open road and urban motoring, the diesel engine is the more frugal, managing to squeak by with 5.3 L/100 km while the petrol manages a pretty decent 8.4 L/100 km.

What else has the Volvo V40 Cross Country got to enjoy? Inside the cabin, the seats aren’t just set up to prevent submarining in the case of a crash; they’ve also been ergonomically designed to be lusciously comfortable. These seats can be heated as an option but most people will find that the electronic dual-zone climate control is enough to keep things at the right temperature. The Volvo V40 Cross Country has Bluetooth preparation, like most new cars these days, and a good navigation system as standard. Also standard is the multimedia sound system, which allows you to play music and watch DVDs (when the car is at a standstill – the Volvo V40 Cross Country isn’t stupid!), with everything coming out crystal clear on the seven speakers. One touch I particularly like is the way you can adjust the level of lighting inside your car to suit the exterior conditions. That’s if the panoramic sunroof doesn’t let in enough natural light for you already!

Last but not least, what does the Volvo V40 Cross Country look like? At first glance, it looks like a rather large five-door hatchback but a second glance reveals a touch more muscle – the extra bit of ground clearance is just the start. There’s something slightly aggressive about the front wheel arches as they flare out from underneath the lights. The design of the rear lights also add that touch of strength. One thing’s for certain: the exterior design team certainly didn’t go for a “boring safe family-friendly” brief: this is a car that everyone will want to drive. And as for the roof spoiler and the 18-inch alloy wheels… mmm!

The current Volvo V40 Cross Country models include the:

  • Volvo V40 Cross Country D4
  • Volvo V40 Cross Country T5 AWD

For any more information on the Volvo V40 Cross Country, or for that matter any other new car, contact one of our friendly consultants on 1300 303 181. If you’d like some fleet discount pricing (yes even for private buyers!), we can submit vehicle quotes requests out to our national network of Volvo dealers and come back with pricing within 24 hours. Private Fleet – car buying made easy!

Back to Volvo Car Reviews