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This isn't Volvo's attempt at a small off-roader. In fact, it's a jacked-up V40 with slightly increased ride height that sits closely alongside the core regular hatchback as a more butch alternative to the premium lower medium norm.
Only the top-spec and 194g/km-emitting T5 254hp petrol version actually gets all-wheel drive at present. The others - the Cross Country is available with the full engine range apart from the entry petrol T3 - are all front-wheel propelled.
For £1000 over an equivalent
V40 hatchback, the Cross Country adds a ride height raised by 40mm, new colour-contrasting bumpers, upright daytime running lights, honeycomb mesh grille and a restyled rear end.
The Cross Country certainly feels taller. That's a positive as far as the driving position is concerned, but there is a degree more body roll due to the higher centre of gravity. However, that's only noticeable when the weight transfers, such as when negotiating roundabouts, so it's not a problem, although it makes the car feel a touch more like an SUV than a hatchback. Efficiency is slightly impacted by the modifications, but this D2 model is still impressively under 100g/km, although 5g/km and 4.2mpg behind the D2 hatchback.
Volvo thinks the Cross Country models will account for 1000 of the V40 line-up's 14,000 registrations in 2013, with the car's fleet case helped by RVs of 40.5% for the D2 SE driven here that's expected to be the most popular iteration.
The Cross Country is distinctive in the V40 range, and has a £2 or £5 per month impact on BIK, which rises to £6 or £12 with April's tax changes. The residuals are also 0.7% lower than the regular hatchback, which means a whole-life cost that's 2.8p per mile higher. But for those wanting the extra style and distinction offered by the Cross Country alternative, it's still efficient, clean and cost-effective.
Volvo V40 Cross Country 1.6 D2 115 SE
Model price range
Service, maintenance and repair
Vehicle Excise Duty
Cost per mile
BIK 20/40% per month
Boot space min/max
The Cross Country is attractive and unique in the sector.