The Volvo V40 Cross Country is one of those rare cars that fits you like a glove – or at least that’s how I found it.
Comfortable, classy, poised, powerful and very frugal, it’s the most rugged version of Volvo’s mid-sized hatchback.
If nothing else, I guess this demonstrates how subjective car reviewing can be. Not everyone agrees. All I can do is to tell it as it is. For me, the V40 Cross Country ticks a lot of boxes.
The Cross Country looks different to its more humble, but still sharply styled, stablemate.
It has a higher ride height, roof rails and skids plates front and rear, plus chunkier sills giving it the look of a small off-roader.
Inside the Cross Country is much the same as other V40s, which is no bad thing. This is a cabin that’s a very pleasant place to be. Cleverly designed with supportive seats, it oozes quality and boasts a list of tech and safety features as long as your arm.
I tested the D4 Geartronic Lux Nav which was loaded with even more optional extras including the £1,900 Driver Support Pack which includes Adaptive Cruise Control, Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection, Lane Keeping Aid and Road Sign Recognition Display, amongst others.
There was also the £2,000 Xenium Pack with a Rear Park Assist Camera and Park Assist Pilot no less.
And as with the more basic trim levels, there’s a 7-inch touchscreen, complete with Bluetooth, CD/audio player, sat nav and full smartphone connectivity.
Other extras included keyless entry and start (£550), rear dark tinted windows (£1,300), gear shift paddles (£150) and a Flexible Load Floor with Grocery Bag Holder (£100).
In other words, the V40 Cross Country starts at a reasonable £23,320, with my Lux Nav version coming in at £28,770. However, with all the other options the price hits a hefty £39,565. And that’s a shame because the Cross Country is a very good car.
The 2.0-litre turbo diesel develops a healthy 187bhp all channelled through to the front wheels via a slick eight-speed automatic gearbox.
And not many family hatchbacks can manage 0-62mph in 7.3 seconds and a top speed of 130mph, combined with a claimed 65.7mpg whilst emitting just 112 g/km of CO2. Well, 65.7mpg might be a bit of a challenge, but I got 50mpg fairly easily.
You can choose between Elegance, Eco and Performance driving mode settings. Eco probably suits the car best and makes sense financially, while Performance gives it a
little more urgency.
The V40 Cross Country is rewarding to drive too. Despite its extra ride height, it handles well. Whether you’re cruising on the motorway, tackling tricky country roads or tootling around town, it takes it all in its stride.
I’m sure it can cope a little better than the standard car on rougher roads, but Volvo isn’t pretending that it’s a genuine off-roader. For that, you’ll need to fork out for the top-of-the-range Cross Country with AWD.
Inside there’s plenty of space, though taller adults may find the headroom limited at the rear and rear visibility isn’t the best thanks the car’s high waist and small windows at the back.
There’s 324 litres of load space available in the boot, which is enough for most, but less than say a VW Golf. There are also lots of storage spaces in the cabin, and of course, those comfortable seats and good driving position are a joy.
If anything the centre console is a little OTT with too many dials and buttons, while setting the sat nav is fiddly to say the least.
At the end of my week in the company of the V40 CC I was genuinely sad to see it go. It had been something of a revelation. It’s just a shame all those goodies bump up the price so much.
Summary: The Volvo V40 Cross Country D4 Geartronic Lux Nav is a safe, practical, comfortable, economical family hatchback with distinctive styling and a quality feel.