Browse over 9,000 car reviews

Sorry, there are no cars that match your search

You are here

Volvo V40 2018 review

Volvo's outgoing V40 may be getting long in the tooth, but it represents a simpler, perhaps even better time in car design.
EXPERT RATING
7.5
I miss my old phone. Sure, my new phone has a bigger screen and it’s smarter and faster, but my previous phone was smaller and easier to use, and now when I go to do a screen shot I accidentally hit the volume button every time.  What I really want in a phone is a new version of the old one – and I have a feeling

I miss my old phone. Sure, my new phone has a bigger screen and it’s smarter and faster, but my previous phone was smaller and easier to use, and now when I go to do a screen shot I accidentally hit the volume button every time. 

What I really want in a phone is a new version of the old one – and I have a feeling people may feel the same way about the 2018 Volvo V40

Some time next year the completely new generation V40 is expected to arrive and there will be some things I’ll miss about the old one. So, this really is your last chance to buy a new ‘old’ Volvo V40.

In a last-hurrah review, I road tested the V40 in the Inscription grade with the T4 petrol engine. What’s so 'missable' about it? Read on to find out.

Volvo V40 2018: T4 INSCRIPTION
Safety rating
Engine Type2.0L turbo
Fuel TypePremium Unleaded Petrol
Fuel Efficiency5.6L/100km
Seating5 seats
Price from$31,460

Is there anything interesting about its design?   8/10

The V40 has been around forever (well, since 2012) but somehow it still looks great – it’s the Nicole Kidman/Rob Lowe of cars.

The thing is Volvo’s new-generation vehicles now have a different look, which will be worn by the next V40, and that seriously dates the current car.

Sure, in 2016 this V40 was updated and given 'Thor’s Hammer' LED running lights like the new-gen cars, but it’s clear the V40 has the old look.

  • Volvo's outgoing V40 may be getting long in the tooth, but it represents a simpler, perhaps even better time in car design. (image credit: Richard Berry) Volvo's outgoing V40 may be getting long in the tooth, but it represents a simpler, perhaps even better time in car design. (image credit: Richard Berry)
  • Some time next year the completely new generation V40 is expected to arrive and there will be some things I’ll miss about the old one. (image credit: Richard Berry) Some time next year the completely new generation V40 is expected to arrive and there will be some things I’ll miss about the old one. (image credit: Richard Berry)
  • The Volvo V40 in the mid-range Inscription grade with the T4 engine lists for $43,990. (image credit: Richard Berry) The Volvo V40 in the mid-range Inscription grade with the T4 engine lists for $43,990. (image credit: Richard Berry)

The question is: are you the type of person who would be annoyed if this time next year somebody in the latest ‘new-look’ V40 pulled up beside you at the lights. If yes, then stop reading now… we’ll just wait a moment for you to leave.

Okay, it’s just us now. We don’t need those shallow people anyway, right? They don’t know what they’re missing out on – like an interior with lots of buttons. I’m serious the centre console actually has a numerical key pad for making phone calls. There are also lots of dials for the climate control and seat warmers and for the auto parking system.

All of these buttons will be replaced by a sexy, large touchscreen in the new V40, which will make the screen in the current one look like the slot in Ned Kelly’s helmet. Wait, don’t leave. See, I’ve road tested the new X60 and I missed just flinging a dial to make the cabin’s temperature cooler, instead I had to go into the screen’s menu, find the climate functions, and then slide my finger down a little digital ladder until I found 21 degrees. It’s a frustrating design and potentially distracting in that it takes your eyes off the road longer than twisting a dial does.

  • The T4 Inscription comes with 17-inch 'Sarpas' alloy wheels. (image credit: Richard Berry) The T4 Inscription comes with 17-inch 'Sarpas' alloy wheels. (image credit: Richard Berry)
  • Volvo’s new-generation vehicles now have a different look, which will be worn by the next V40, and that seriously dates the current car. (image credit: Richard Berry) Volvo’s new-generation vehicles now have a different look, which will be worn by the next V40, and that seriously dates the current car. (image credit: Richard Berry)
  • Compared to the Audi A3 Sportback, the V40 is 59mm longer, 72mm wider, and 5mm shorter. (image credit: Richard Berry) Compared to the Audi A3 Sportback, the V40 is 59mm longer, 72mm wider, and 5mm shorter. (image credit: Richard Berry)

I’ll stop the rant. So, yes, the interior of the new V40 will look so sleek and minimalist, decluttered of its buttons and sporting a large vertical screen, but there are functional advantages to keeping it simple.

That said the current V40’s cabin is still special and elegant. The Inscription grade brings milled aluminium trim to the centre console and that leather steering wheel. Volvo owners would be aware of that solid, well-built feeling with a high-quality fit and finish.

What are the V40’s dimensions? Compared to the Audi A3 Sportback the V40 is 59mm longer at 4369mm end-to-end, 72mm wider at 1857mm across, and 5mm shorter in height at 1420mm.

How practical is the space inside?   6/10

Umm, next question. Okay, the V40 is not very practical. Those small rear doors don’t open wide, making entry and exit potentially difficult for older or less limber folks.

Legroom in the back is limited – although at 191cm I can just sit behind my driving position and headroom is getting tight, too – but still there’s just enough room for me.

  • That windscreen is so slanted that the A-pillars are hard to dodge for taller people when trying to get in. (image credit: Richard Berry) That windscreen is so slanted that the A-pillars are hard to dodge for taller people when trying to get in. (image credit: Richard Berry)
  • Legroom in the back is limited - although at 191cm I can just sit behind my driving position. (image credit: Richard Berry) Legroom in the back is limited - although at 191cm I can just sit behind my driving position. (image credit: Richard Berry)
  • Those small rear doors don’t open wide, making entry and exit potentially difficult for older or less limber folks. (image credit: Richard Berry) Those small rear doors don’t open wide, making entry and exit potentially difficult for older or less limber folks. (image credit: Richard Berry)

The V40’s cargo capacity is 335 litres and that’s smaller than the A3 Sportback’s boot space (380 litres) and the BMW 1 Series’s luggage capacity (360 litres). The aperture of the boot itself is also small.

There’s even a practicality issue with the driver’s doorway – that windscreen is so slanted that the A-pillars either side of it are hard to dodge for taller people when trying to get in, but especially when climbing out.

Does it represent good value for the price? What features does it come with?   8/10

The Volvo V40 in the mid-range Inscription grade with the T4 engine lists for $43,990. When I road tested it for the first time five years ago (in 2013) it was $45,990, and it’s a better car now than it was then, with more standard features.

The list includes a 7.0-inch touchscreen with reversing camera, sat nav, eight-speaker sound system with CD/DVD player, digital radio, and internet connectivity – but no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto

Also standard are front and rear parking sensors, an auto parking system, plus power adjustable driver and front passenger seats. There’s also leather upholstery, leather-trimmed steering wheel, dual-zone climate control, 17-inch 'Sarpas' alloy wheels and proximity key entry.

  • The Inscription grade brings milled aluminium trim to the centre console and that leather steering wheel. (image credit: Richard Berry) The Inscription grade brings milled aluminium trim to the centre console and that leather steering wheel. (image credit: Richard Berry)
  • There's a 7.0-inch touchscreen with reversing camera, sat nav, digital radio, and internet connectivity – but no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. (image credit: Richard Berry) There's a 7.0-inch touchscreen with reversing camera, sat nav, digital radio, and internet connectivity – but no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. (image credit: Richard Berry)
  • All of these buttons will be replaced by a sexy, large touchscreen in the new V40. (image credit: Richard Berry) All of these buttons will be replaced by a sexy, large touchscreen in the new V40. (image credit: Richard Berry)

The safety equipment list is impressive, too – you can read all about what’s looking after you in the safety section below.

If you wanted a model comparison, then also look at the BMW 1 Series 18i M-Sport for $43,890 or the Audi A3 Sportback 2.0TFSI for $46,400 or Mercedes-Benz A200 for $44,300.

Also, don’t forget that because the current V40 is due to be replaced, dealers will be keen to move their stock to make way for the new one and that means you should be able to get yourself a bargain.

What are the key stats for the engine and transmission?   8/10

The V40 line-up has three petrol engines to pick from and the T4 sits right in the middle between the most powerful T5 and the least grunty T3. A 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol engine the T4 makes 140kW/300Nm and delivers it through a smooth six-speed automatic.

The T4's power figure isn’t huge, but 300Nm of torque provides decent shove. (image credit: Richard Berry) The T4's power figure isn’t huge, but 300Nm of torque provides decent shove. (image credit: Richard Berry)

That engine is up there with my favourite things about the V40 Inscription. The power figure isn’t huge but 300Nm of torque provides decent shove. A 0-100km/h time of 6.9 seconds isn’t at all slow.

How much fuel does it consume?   7/10

Volvo says the V40 should use 5.6L/100km of premium unleaded fuel over a combination of open and urban roads.

If you’re only going to stick to urban areas you’ll see higher usage – our trip computer was reporting an average of 14.9L/100km on a regular peak hour commute, but motorways drop the figure to about 8.0L/100km.

What's it like to drive?   7/10

That grunty 2.0-litre engine teamed with that smooth six-speed transmission goes a long way to making the V40 Inscription T4 an enjoyable car to drive.

The V40 is an easy-to-drive package that’s only really let down by heavy steering and slightly noisy suspension. (image credit: Richard Berry) The V40 is an easy-to-drive package that’s only really let down by heavy steering and slightly noisy suspension. (image credit: Richard Berry)

Good handling and a fairly comfortable ride complete a prestige and easy-to-drive package that’s only really let down by heavy steering and slightly noisy suspension. That heavily sloped windscreen does present some visibility issues, but it’s not a deal breaker.

Warranty & Safety Rating

Basic Warranty

3 years / unlimited km warranty

What safety equipment is fitted? What safety rating?   9/10

First tested in 2012, the V40 the achieved one of the highest-ever scores awarded by EuroNCAP and saw ANCAP give it the maximum five-star rating in Australia. Back then the V40 came standard with advanced safety equipment only making it onto cars these days such as AEB, it also had the world’s first pedestrian airbag, which inflates to protect people from hitting the A-pillars and windscreen.

The 2017 update added blind-spot warning as standard on the Inscription grade. A $1300 option package brings Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keeping Aid, Active High Beam Control, Forward Collision Warning and Road Sign Information. A $3000 package brings adaptive cruise control, collision warning with full auto braking, plus pedestrian and cyclist detection.

ABS, EBD, traction and stability control are of course there to step in should you need it, too. You’ll find three top tether and two ISOFIX points in the second row for child seats. A space-saver spare is under the boot floor.

What does it cost to own? What warranty is offered?   7/10

The V40 Inscription is covered by Volvo’s three-year/unlimited kilometre warranty. Volvo has two capped-price servicing programs – the $1600 Smartcare for three years and the $2950 Smartcare Plus for five years.

Verdict

I’m going to miss this V40 like I do my old phone, and for many people this hatch really could really be close to perfect: excellent safety equipment, enjoyable to drive, cool prestige styling and some lo-fi buttons and dials that are far easier to use than swiping a screen. This is your last chance to own an old, new V40.

Would you wait for the new V40 to arrive or would you prefer the current version? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

Pricing Guides

$35,640
Based on third party pricing data
Lowest Price
$26,510
Highest Price
$44,770

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
D2 MOMENTUM 2.0L, Diesel, 6 SP AUTO $28,600 – 34,430 2018 VOLVO V40 2018 D2 MOMENTUM Pricing and Specs
D4 INSCRIPTION 2.0L, Diesel, 8 SP AUTO $33,220 – 39,600 2018 VOLVO V40 2018 D4 INSCRIPTION Pricing and Specs
T3 MOMENTUM 1.5L, PULP, 6 SP AUTO $26,510 – 32,780 2018 VOLVO V40 2018 T3 MOMENTUM Pricing and Specs
T4 INSCRIPTION 2.0L, PULP, 6 SP AUTO $31,460 – 37,950 2018 VOLVO V40 2018 T4 INSCRIPTION Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
7.5
Design8
Practicality6
Price and features8
Engine & trans8
Fuel consumption7
Driving7
Safety9
Ownership7
Richard Berry
Senior Journalist

Share