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Lady Cordelia testdrives… the Volvo V40 R-Design

Posted by Laura April 13, 2014


Naughty… but still nice

I’m understandably feeling very relaxed today as I head off to Donalds in Ipswich to test drive the Volvo V40 R-Design. Volvo has always been synonymous with safety and this model is no exception – the V40 is the safest car ever tested. Fact.

It’s not a surprise that Volvo have delivered a premium five-door hatch to match the stiff competition. Less expected is the sporty character, such a long way from some models I remember from the past. This is a rather sexy-looking Volvo, even the bonnet has been kept low and sporty thanks to the trick addition of a pedestrian airbag. Slightly chunkier bumpers, 17-inch alloys and a silk metal finish around the grille improves the already stylish V40. And looking across all the specifications in the model range, there’s no faulting the fuel economy – this 1.6 D2 does an impressive 78.5mpg.

I wondered what cousin Hermione would think? No real excuse was needed, so we collected the car from Donalds in West End Road and whooshed off to the golf club.

The interior has a welcoming layout but also one of quality. The seats are exquisitely comfortable and there are neat design touches such as a frameless rear-view mirror. We parked up at the golf club with space for both us and today’s kit, thanks to the decent boot space – a Volvo ‘must-have’. I looked back to admire the lines and had to double-check the badge. Yes, this really is a Volvo! Agile and fun to drive, but still with a feeling of security on the road.

Even though it’s one of the smaller cars in the Volvo range, it is unmistakably solidly built, oozes quality from its form down to the practicality. Scandinavian design is evident throughout and separates this hatchback from the pack – it is refreshing to see a car these days which stands out from the current run of obscure boxes.

Hermione was most delighted with the derrière of course! For her, the success of the overall look is down to the eye-catching dual chrome tailpipes. I, on the other hand, was most impressed with the Lane Keeping Aid with DAC (Driver Alert Control) which my Donalds Ipswich Volvo dealer highly recommended… perhaps after witnessing Hermione let loose in the golf buggy!


V40 R-Design Fact File

Mpg: 53.3mpg (combined)

0-62mph: 11.9 seconds

OTR price: £23,040
Comfort: *****

Economy: *****

X Factor: ****

Verdict: A car with no apparent flaws!