Futuristic. Young. Chic. Not the words people will normally associate with a Volvo, and the new V40 is going to be Volvo’s best attempt to successfully change that. Launched earlier this morning right in the middle of Mid Valley Megamall, Volvo Malaysia no doubt wants their latest creation to be the center of attention for both media and the public.
Volvo Malaysia will be offering the new V40 with two engine flavours to choose from. Like its name suggest, the V40 T4 will be powered by a 4-cylinder, 1.6 liter turbocharged petrol engine producing 180 hp. While the top-end V40 T5 is powered by a 5-cylinder, 2.0 liter turbocharged petrol engine producing 213 hp. Both will cost RM173,888 and RM188,888 respectively…
Please click below to read more about the all-new V40!
Interestingly, Volvo Malaysia will also be offering the new V40 in Cross Country form. This means it gets a touch of ruggedness to its look. A slightly higher ride height, roof rails, and all-round black bumper cladding will not make it an instant off-roader (still front-wheel-drive), but the different front bumper and overall more aggressive exterior might be more appealing to some. I personally do prefer the Cross Country look.
The V40 Cross Country will be the flagship V40 model and can only come with the more powerful T5 engine option. Price? Just dipping below the 200k mark at RM198,888. Yes, the Cross Country is around 10k dearer than the V40 T5, but think of it as an alternative to the R-Design body kit (which is not available here) and it seems like decent value. Plus, you can feel like you’re doing your 10k justice every time you drive your higher Cross Country over the occasional puddle or tall speed hump. Just don’t hit the curb with those 17-inch gloss black rims.
The interior is a lovely place to be. Sporty is definitely the main theme here, Volvo’s signature “flowing” center console looks gorgeous, frameless rear-view-mirror is exquisite, standard electrically-adjustable leather seats looks great and feels supportive, and that futuristic fully-digital gauge which can be customize steals the show for the driver, a.k.a looks awesome but may be distracting. Need to drive one to be sure though.
Another good news is that you can find a proper mechanical brake lever instead of the ever-popular-in-continental-cars electric parking brake which works with just a disconcerting press of a button in order to save interior space. Not so good however, is the over-styled LED-lit gear lever. Allow me to explain…
The lettering are difficult to read under normal daylight, plus the mirror-like finish again reflects the engraved lettering and further confuses or just plain reflects the sunlight directly to the eye. I’m sure owners will get used to it, but first timers will surely need time to acclimatize. But who am I to complain? I’m sure the gear lever looks great at night with its LED lighting. Form over function at its best. But seriously though, I will take a normal gear lever any day.
The only way I can describe the rear cabin is with the word ‘cosy’. The seats are pretty comfy and leg room is decent as you can slip your feet under the front seats. However, the thick C-pillars and even smaller rear windscreen may not be a problem for me as a passenger, but can be slightly claustrophobic to some and might pose as a visibility issue for drivers to reverse the car during parking. As I see it, two tall rear passengers will pretty much cover the tiny rear windscreen.
The issue of its potentially claustrophobic interior can easily be solved with a panoramic sunroof, but unfortunately that will not be an option for Malaysian-spec V40s. The same goes for the V40’s pioneering pedestrian airbag.
The main reason for omitting these options for our V40s is simply because it will bring the price way above the 200k mark if these options were included. Introducing Volvo’s latest entry-level model with a price above 200k is not a first impression Volvo Malaysia desire to make. Rest assured, Volvo Malaysia will consider including these options in the future if the V40 is well-received.
At the end of the day, I genuinely find the new V40 very appealing. Yes, practicality-wise it can be slightly compromised but to be fair, the A-Class (V40’s closest rival here) has similar practicality issues as well, and yet the V40 cost significantly less whilst being more powerful and come with more standard equipment. And when this attractive package comes from the Swedish maker of the world’s safest car, it just might be a winner in its class.