New headlights one of most impressive features of the midlife upgrade of Volvo V40

The Volvo V40.
The Volvo V40.

By Gerry Murphy

There is a lot to like about the improved Volvo V40, and all over Europe it is the car maker’s best- selling car. Most of the changes are cosmetic, although there are some changes that give you a better sense of safety and economy.

Central to the external changes are new headlights that are exceptionally bright and make driving at night all the better for that. It is a rival for others like the Audi A3 and the BMW 1-Series, and is a good-looking alternative to the popular German brands.

These new ‘Thor’s Hammer’ LED headlights are outstanding, probably as good as I have come across in recent times, and visually, they give the car a new confident look along with a new grille, a front end that is shared with the company’s new 90 Series cars.

Internally, my Inscription trim test-car was packed with additional luxury leather, a stylish cabin, and a host of technical goodies that makes for a modern car with a premium attitude. Some of the switch gear is a bit small, but you do get used to them after a short while behind the wheel.

Getting into the car at first gives you the impression that it is a little tight but, the more you drive it, the more the car comes to you, and after a while, you eventually get a sufficient sense of agility and driving sharpness.

It is built on an old Ford Focus chassis, a positive point when it comes to handling and cornering. There is also a decent amount of feedback through the pedals and the steering, and while the steering wheel itself is a tad bigger than I would like, the accuracy and the cutting edge is all but right up there with the opposition.

Space on the inside is rather compact. Rear passengers room – two adults would be comfortable – is tight enough, although it must be said, it is not unduly challenged by others in it class. Perhaps the Audi is roomier, but the BMW is offers something similar.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.