Volvo Car Malaysia recently unveiled the new face of their hot hatch V40 by launching the V40 T5 Inscription. This revised V40 carries a new face, bringing this popular hatchback visually closer to Volvo’s new 90 Series cars.
The first statement we have to make concerns the lack of enthusiasm Malaysian premium hatchback buyers have for this V40. There seems to be a little stigma attached to owning a compact Volvo. Volvo SUV’s have no issues in the market place and they seem to be flying of the sales shelf. But this V40 tends to be under appreciated.
At its selling price of RM180,888.00, it delivers a 245bhp engine with a 0-100km/h acceleration time of just 6.3 seconds. This is on par with the more expensive Mercedes A-Class 250 with just 211bhp and a selling price of RM238,888 which is a clear RM58k more expensive. This is all about brand value……which Mercedes-Benz carries above Volvo. Also good news for Volvo dealers is the fact that Volkswagen in Malaysia has not taken an active interest to sell its very popular Golf GTI Mk7 which produces 220bhp allowing it to run from 0-100km/h in 6.5 seconds and was priced at RM208,000 at launch. Earlier this year a few units trickled into the market for RM235,888 and were sold out without any advertising (that shows its popularity).
Apple to Apple, the A-Class and Golf GTi deliver in performance, handling and safety almost equal to the Volvo V40 and this is why the V40 seems like a value buy, however the GTI has that sexy exhaust note and its classic hot hatch appeal and Mercedes is the gate keeper of prestige, which leaves Volvo to hold the ‘high on safety’ torch high above the competition.
Before the test drive review, what about the new look?
The most prominent feature of this new update is the new Inscription grille mesh cradling the new Volvo Iron Mark and the ‘Thor’s Hammer’ headlights which results in a confident new look. Other additions to the exterior look includes the new Inscription “rank mark” which was first introduced in the XC90. Inscription denotes the highest trim level (Kinetic, Momentum, and Inscription) within the Volvo product range.
What about the V40 cabin?
On the interior, Milled Aluminium replaces the Shimmer Graphite inlay and a new Inscription tread plate added. The new Volvo Iron Mark update will carry across the entire car including the steering wheel, Sensus display, and the key fob. There is no issue with quality and build and the V40 delivers in comfort for all passengers.
Volvo’s continuing leadership in interior air quality is highlighted in the V40 T5 Inscription with the inclusion of the CleanZone logo on instrument panel air vents. Volvo’s award-winning CleanZone technology ensures that outside air is effectively filtered before entering the cabin, removing harmful pollutants that are increasingly common in large urban areas. CleanZone technology reflects Volvo’s ongoing work to improve the in-car experience, covering incoming air, interior emissions and odours, interior surfaces and contact allergies.
Now comes the test drive
This V40 T5 Inscription still maintains its class-leading Drive-E powertrain which outputs 245hp and 350 Nm of torque which is managed by an 8-speed gearbox. This translates to an acceleration time of 6.3 seconds (0-100km/h). This V40 is designed to be an all day-to-night city traffic commuter and also robust enough for speed excursions. On our test drive we could feel that the steering was connected to us and with feel at every corner. We started on wet narrow roads and as we snaked up to a hill-top resort and drove along a highway, churning up kilometers like an excited teenager. What more could we ask for as we made the journey faster and faster. Yes, this V40 is entertainingly quick, agile around corners and quick overtaking is easily done when needed. But can it match the VW GTI hot-hatch appeal or the A-Class prestige? Well, it does come really close in both areas, but does not manage to take a lead. So, its down to price, availability and after sales, all very well provided for by Volvo Cars Malaysia.
Safety First With Volvo ……Always!
As always, the V40 T5 Inscription will also retain its segment-leading active safety system, City Safety – Volvo’s umbrella term for Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) or Collision Avoidance and Mitigation technologies.
Volvo V40 Decision
The V40 T5 Inscription is priced at RM180,888 (on-the-road without insurance, inclusive of 6% GST). Customers will also get to choose four exterior colours including a new colour for the V40: Ice White, Onxy Black, Osmium Grey, and Luminous Sand (new).
Volvo NEW V40 T5 Inscription Specifications
Engine: 4-cylinder Turbo
Power: 245bhp @ 5500rpm
Torque: 350Nm @ 1500-4800rpm
Transmission: 8-speed Semi-Auto
Top speed: 240km/h