Rivals are always worth a passing mention, but they’re quite pertinent in the V40’s premium lower medium sector in particular, mainly because it’s a new and growing segment with specific relevance to the corporate car market.

The Audi A3, BMW 1-series and Mercedes A-class are the three direct competitors that make up the sector, and Volvo has taken a bold step by offering potential customers the opportunity to test a V40 R-Design against a Mercedes A180 CDI.

It’s a retail measure, so don’t expect to see your local Volvo business specialist with a load of Mercs in tow when your contract’s up for renewal, but it’s an interesting and brave concept nonetheless and bears out how confident the Swedish firm is about the car.

So confident in fact, that it has offered to cover the first month’s payment for any retail punter who test drives both models and decides to buy the Mercedes.

I reiterate that this isn’t a scheme for fleets, but if nothing else, it’s enough to raise an eyebrow. I couldn’t help but giggle at the name of the programme too, which bears the headline: “Bored of German Techno? Try some Swedish Metal”.