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Last 7 Days
  • Well equipped when it comes to safety features, stylish lines, elegant interior design, auto parking.
  • Jarring ride at times, safety systems involve flashing lights and loud noises that take time to get used to, telephone keypad in centre console looks daggy.

LIFESTYLE RATING
7.5 / 10



The Volvo brand has long been synonymous with safety, and that includes even its smallest car – the Volvo V40.

For a long time the Swedish carmaker has built its reputation on this foundation, not only through its marketing campaigns but also through innovative in-house research into safety technology.

In recent years Volvo has been working hard to add new dimensions to that perception – stylish looks, fun and sporty performance.

I’ve been handed the keys to the Volvo V40 T4 and it’s no surprise its suite of passive and active safety features is impressive.

The latest V40 was launched locally in March 2013, and it also marked the arrival of the world’s first pedestrian airbag, which comes as standard on all variations.

When activated, the pedestrian airbag explodes out of the bonnet. The bonnet pops up with the help of a pyrotechnic charge to reduce the risk of impact on hard areas like the engine, while the airbag covers the bottom third and sides of the windscreen in an attempt to minimise potential injuries from broken glass and the A-pillars.

Its effectiveness is yet to be tested on Australian roads, Volvo has confirmed the record stands at zero instances of deployment to date.  That’s a good thing, but it’s hard to tell if it’s due to the effectiveness of other safety features in avoiding pedestrian collisions, or just pure luck.

Volvo V40 Safety Video Review

Other key safety features include stability and traction control, ABS, active bending lights, collapsible steering column and whiplash protection, plus park pilot to take the stress out of squeezing into tight spots.

Volvo’s $5000 driver support package adds Adaptive Cruise Control, Collision warning with full auto brake, pedestrian and cyclist detection, lane departure warning, road sign information, forward collision warning, blind spot monitoring and cross traffic alert.

Cross traffic alert helps with reversing out of parking spots, if you have a van or a large car beside you blocking your line of sight, the sensors help extend your range of vision, letting you know if something’s coming.

It’s city safe automatic braking system kicks in to stop the car in an emergency, up to speeds of 50 km/h, the sensors also scan for pedestrians and cyclists. But how do you know what to expect if you do find yourself in that situation? We decided to put it to the test – take a look at the video here.

Admittedly cardboard isn’t the best material to demonstrate its effectiveness. The system works best with shiny and reflective surfaces (like other cars), but even though the test conditions were less than optimal, it still worked.

It’s designed to kick-in in desperate circumstances. If the driver is completely distracted, the car is capable of coming to a full stop. But if you hit the brake or accelerator, it thinks you’re in control and your response will override the system.

Volvo V40 Safety Video Review

On the occasions I touched the pedals, I careered straight through the pile of boxes. Up to a speed of around 25-30km/h, the car managed to pull up before crashing into the obstacle – but only if I refrained from taking evasive foot action – completely unnatural for any attentive driver.

Beyond that speed all it can do is try and mitigate the intensity of the impact. Once you get above the system’s range of around 50km/h, other safety features including the collision warning system take over.

The Volvo V40 is priced from $36,990 – read our full review here.


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VOLVO V40 BREAKDOWN

Volvo V40 Safety Video Review
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Volvo V40 Specs

T4 LUXURY : M : 2.0L TURBO MPFI - 6 SP AUTOMATIC - PREMIUM UNLEADED PETROL - 5D HATCHBACK
Car Details
Make
VOLVO
Model
V40
Variant
T4 LUXURY
Series
M
Year
2014
Body Type
5D HATCHBACK
Seats
5
Pricing
New Price
N/A
Private Sale
$29,590 - $33,630
Dealer Retail
$29,970 - $35,640
Dealer Trade
$23,000 - $26,900
Engine Specifications
Engine Type
TURBO MPFI
Engine Size
2.0L
Cylinders
TURBO 5
Max. Torque
240Nm @  1600rpm
Max. Power
132kW @  5700rpm
Pwr:Wgt Ratio
97.6W/kg
Bore & Stroke
79x81.4mm
Compression Ratio
10.5
Valve Gear
VARIABLE DOUBLE OVERHEAD CAM
Drivetrain Specifications
Transmission
6 SP AUTOMATIC
Drive Type
FRONT WHEEL DRIVE
Final Drive Ratio
0
Fuel Specifications
Fuel Type
PREMIUM UNLEADED PETROL
Fuel Tank Capacity
60Litres
Fuel Consumption (Combined)
7.6L / 100km
Weight & Measurement
Kerb Weight
1352
Gross Vehicle Weight
Not Provided
Height
1420mm
Length
4369mm
Width
1783mm
Ground Clearance
133mm
Towing Capacity
Brake:1500  Unbrake:750
Steering & Suspension
Steering Type
RACK & PINION - POWER ASSISTED
Turning Circle
11.2
Front Rim Size
7x17
Rear Rim Size
7x17
Front Tyres
205/55 R17
Rear Tyres
205/55 R17
Wheel Base
2647
Front Track
1546
Rear Track
1536
Front Brakes
DISC - VENTILATED
Rear Brakes
DISC
Front Suspension
MacPherson strut, Coil Spring, Gas damper, Anti roll bar
Rear Suspension
Multi-link system, Coil Spring, Gas damper, Anti roll bar
Standard Features
Comfort
Automatic Air Con / Climate Control, Power front seat Driver, Power front seat Passenger
Control & Handling
17 Inch Alloy Wheels, Electronic Brake Force Distribution, Traction Control System
Driver
Cruise Control, Parking Distance Control Rear, Power Steering, Satellite Navigation, Trip Computer
Entertainment
Radio CD with 8 Speakers
Exterior
Power Mirrors
Interior
Leather Upholstery, Power Windows
Safety
Dual Front Airbag Package, Anti-lock Braking, Head Airbags, Side Airbags, Seatbelts - Pre-tensioners Front Seats
Security
Central Locking Remote Control, Engine Immobiliser
Optional Features
Comfort
Heated Front Seats, Power Sunroof
Control & Handling
18 Inch Alloy Wheels, Sports Suspension
Entertainment
Premium Sound System
Exterior
Metallic Paint
Security
Alarm System/Remote Anti Theft
Other
Service Interval
12 months /  15,000 kms
Warranty
36 months /  999,000 kms
VIN Plate Location
Centre Eng Bay Scuttle
Country of Origin
Sweden