The Swedish executive hatch is back with more space, more tech and quite frankly better looks. It’s quirky, offers a world first pedestrian airbag along with tempting pricing. After sampling a diesel version in Sweden recently, in the EFTM Garage this week is the Volvo V40 T4 Luxury hatch.

photo 2 (19)

photo 3 (18)Make: Volvo

Model: V40

Variant: T4 Luxury

Engine / Transmission: 2.0-litre five-cylinder turbo petrol engine / 6-speed Adaptive Geartronic with Neutral Control and Sports Mode

Vital Stats: 132kW@5,000 rpm / 300Nm @2,700 – 4000rpm

Volvo Claimed Fuel Economy: 7.6l / 100km

EFTM Claimed Fuel Economy: 10.1l / 100km

MRRP Price: From $34,990, as tested $53,115 (Plus on roads)

Options Fitted: Driver Support Pack, metallic paint.

Wow Factor: Clever and unique interior design, one of the most elaborate digital instrument clusters you’re ever likely to see. Features a world first pedestrian airbag hidden under the bonnet. The V40 also offers probably the world’s longest list of acronyms to describe the numerous safety systems.

photo 4 (15)

Most Impressive: The Driver Support pack includes some great tech. Blind Spot Information System (BLISS) and Cross Traffic Alert, Driver Alert System (Road Sign Information and Lane Keeping Aid), Adaptive Cruise Control with Collision Warning and Full Auto Brake plus Park Assist Pilot.

photo 1 (22)

Least Impressive: The Collision Warning System involves a red warning lamp which reflects onto the windscreen, it glows more intensely if you tailgate. It’s annoying and goes off like a poker machine jackpot when it sense danger. As far as the drive itself goes, the V40 is not as dynamically engaging as the big German three offerings, slow for my liking.

photo 2 (20)

Early Verdict: Different with interesting design and admirable safety tech, but ultimately not a driver’s car.