Two weeks ago, we had the privilege of owning the Volvo V40 Cross Country T4 for a weekend drive and it is an experience that we will probably remember for a long time. For simplicity sake, we will be referring to the Volvo V40 Cross Country T4 as V40 Cross Country.
As we attempt to cover our 3 Days 2 Nights experience with the V40 Cross Country in one single blog entry, be prepared for tons of pictures!
The Volvo Car Showroom @ Alexandra Road
We went over to the Volvo Car Showroom at Alexandra Road to pick up the V40 Cross Country and we were greeted by its lively and cosy ambience. Honestly, the Volvo Car Showroom is somewhat like a mini car museum where there are many interesting facts about driving that many drivers are probably unaware of.
There is this particular area at the Volvo Car Showroom that allows you to find out how much you really weigh in a car collision.
I tried it for myself and if I were to be involved in a car collision at 55km/h, my weight would be a hefty 3740kg!
There’s also other activities that you can try out and one of them is to find out how it feels like to be sitting in a child safety seat.
Apart from these mini activities, children can be kept entertained with a play area that is specially built for them.
For the art enthusiasts, there’s an Art Gallery at the Volvo Car Showroom.
And for the shopaholics, the Volvo Car Showroom has a small retail space that sells a wide range of accessories, apparels, and gifts.
If you just want to sit down and have a cup of good ol’ coffee, the Volvo Car Showroom has a cafe that serves some light pastries and hot/cold beverages.
We spotted the iconic Volvo P1800 car at the Volvo Car Showroom and it is considered by many to be the best-looking and the most well-known Volvo car that was built in 1961.
Volvo was really meticulous to ensure that we had everything we needed to have an all-rounded driving experience. Even parking coupons and a cashcard was provided to us for our usage.
Volvo was also very personalised in their approach and we were given a Moleskine notebook which we could use to record our driving experience with the V40 Cross Country.
So off we go in the V40 Cross Country!
Exterior Design of the V40 Cross Country
Many people tend to have the notion that Volvo cars are old-fashioned and “boxy”, and we couldn’t agree more. However, when we were invited to take the V40 Cross Country out for a spin over the weekends, our perceptions of Volvo cars changed entirely and in case you’re wondering if all Volvo cars still look that old-fashioned and “boxy”, you might want to know that Volvo has recently given their range of cars an entirely new facelift!
From the front, the V40 Cross Country has the looks of an executive sedan car and coupled with the distinctive honeycomb mesh grille, it gives the V40 Cross Country a rather sporty and adventurous outlook.
From its side profile, the V40 Cross Country is actually a hatchback car and you could see that the sports rims complements the body colour of the V40 Cross Country pretty well.
The back profile of the V40 Cross Country has an even sportier appearance and we really like its rugged design.
Overall, the design of the V40 Cross Country is one that is elegant and refined but yet at the same time, stylish and sporty. With an extrovert and expressive character, the V40 Cross Country promises the open-minded adventurer a great driving experience.
Interior Design of the V40 Cross Country
The interior of the V40 Cross Country is extremely spacious and comfortable. Here’s an overall view of the interior at the front.
Ergonomically designed front seats.
The driver’s seat has a memory function where you can input and store your preferred seating posture.
The illuminated gear knob creates a dramatic mood that harmonises perfectly with the centre console illumination. This is quite evident at night when the car’s lighting system is switched on.
It is quite interesting to note that the car handbrake is actually at the side of the front passenger seat.
The Start Stop Engine Push Button and A Key Slot for the Car Key.
Volvo Sensus, the New Personalised Interactive Dashboard that brings the interaction between car and driver into a new dimension. It expresses emotional functionality and it always display the most important information in any given situation right in front of the driver.
All the functions on the dashboard can be operated from the steering wheel.
The multimedia system onboard the V40 Cross Country is equipped with a function that allows music streaming using Bluetooth technology and Volvo is actually the only automobile brand to offer Bluetooth music streaming throughout their entire vehicle range.
The control panel for the air-conditioning, radio, telephone, and other features of the car.
Perfectly crafted, the interior is also packed with tons of storage spaces for various items.
The armrest can be adjusted to provide extra support for the driver.
Two cup-holders and a 12V power outlet are integrated in the console in front of the armrest.
Below the armrest is a storage compartment suitable for CDs and other small items. It also features a connector for either USB/iPod or AUX, depending on the audio system specified.
The glove compartment includes space for two soft-drinks cans or bottles that can be kept cool with the cold air from the Electronic Climate Control system. This is one feature that we find really cool because when the weather is sweltering hot, a can of chilled soft drink certainly comes in handy.
A sunglass compartment above the driver’s door.
Just how huge is the boot space available?
Its so huge that I can even fit into it! To make it even more spacious, the rear seat backrest and the front passenger seat can be easily folded to accommodate larger items.
Some other convenient features that can be found in the interior of the V40 Cross Country include…
An integrated cup holder in the rear passengers seat.
Sunshades with a mirror and lighting system.
The exterior of the fixed panoramic glass roof fits neatly against the top edge of the windscreen, giving the impression of one large glass panel to create a sporty coupe style look. As the tinted roof reduces infrared radiation entering the cabin, it allows the interior to maintain a comfortable temperature even on the sunniest days.
The rear passenger seats are extremely spacious and it offers quite a fair bit of legroom.
So how was our driving experience with the V40 Cross Country?
Three words, “Adventurous But Safe!”
Driving Performance and Safety Features of the V40 Cross Country
What’s under the hood of the V40 Cross Country?
Under the hood of the V40 Cross Country is a 180 bhp engine that offers 270 Nm of torque, including a 30 Nm overboost. As the torque curve is relatively gentle, the driving experience is rather comfortable. Even when we floored the accelerator pedal, the V40 Cross Country picks up speed gently in a relatively short time. The 1.6-litre GTDi engine: T4 with 180 bhp is also fitted with a start-stop and braking energy regeneration system, and that helps the car to be more fuel-efficient.
A friend of ours once said this and we quote him, “Volvo cars are the safest on the planet!” We couldn’t agree more. The V40 Cross Country is packed with tons of high-tech safety features that makes it the most intelligent and safe car in the segment.
Some of the standard safety features include Lane Keeping Aid, Driver Alert Control, Road Sign Information and City Safety.
Lane Keeping Aid
Studies show that many accidents take place in non-critical traffic situations and good weather conditions due to driver distraction, drowsiness or illness. Approximately 30 percent of all accidents in Volvo Cars’ statistical accident database are accidents with an initial road departure. About 75 percent of these occur on roads with speed limits of 70 km/h or more.
The Lane Keeping Aid in the Volvo V40 Cross Country helps the driver stay in the intended lane. The system is active at speeds between 65 km/h and 200 km/h. The forward-looking camera monitors the left and right lane markings. Lane Keeping Aid registers the car’s progress between the lane markings and takes action if the driver shows signs of unintentionally drifting out of the lane.
As a first step, Lane Keeping Aid applies gentle steering wheel torque to help the driver steer back onto the intended course. If the car leaves the lane, the technology generates a distinctive warning through a haptic vibration in the steering wheel.
Road Sign Information
Road Sign Information supports the driver by displaying road signs in the instrument display. The forward-looking camera can detect speed limit signs as well as “no overtaking” signs. The road sign icon is shown until another sign is detected.
Road Sign Information can be combined with the Speed Alert function, which provides the driver with a visual warning in the speedometer if the speed limit is exceeded.
Driver Alert Control
Driver Alert Control is designed to detect and warn tired drivers. The system can also cover other situations where the driver is distracted.
Driver Alert Control consists of a camera, a number of sensors and a control unit. The camera continuously measures the distance between the car and the road lane markings. The sensors register the car’s movements. The control unit stores the information and calculates whether the driver risks losing control of the vehicle.
If the risk is assessed as high, the driver is alerted via an audible signal. A text message appears in the car’s information display, displaying a coffee cup symbol to advise him or her to take a break.
The V40 Cross Country is the first Volvo that features an upgraded City Safety system. This system is now active at speeds up to 50 km/h as compared to its previous 30 km/h.
City Safety keeps an eye on traffic in front with the help of a laser sensor that is integrated into the top of the windscreen at the height of the rear-view mirror. The car automatically brakes if the driver fails to react in time when the vehicle in front slows down or stops, or if the car is approaching a stationary vehicle too fast.
The collision can be avoided if the relative speed difference between the two vehicles is below 15 km/h. If the speed difference is between 15 and 50 km/h, the speed of impact is reduced to minimise the effects of the collision.
Active High Beam
The new Active High Beam technology in the Volvo V40 Cross Country helps the driver utilise high beam more efficiently. It also offers automatic switching between high and low beam at the right moment. The technology uses a forward facing camera together with sophisticated image processing to offer the driver the best possible visibility at night.
The camera monitors other vehicles and their headlamps and tail lamps. Advanced image processing software analyses this data and provides information about the position and direction of other vehicles. The calculation serves as the basis for automatic switching between low and high beam.
Well, the V40 Cross Country is really packed with other safety features as well and because it might be slightly difficult to understand some of the technical terms that are mentioned here, we actually embedded some videos from Youtube that are more or less related to the safety features that are available on the V40 Cross Country.
A last video that we will be showing you will be the crash test of the Volvo V40.
V is for Volvo.
Volvo is Super!
Truly, our weekend driving experience with the V40 Cross Country was nothing short of a wholesome experience and we will also like to thank Volvo Singapore for giving us this really rare opportunity to take the V40 Cross Country out for a spin. We also want to thank Smith Leong from one9ninety for engaging us and we really appreciate the warm hospitality.
We will end this really long blog entry with a meaningful quote from Assar Gabrielsson and Gustav Larson, Founders of Volvo.
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