Used Volvo V40 2012-2019 review

Volvo V40
The all-rounder that Volvo used to woo people away from premium brands can now be had from just £3k

Amazon, P1800, 960, 850 T5-R… Sweden knows how to make a cult hero. But with the Volvo V40, the firm could have been accused of mislaying the recipe, even though the Cross Country version did make an appearance in cult TV detective series Midsomer Murders.Okay, you’re not convinced, but get this: today, the V40 has a surprisingly large and loyal following among those who, we assume, are attracted by its sleek looks, deep quality and, crucially, unshowy – read: ‘not German’ – heritage.On that last point, why else would someone forgo the superior driving experience and practicality of something such as the Audi A3 Sportback? Price, perhaps?True, a V40 is slightly cheaper by around £1000 and comes with a little bit more kit. In these costly times that might swing it, but we prefer to imagine Volvo’s less assertive image is responsible, too.The V40 had a job on its hands when it landed a little over 10 years ago. Under the stewardship of new company owner Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, Volvo was finding its feet.Bosses wanted the V40 to make its mark on the premium end of the family hatchback market. Being based on the Ford Focus was a good start, and until 2015 the V40 also shared that model’s petrol and diesel engines, including, in the T5 version, the five-cylinder 2.5 from the Focus ST.From 2015, Volvo began fitting its own engines. The T5, for example, gained a new, 2.0-litre four-pot, albeit one still making around the same 245bhp.Ensuring the V40 had all the bases covered was the aforementioned crossover version, the V40 Cross Country. Riding 40mm higher and tted with decorative body mouldings, it looked the part but is no off-roader.Only the T5 version got four-wheel drive. It’s easy to mock crossovers like it, but just look how much positive attention a Volkswagen Polo Dune or even a Rover Streetwise attracts today.A 2016 facelift brought a redesigned grille, Volvo’s new ‘Thor’-shaped daytime-running lights from the XC90 and some new wheel styles and colours, but the tweaks weren’t enough to keep much-improved rivals, the A3 and the Mercedes A-Class, off its back, and it did solid but quiet business until production ceased in 2019.The popular the V40 was with private as well as company buyers is that there are almost as many used petrols on the market as there are diesels. Hurry and you might just be able to bag a used V40 under Volvo’s Selekt approved used programme (for cars up to ve years old).At the time of writing, it also included two years’ free servicing and warranty cover. As a sensible Jaguar X-Type- and Rover 75-driving copper, that’s something of which Midsomer Murders’ Tom Barnaby would certainly approve.Volvo V40 2012-2019 common problemsEngine: Poor running and increased fuel consumption on the 2.0-litre D4 diesel may point to a faulty EGR valve. Servicing is every 18,000 miles or 12 months, with the exception of the D2, which is 12,500 miles/12 months. All engines have a timing belt that requires scheduled changing.Transmission: Some later six-speed manual ’boxes exhibited clutch issues. Also, listen out for the clutch pedal creaking. The earlier Ford Powershift autos attract criticism (for hesitant changes), but not so the later Aisin ’box. Suspension and wheels: The lacquer on diamond-cut alloys fitted to R-Design models is prone to peeling and is expensive to put right.Brakes: In common with most cars, fluid changes are every two years. Check they have been carried out.Body: Rear door locks can be troublesome on pre-2015 cars. Electric mirrors can refuse to fold. Like many cars, the paint chips easily. LED headlights from 2016 are a big improvement.Interior: Listen for rattles from the centre console; dealers have a fix. Rear visibility isn’t great, so be sure the car has rear parking sensors or a camera.
Source: Autocar

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