The first example of the Volvo V40, the highest scoring medium-sized car in the Euro NCAP crash tests, has just emerged from the Which? Car test lab, where our team of experts uncovered fuel efficiency figures significantly short of those claimed by the carmaker.
The V40 we tested was the 115bhp 1.6-litre D2 turbodiesel, fitted with the six-speed manual gearbox.
It’s the greenest of the V40 range launched to-date, meaning an appealing package not only for private buyers but company car drivers too, with CO2 emission claims of 94g/km meaning free car tax and super-low BIK tax for the latter. And the touted 78.5mpg return should have meant affordable running for all consumers.
But our more realistic test – which, unlike the official EU test, includes warm and cold stars and motorway driving – produced a result of just 58.9mpg.
And it’s the same story with CO2 emissions, with a tested figure of 154g/km – that’s 60g/km higher than Volvo’s claim.
Volvo V40: safer than it is efficient
Our verdict on the Volvo V40 was by no means all bad, though.
In fact, the model scored the highest pedestrian safety rating of all time in our testing, thanks to it revolutionary bonnet airbag system.
The V40 is the first car to have a pedestrian airbag that deploys outside the bonnet in the event of a pedestrian collision (between 12-31mph). The airbag provides a cushion around the A-pillars, protecting the pedestrian from the pillars and windscreen.
This system was good enough to help the V40 also gain the highest Euro NCAP crash test rating for any medium-sized car.
Fuel economy figures you can trust
We’re disappointed that the Volvo V40 performed so poorly for economy and emissions. It fell shorter than most, but it’s certainly not alone in failing to match the official figures.
Even the most frugal car Which? has ever tested, the 83.1mpg Toyota Prius Plug-In, was a very long way off the EU tested figure of 134.1mpg.
This is where our car reviews can help – we test every car in real-world driving conditions, and in an environment and facility that makes each test comparable.
In our comprehensive full car reviews, we present our findings alongside the claimed figures, giving you the chance to weigh-up exactly what you’ll be spending on running costs compared with the manufacturer’s claims.