I’m going to start this article with the honest statement that the Volvo V40 has literally caught my eye – and held it – since the first time I laid eyes on it. Thanks to its distinctive look, I have been fascinated by it since its launch. With a reputation of note, the V40 is tipped as the “safest hatchback on the road” and everything I have learned about the vehicle, seems to prove that this is true.
Volvo East Rand is fortunate to have Madelein Kruger, long-time Marketing Manager serving the brand. Not only does Madelein dedicate herself to Volvo, but she also provides her skills and expertise to fellow performance vehicle brands Jaguar and Land Rover, and is my go-to when it comes to premium brand vehicles. Known for her charisma and innate ability to relate to people, Madelein is a product specialist, perfectly placed in the industry to promote such brilliant brands.
One of the first thing’s I learned in the motoring industry, is that safety is a big thing. As a mom, and a wife, I find myself always checking safety statistics and ratings on vehicles, and as such, I discovered early on in my career that Volvo seems to have this aspect of motoring design mastered. Since the start of their manufacturing era, Volvo has prioritised safety and have been instrumental in both the design and standardisation of important safety features such as safety-belts. With this still a priority, the V40 must clearly be something special, if it has earned such a reputation.
I mentioned the distinctive look of the vehicle: a unique black-inlaid boot is stylish and fresh, and the characteristic Volvo lines and nose seem to have been sharpened and freshened in a very classy way that still clearly identifies this athletic hatchback as undoubtedly “Volvo”. The nose and bonnet of the V40 resembles the classy Volvo sedan, but the cheeky, modern rear has really changed the game quite a bit, making the vehicle lean towards the younger market too.
A subtle facelift to the V40 recently has upgraded the hatchback to an even sexier package. With an interior that is classic Swedish luxury, the V40 is unparalleled in it’s class when it comes to refinement and quality finishes. The steering wheel is wrapped in leather, as is pretty much everything else around you in the cockpit. I particularly love the City Weave upholstery choice which is a combination of leather and a stunning tweed-like fabric which is not only unique but elegant on a whole new level.
With a sense of being wrapped in lavish comfort, the interior is beautiful to say the least. Although – as one could expect from a Hatchback – the cabin is not as roomy and spacious as a sedan, sitting in the driver’s seat is glorious and comfortable, by far one of the nicest Hatchbacks I have ever sat in. The one negative (and I had to scrutinise quite hard to find one) is the less-than spacious boot, which can take only the basic groceries and bags, but is mitigated by the fact that you can pack smaller items in a handy stowage area beneath the mat.
When it comes to technology and features, the V40 is jam-packed. The infotainment system is modern, user-friendly and comprehensive, and there is a nifty little keypad for punching in phone numbers that resonates with my vintage-side. With a user-friendly feel, these features are easily activated whilst driving, and the technology on-board is quite substantial (which, if I start listing it, usually results in me getting my abbreviations tongue-twisted). With a full-house of safety features, this Volvo has earned the highest safety ratings available, and as such, really speaks to me as a family woman, who prioritises the safety and wellbeing of my family.
Released in numerous derivatives, the V40 Cross Country is now also available on South African roads and is an interesting variant of this amazing Hatchback. Available in both petrol and diesel engines, with various derivatives as such, the V40 is worth checking out. With all the class and style required of a Premium Hatchback, the V40 is also superbly safe, making for an ideal family car that also doubles as a sporty, sublime vehicle for young executives. Volvo’s incredible reputation lives on!
Journalist: Desh Bechan
Reporter: Inge Stols
Editor: Belinda Anderson
By Desh Pillay Bechan