THE VOLVO V40 Cross Country is aimed straight at those who like the idea of a Volvo with a sense of adventure. It’s based on the Volvo V40 Cross Country small family car, but with extra body cladding to give it a more rugged appearance, and some additional ground clearance, should that sense of adventure include heading off-road.
The engine range mirrors that of the Volvo V40 Cross Country, so starts with the 113bhp 1.6-litre turbodiesel that emits just 99g/km of CO2, and extends up to a 250bhp fivecylinder, 2.5-litre petrol, which also comes with four-wheel drive.
We drove the D2 version with its 1.6-litre diesel engine. The engine pulls strongly enough once the turbo has awoken at around 1900rpm, but runs out of puff again at only 3500rpm. However, use the notchy six-speed gearbox to keep the revs in this area and it’s possible to make reasonable progress. The engine is smooth enough, too, but a little vocal; on the motorway, the Volvo V40 Cross Country also generates far too much road noise.
The Volvo V40 Cross Country rides firmly, but without the harsh edge that conventional V40s have. The steering is light and easy at parking speeds, but up the pace and the steering is devoid of feedback, which makes placing the car more difficult than it need be. The Cross Country is identical inside to the Volvo V40 Cross Country hatchback, so has an interior that’s a cut above its rivals for style. It all feels well built from good-quality materials, too.
The seats are comfortable, and the front occupants get a reasonable amount of space. However, move into the rear and headroom is short. Boot space trails that of rivals, too. The Volvo V40 Cross Country costs exactly £1000 more than the equivalent V40 hatch. However, the D2 emits just 99g/km of CO2, which puts it in the 13% band for company car tax. It will also do an average of 74.3mpg.