A small-capacity diesel variant means the V40 Cross Country is a little cheaper, super frugal and still very attractive
Volvo's likeable small hatchback, the svelte V40, was launched here last year in two versions, the hot-hatch R-Design model and the off-road-esque Cross Country edition.
Both packed 180bhp, 1.6-litre turbocharged gasoline engines, so a Category A V40 hasn't been on the cards until now, with the D2 version that has a modest 115bhp turbodiesel engine.
Like the T4 Cross Country, it's immediately recognisable , with the faux off-road accoutrements looking suitably rough and tumble. The test unit show here runs with the optional 19-inch wheels (17s are standard issue) and bicycle rack, although everything else, including the panoramic sunroof, is standard.
The V40 is obviously smaller than some of the other cars in its class, and the svelte looks have a price to be paid in terms of visibility, like the small rear window and swept back A-pillars, but it’s not crippling.
Making up for this is the lovely ambience of the cabin - this model bears a bronze-gold centre console trim. along with Volvo’s seven-inch infotainment system and TFT driver instrument display. The latter is still a stand-out feature in this class, and is sharp, easy-to-read, as well as customisable.
While the V40 actually has a slightly longer wheelbase than the Golf, at 2,646mm versus 2,637mm, it’s got decent legroom but not as much head space. The boot, at only 324-litres compared to the Golf’s 380-litres, but that’s also because it packs a spare wheel and dual-level loading feature.
But where the D2 really makes up ground over everyone else is in its frugal diesel nature. Quoted efficiency is a mere 4.1L/100km, and our test drive showed roughly 6.0L/100km, stretching up to a high of 6.8L/100km. On the car’s 52-litre tank of fuel, that’s 866km without topping up.
You’ll pay $1,322 in annual road tax because it’s a diesel, compared to $722 for a petrol equivalent. Given the quoted figures, a D2 does 4.1L/100km or 24.4km/L, while a T4 does 6.1L/100km or 16.4km/L. An average Singaporean drives 20,000km yearly, so doing the math: A D2 owner would need 820-litres of diesel, spending $1,332.50 on fuel, with diesel costing 1.625 per litre. In contrast, the T4 owner would need 1,219-litres of fuel, and spend $2,548.80 on fuel with 95 gasoline costing $2.09 per litre. In other words, high-mileage drivers will easily recoup the difference in additional road tax.
Of course, it being a Volvo, the other feature that'll let you go further is great safety. It's got a five-star NCAP rating, six airbags and City Safety, which is a system that'll stop you from having a low speed accident, automatically.
So if you’re concerned about cost-effectiveness, the D2 is perfect for those who have long commutes and is terribly efficient, especially in the long run. But the key draw of the D2 is the fact that it’s got the exact same look and equipment specs as its T4 brother, but is ten grand cheaper. That, at the end of the day, is the most attractive cost-benefit of all.
Volvo V40 Cross Country D2
NEED TO KNOW
Engine 1,561cc, 16V, turbodiesel, inline 4
Power 115bhp at 3,600rpm
Torque 270Nm at 1,750-2,500rpm
Gearbox 6-speed dual-clutch
Top Speed 190km/h
0-100km/h 12.1 seconds
Fuel efficiency 4.1L/100km
Price $170,000 with COE
Also Consider: Mazda 3 (tbc), Volkswagen Golf 1.2
For more information flip to the CarBuyer Guide