2014 Volvo V40 T5 video review

The 245bhp Swedish hot hatch you never thought about

By Shahzad Sheikh

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The number of people I meet that bemoan the lack of hot hatches on sale in the region need to stop and take stock for a moment. You have TWO hot Golfs, possibly a Veloster Turbo on the way, a Renault Clio RS coming soon we hope, the mental Merc A45 AMG, a pair of outlandish Opel OPCs, the beautiful 240bhp Alfa Romeo Giulietta QV and of course the throne-dwelling Focus ST.

Is that all of them? Possibly not, because here’s another – the 245bhp Volvo V40 T5. Yes, forget all that safe and sensible nonsense about Volvos, this is the one they made for the weekend. It’ll hit 100kph from rest in 6.4seconds and reach 240kph. The 258lb ft of torque is deployed through the front wheels through an 8-speed auto with paddle-shifts, and if you give it the full beans you’ll get short dose of delightful old-skool torque steer.

Video review

This is a Volvo where most of the binging and bonging from all the driver aids normally present in today’s Volvos are subdued and – within reason – it’ll let you go play your own way. Note it even has a proper handbrake rather than one of those electronic buttons (hello handbrake turns!).

2014 Volvo V40 T5 video review

 

There’s a decent boot, adequate space for two adults or three kids in the back of this five-door, comfy and supportive seats up front, a beautifully presented and finished dashboard with intuitive features and a customisable instrument display. There’s also decent kit like an 8-speaker entertainment system operated through a 7-inch screen, with cruise, trip, Bluetooth, climate and leather upholstery.

2014 Volvo V40 T5 video review

Being a Volvo it can’t completely ignore safety, so in addition to all the usual including ISOFIX child seat anchors and airbags (plus side curtain bags), there’s collision avoidance, whiplash protection for the front seats and traction control you can’t seem to turn off (correction – you can do it through the menu system on the centre infotainment monitor).

Fret not though, as this thing handles and grips as well as it goes, understeer is minimised, turn-in is eager and steering is reasonably feelsome and certainly accurate. Plus of course it looks fantastic, not overdone for a hot hatch, a little more subtle, but sleek and handsome. This blue would be my recommendation.

2014 Volvo V40 T5 video review

That is if I were to recommend you buy one, which I hesitate to do so. The car itself is brilliant and well worth adding to your shortlist, but you may well be put off by the asking price of AED139,900 (even though it includes 60,000km free servicing).  There is also a T4 version with a 180bhp 1.6 turbo for AED129,900.

Frankly if you can drive stick, then stick to the lighter Focus ST (a relative of the Volvo) which offers a more aggressive style and drive with just as much practicality for AED99,000. If you need an auto, go for the 220bhp VW GTI from AED118,00 or spend ten grand more than the V40 T5 and get the more powerful 280bhp Golf R for AED149,500.

UPDATE!!! March 2016

The price has been reduced to AED109,900  ($30k) – so now if you want a hot hatch with an automatic transmission, this is a very alluring proposition indeed!

2014 Volvo V40 T5 video review

2014 Volvo V40 T5 – The Specs

Price: AED139,900 ($38k) [UPDATE March 2016] Price dropped to AED109,900 ($30k)
Engine: 2.0-litre Turbo four-cyl, 245bhp @ 5500rpm, 258lb ft @ 1800-5000rpm
Performance: 0-100kph 6.4secs, 240kph, 5.9L/100km
Transmission: 8-speed auto, front-wheel drive
Weight: 1582kg

Let us know what you think of the Volvo V40 T5 below

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