The Garage – Volvo V40 T5 R-Design – CTL 42D

Why don’t more people consider a Volvo?  Perhaps you’ve never given it a second thought, so here’s a look at another great Volvo that should be on your shopping list if you’re in the market for a medium sized premium hatch.


Make: Volvo

Model: V40

Variant: T5 (R-Design)

Engine / Transmission: 1969cc four-cylinder 16 valve DOHC turbocharged petrol

Vital Stats: 180kW @ 5500rpm / 350Nm @ 1500-4800rpm

Volvo Claimed Fuel Economy: 6.1l / 100km

EFTM Claimed Fuel Economy: 7.8 / 100km

RRP: $50,400

Price as tested $58,425*



Wow Factor: Apart from the striking Volvo blue surrounding our review vehicle and the good-looking style of recent Volvo models, this little beauty packs a nice bit of punch when required, but trotters around as an every-day drive with complete ease. It’s also full of tech to keep you safe on the road, with a focus on the road for the driver


Most Impressive: I struggle to get past the outstanding driver assistance package that Volvo has, and I long for the day that it is standard in not only all Volvos, but all vehicles.  We’re talking about adaptive cruise control that is easy to use and intelligent when on the open road meaning the intervention of the system is completely natural



Least Impressive: It’s pretty hard to fault this vehicle, if you’re in the market for a car of this size, it’s critical to be a consideration for ride and options – perhaps the need to spend more cash to get the best driver assists is a disappointment, and if we’re getting really picky the boot space seems deep by not quite “tall” so it does seem to lack space – but that’s a stretch


Early Verdict: I think the only reason Volvo don’t sell more cars in Australia is they don’t have the massive dealer networks of Ford, Holden and Toyota among others, if more people test drove a Volvo, I am sure more would buy – that’s the simple thing I remember every time I get behind the wheel of these Swedish beauties, I recommend you do too.


[schema type=”review” rev_name=”Volvo V40 T5 R-Design” rev_body=”Stunning design, great handling and performance for the average driver plus a bit, and tech-features the envy of most cars” author=”Trevor Long” pubdate=”2015-03-08″ user_review=”4.2″ min_review=”0″ max_review=”5″ ]



  1. Ken McNaughton

    March 10, 2015 at 11:39 am

    I couldn’t agree more Trevor!! I have owned my 2015 complied V40 T5 R-Design in Black Sapphire Metallic (Couldn’t quite come at the Rebel Blue… Though the boss liked it 🙂 for a month now & it never fails to put a smile on my dial even just driving to the shops for milk 🙂 Out on the open road with all the driver aids from the $5000 Driver Support Pack (In all honesty… A bargain for what it delivers) working in unison, it is just a joy to drive. The seats are sublime & capable of many km’s without forcing a break from the road to iron out the kinks. It offers plenty of grunt from pretty much any revs for overtaking and if the mood strikes you, a tap across into Sport mode to engage the paddles & it becomes a very brisk but well tied down lounge chair indeed. I too am dumbfounded that more people don’t opt for the V40 over it’s clinically great but oh so boring German rivals. An A250 Sport or an A3 kitted out with the same tech this car offers would cost many thousands of dollars more… I just cannot understand why so many people are prepared to throw that money away for what I can only assume is the badge on their bonnets. Keep talking the V40 up Trevor & hopefully you can help more people into a better car 🙂

  2. Michael Hughes

    August 19, 2015 at 9:43 am

    I think it’s going to take time for Volvo to shake off their boxy safety at all costs image (“bloody Volvo drivers” we used to say). I can see in this car that they are. Like in the rear quarter panels there would be a huge blind spot. Why they put in those tiny windows behind the rear doors is beyond me. And the position of the ignition: the swaying and scratching against the dashboard of my other keys attached would distract and annoy me to an accident, no doubt. So good on you Volvo.

  3. Michael Hughes

    August 19, 2015 at 9:54 am

    And don’t get me started on the infinite buttons on the steering whee and dash especially the inaccessible ones in front of the gear leaver. That’s all I can say until I (won’t) get behind the wheel.

  4. Ken McNaughton

    August 19, 2015 at 12:56 pm

    I can only recommend you test drive one as it’s only after spending some time in the car as Trevor has suggested that you can truly appreciate it.

    The key fob is only needed in the slot to start the car as each fob stores the owners settings for the drivers powered seat position, choice of TFT dash selection & stored radio stations. As soon as the car is started the fob can go back in your pocket. Effectively a much better system than having the weight of your keys hanging & swinging from an ignition barrel. Fully keyless entry and/or start are available as options.

    I accept that the R-Design rear visibilty is not the best in class but is mitigated by an excellent & standard rear view camera with guidelines linked to steering wheel inputs as well as rear sensors that provide both visual & audible feedback. The Driver Support Pack further mitigates any visiblity shortcomings with highly effective all weather radar based blind spot monitoring & cross traffic alerting when reversing from a parking space.

    You are one of the few people including professional car reviewers I have ever heard complain about steering wheel mounted controls being anything other than a vast improvement over having to take your eyes off the road to make adjustments via a centre console.
    While I certainly wouldn’t say Volvo’s centre stack approach is perfect all of it’s functions can be completed via either the wheel controls or Volvo’s very effective and accurate voice command system. Literally 10 minutes spent completing the built in voice training module once allows the car to zero in on the drivers voice inflections & reduces the error rate to virtually negligible.

    Lastly… I love it when one of the gazillion Golf GTI or Audi A3 owners see the T5 R-Design as an easy mark.
    The impression they are generally left with… Is my rear number plate 🙂
    Drive one… You might even be impressed enough to buy one after years of bagging Volvo… Just like I used to!!

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