Stylish, practical, economical, refined, even classy… so much of the job here is done. Prick the surface and the V40 still bleeds the blue and yellow of Volvo’s idiosyncratic personality.

The D3’s interior is well conceived and at the premium end of durable. It canters to a five-pot bassline, hustles along with unswerving dependability and is as safe as the Riksbanken.

Nic Cackett

Nic Cackett

Road tester
A significant step forward for Volvo, but not for the class as a whole

To the faithful, then, the V40 will push all the right buttons. But for the atypical Audi and BMW buyer, already distracted by a modish new Mercedes A-Class, it’s tricky to argue that Volvo has provided enough of a reason to contemplate a switch of allegiance.

Especially since the Sport pack, a likely popular addition for that demographic, trims some of the much-needed absorbent fat from the hatchback’s figure.

Nevertheless, jettison that option, ignore the occasional lack of vigour and the V40 certainly rewards closer inspection.

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