Recognizing a Volvo model was so simple just a year ago. The first letter told as the car type; S for sedan, V (versatile) for wagon, C was a coupe and XC models had a bigger ground clearance. With the new V40, which came to market last summer, things changed a bit. The letter V still stands for versatile, but instead of a wagon, it is a five-door hatchback. Simple enough, no problem there, but this new V40 Cross Country is a bit more difficult case, if you want to put it in a certain vehicle segment.
If the name Cross Country sounds familiar, there has been a V70 Cross County model previously available. Presented in 1997, the Cross Country had a bigger ground clearance, all-wheel drive and more rugged exterior compared to the standard V70. It wasn’t an off-roader, but was clearly more capable than the standard V70. With the model update, the V70 Cross Country later became the XC70 as it is known today. So just by its name, the new V40 Cross Country sounds like an off-road version of the V40. It gives you the right direction, but it is a bit misleading. Cross Country has a higher ground clearance, but the difference to the V40 is actually quite small. Depending on the engine version and the wheel size, the difference at its smallest is just around 10 millimetres, or a half an inch. So the new Cross Country is something between a standard V40 and a XC40, if such a model would exist.
At first look the V40 and Cross Country might look very much the same, but there are some major differences between these two cars. While the V40 has almost completely body-coloured exterior, the new Cross Country comes with contrasting front and rear bumpers and side sills. In the Cross Country, there is also a bit different looking honeycomb mesh grille at the front. Other exterior details include the black mirror housings and roof rails. Cross Country also comes as standard with the bigger wheel size. The exterior styling can be upgraded with side scuff plates or rear diffuser and skid plate. The big panoramic sunroof is also available as an option. A really useful option in the winter weather is the heated front windscreen.
The engine lineup for the Cross Country is very similar to the V40. Petrol variants are T4 and T5. T4 comes with a 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine delivering 180 horsepower, while the T5 has a five-cylinder, 2.5-litre, 254 horsepower engine. On some markets, the T4 and T5 are powered by two-litre engines. Diesel choices are D2, D3 and D4. This D4 with a 2.0-litre, five-cylinder diesel engine is the most powerful diesel engine available for the Cross Country. It delivers 177 horsepower and 400 Newton metres of torque. In addition to the six-speed manual, the D4 is available with this six-speed automatic transmission.
The 2.0-litre diesel isn’t the sportiest choice for the V40, but with 400 Newton metres of torque available between 1750 and 2750rpm, it is very enjoyable to drive, and with the automatic transmission, it is also a very comfortable. With the D3, D4 diesel engines and with the T5 petrol variant, the automatic transmission is the traditional Geartronic, but the T4 is paired with the six-speed Powershift transmission when when ordered with the automatic. This Geartronic transmission works well with the diesel, and it also provides the possibility to change gears in the manual mode.
Only thing missing in the V40 Cross Country is the all wheel drive. The most powerful engine variant, the T5, comes with the AWD as standard, but all the other versions are only available with the front-wheel drive. Those moments when you really need the all wheel drive might be quite rare, but the AWD would give the Cross Country a lot more character, and it would also make a lot more sense to choose the Cross Country over the V40. Now the two cars seem to provide very similar features. And actually, the standard V40 looks better and at least in Finland, it is also a bit cheaper than the Cross Country. So if you constantly drive on gravel roads, the Cross Country might be a better choice, but otherwise it makes a lot more sense to choose the standard V40.
- 130 kW (177 hp) / 3500rpm
- 400 Nm / 1750-2750rpm
- 6-speed automatic
0-100km/h / 0-62mph
- 8.3 seconds
- 210 km/h
- 5.2 l/100km
- 137 g/km