Error parsing XSLT file: \xslt\FacebookOpenGraph.xslt Our Fleet Test Drive: Volvo V40 - Final Report
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Our Fleet Test Drive: Volvo V40 - Final Report

Date: 28 January 2014   |   Author: Jack Carfrae

I've charted the rise of the premium lower medium sector plenty of times during the previous six months with the Volvo, but I'm quite happy to be accused of banging on about it because the V40 and its competitors are absolute fleet fodder.

Along with the latest Audi A3, Mercedes A-class and the slightly older BMW 1-series, this corner of the market ticks all the business boxes - these cars are small and clean enough to have exceptionally low running costs, the Volvo being the current class best at 88g/km (our model is the earlier but still very clean 94g/km version), while their smooth diesel engines with long gearing mean they're fit for liberal motorway use. They're small enough to do the downsizing thing from stereotypical  upper medium fleet cars but you can have them loaded with kit, and they're not so tiny that they let themselves down on the practicality front.

That last point has proved itself to be one of the Volvo's only pitfalls, though. None of the aforementioned rivals has anything above a moderate-to-average boot, the Audi A3 Sportback being the best at a middling 380 litres, but the Volvo is actually bottom of the pack at 335 litres [1], and I did find myself wishing for a bit more space on occasion.

Further up inside is where the car sells itself, though. It arguably has the rest of the class licked on refinement, and the cabin's elegant demeanour helps a lot. It genuinely is a lovely place to sit, with a swish, beautifully laid out interior [2]. Elements such as the rather pricey panoramic sunroof (a £1000 option) made it all the more fanciable, and the car redeems itself a little for the small boot slightly with a massive glovebox.

On the subject of options, I've mentioned before how keen I am on the £325 DAB digital radio [3], as I'm a fan of digital-only stations, and fleet operators should certainly consider it for the associated residual value benefits. When I first took the keys to the V40, the signal cut out quite frequently - something I have experienced with other but not all DAB units - but that seemed to cure itself after a few weeks, so I'm assuming it's just 'new system, teething trouble' kind of problem.

As a drivers' car, the Volvo left me a little cold but it does the quiet and comfortable thing much better than rivals such as the BMW 1-series. If the latter is what you're after, though, and you're the type of person that lives in their car and can appreciate a bit of style, then the V40 is a sound bet.

Volvo V40
Mileage 6704 miles
Claimed combined consumption 78.5mpg
Our average consumption 48.2mpg
Forecast CPM 51.5p
Actual CPM 55.1p
P11D price (without options) £25,015
Price range £19,995-£33,875
Depreciation cost £15,840
Fuel cost £4646
SMR cost £2610
VED £0
National Insurance £1484
Insurance £2880
C02 (tax) 94g/km (13%)
BIK?@?20/40% per month £54/£108


  • Wonderful cabin and cleanest in its class
  • Rivals are more enjoyable to drive