Weekend hatchback fun with Volvo

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Charlie Cooksey test drives the Volvo V40 Cross Country for a weekend

For many years Volvo was a brand that didn’t excite me much and it was only until recently, the last couple of years, that the Volvo brand has really grown on me and become a product I admire. I was lucky to have been invited by Volvo and flown over to Milan in Italy to check out their new state-of-the-art Design Studio and the launch of the XC40. It was on this trip that I learnt the quality of the engineering and safety of the product, and by spending some time and talking to the Volvo experts – I learned how incredible the brand is. And of course, driving the XC40 through the beautiful Italian countryside is also compelling!

Motorcity, the Volvo Bahrain dealership, recently invited us for a local test-drive for the Volvo V40 Cross Country and they were generous enough to let me have it for a long weekend, that way you can see how the car works with your lifestyle. I’m a fan of a hatchback, so was keen to see how this compares with the other premium hatchbacks in the market. The V40 Cross Country shares much with its sibling the V40, but with the added styling and rugged looks of an all-roader. First impressions were good when I saw it sparkling clean outside the showroom – it’s got a unique, sleek design and looks like a slightly stretched hatchback, it certainly looks ‘Volvo’. The 5 door premium hatchback offers a comfortable and spacious cabin… I’m 6ft 2 so should if it’s spacious for me it’s usually spacious for most!

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The V40 is designed around you as the driver – everything works smoothly including the connectivity, distance cruise control, fuel-saving stop/start which is hardly noticeable and a huge amount of impressive safety features. Two other factors that are important to me with any car is acceleration and sound system – those two boxes are well and truly ticked with a smile. I was so impressed at how this car takes off, especially when it’s slipped into sport mode. An example, on the Friday morning (when roads are empty) I was out with a friend who drives a Grand Cherokee SRT which packs a 6.4L engine with 475 horsepower, I was able to put up a good fight with him and at times he was trying to keep up with me.
I did find the visibility to be difficult at times when trying to check blind spot, reversing etc however this didn’t turn out to be a huge issue since the safety features were so incredibly responsive and reverse camera was crystal clear. Overall, we loved the car and it’s great for the roads of Bahrain. Easy to park, excellent space for a hatch back, quick, stylish and fun to drive. When comparing it to the competitor premium hatchbacks – the value for money is exceptional.

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For more information or to book a test drive, visit Motorcity showrooms in Sitra or call 17736222 or visit www.motorcity.com.bh

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