24 Jun 2013

Volvo V40 T5 - the mid-loan slightly more thoughts article

Volvo V40 T5
Volvo V40 T5 with an abbey growing out of it
I've been running a Volvo V40 T5 for 5 days now and have developed a number of thoughts about it, almost all positive.  I don't normally read other reviews of cars I'm going to post my own review on but this time I have - and can hardly believe the testers have driven the same car.

The V40 T5 has been a revelation.  For a £31,000, 251bhp hot hatch it's an absolute hoot - albeit one that's a practical, sensible car when not being driven 'like you hate it' (© @BuddaPSL).  The steering is sharp, the engine is strong and the way it delivers power is linear and feels almost unstoppable.

The interior is plush, the way everything is arranged inside is an ergonomic masterpiece, the stereo (and the way it integrates with my iPhone) is marvellous.  And it looks good.  My wife even said so.

Yet all the reviews I've read have not been able to talk about the V40 T5 without whinging about it.  They don't like the price, the gearbox, the lack of thrills, the fact it doesn't stack up next to the Renaultsport Megane 265 or the Focus RS.  I've even read that the V40's diesel engines are better than the T5.

Complete and utter balderdash, rot and codswallop.

The Volvo V40 T5 is an excellent car.  In recent weeks I've driven quite a few 400bhp+ grand tourers and sports cars but I don't think any are as fun to drive or as fast in real world conditions as the Volvo.  The chassis is so compliant, the delivery so smooth, the steering so sharp it could outrun most out and out sports cars on a twisty back road because you can get the power down quickly without fear of ending up backwards in the nearest hedge.

Yes I did have a small gripe about the lack of flappy paddles but otherwise I've yet to find fault with the  car.  In short - it's pretty awesome and good value.  I'd buy one in a shot.

Think about it this way.  The Volvo V40 T5 is a hot hatch for people aged over 30, who don't to be associated with the image of an all-out hot hatch.  For people who want a genuine, performance Q-car.

I've got the Volvo for a few more days and will post a full review soon after it goes back.

My wife says it looks good and she's always right
The V40 warns not only of where objects are but how far away they are.  Note excellent music