The fiercely contested premium lower medium sector, which includes BMW‘s 1-series and Audi‘s A3, is to see a new combatant in the shape of the Volvo V40.

Based on an extended Volvo C30 platform and to be unveiled at the Geneva motor show, the V40 consolidates the Swedish brand’s range re-alignment with both mainstream and premium rivals in terms of model category size.

Volvo is ending production of the S40 saloon and V50 estate, meaning the five-door V40 will become the firm’s biggest-selling fleet car, with the Driv-e 1.6-litre diesel variant, which has a CO2 figure of 94g/km, having the most appeal.

All V40s feature stop/start technology and braking energy re-generation on both manual or automatic transmission models, while an upgraded City Safety low-speed collision-intervention system operates at speeds up to 31mph, and not 19mph as on other current Volvo models.

Stefan Jacoby, Volvo’s chief executive, said the use of high-tech features, including pedestrian detection, guaranteed the V40 would “give our toughest competitors a headache”.

The car goes on sale in the UK from August. Prices are likely to be between just below £20,000 to around £28,000.

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