The latest in my series of “Alt-Saab” entries belongs to the new Volvo V40.
The car is launching in Australia right now and pricing starts from a pretty competitive (and sub-Saab 9-3) price of $34,990 plus ORC.
For that, you get a reasonably breathless 84kW (113hp) four-cylinder turbo BUT…. it’s a diesel, so it’s got great mileage and importantly, 270Nm of pulling power to make driving it a lot more pleasurable than the power rating would suggest. There’s also a five-cylinder diesel for $5K more, as well as two petrol engines: a 132kW 2.0 turbo four and the range-topping 2.5 litre five-cylinder R-Design, with 187kW (250hp) for $50,000.
Those engines sit under the hood of a car with nice styling, decent equipment levels and as always, great ergonomics and safety. And speaking of the V40 hood, it’s the first in the world to be equipped with a pedestrian airbag!
Cue Dudley Moore: Volvo – built to protect Volvo drivers from other Volvo drivers 🙂
The V40 appears to be a bit smaller than most Saab fans would like. It’s got the all-important rear hatch/door but you’ll need the folding rear seats for bigger items as there doesn’t look to be too much room behind them.
The equipment list is long and only gets longer the more you go up the model tree. Both generic and Volvo-centric terminology abounds depending on which one you choose:
Stop-start technology and regenerative braking.
Electrical Power Assist Steering (links with other safety aids)
Lane Keeping Aid
Park Assist Pilot
Upgraded stability and traction control
Blind Spot Information System (new, using radar)
Pedestrian Detection System
Driver Alert System (incl Lane Keeping Aid, Road Side Information and Active High Beam)
Active Bending Lights
…..and all of that’s leaving out the interior trimmings and gadgets like ambient lighting, eight-speaker stereo, standard 5-inch TFT screen (upgrade to 7-inch available), LED DRL’s, parking sensors and automatic wipers.
Go further up the tree for leather, electric seats, reversing camera, etc.
The V40 has smart styling, a well designed interior, good engine options (esp in diesel markets) and I’ll look forward to actual road tests here in Australia to read how it drives. If it’s anything like recent Volvos I’ve driven then it’ll be stable and well sorted, if not thoroughly engaging.
Given that, the question remains for current/former Saab owners – would it make your list?