Facelift brings Thor’s Hammer headlamps to Volvo’s smallest wagon

The Volvo V40 came to be in 1995, as a wagon version of the then-new S40, which replaced the 440/460 series. The name was retired in 2004, when the second-generation wagon was renamed V50, but it returned in 2012. The new V40, however, was developed as a hatchback instead of a full-fledged wagon, and was aimed at the likes of the BMW 1 Series and Audi A3. Volvo also launched a Cross Country version with protective body panels, bigger wheels, and an increased ride height for crossover enthusiasts. Four years have passed since the modern, hatchback V40 arrived in dealerships and Volvo has prepared an updated iteration for the 2016 Geneva Motor Show.

The update is far from comprehensive, but it adds new headlamps and front grille, new exterior colors, and new upholstery options for the interior. It also comes with improved apps and technology and a more efficient diesel powertrain.

“The V40 is the best-selling Volvo model in Europe and the second-most popular Volvo model globally, making it a very important car for the company. With the updates for model year 2017 we make this already very successful model even more attractive to customers in the segment,” said Bjorn Annwall, Volvo’s senior vice president.

As you may already know, the V40 is not yet available in the U.S. However, word has it that the hatch might cross the pond to North America around 2018, when the next-gen version arrives. Until that happens, let’s have a closer look at the model set to debut at the Geneva Motor Show.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Volvo V40.

Exterior

2017 Volvo V40 High Resolution Exterior
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A quick peek at the V40’s front end is enough for you to notice what changed with the facelift. First, the hatchback gained a new set of headlamps. These are about the same shape and size as the previous units, but feature Volvo’s new "Thor’s Hammer" signature LED lighting. This lighting pattern debuted on the XC90 and found its way on the S90 and V90, which makes the V40 the fourth Volvo, and first model outside the new 90 Series, to use it. Second, Volvo replaced the previous grille that had three horizontal slats with a new one that employs 21 thinner vertical bars. This feature is also borrowed from the S90 and gives the hatchback a more premium appearance. The "Iron Mark" emblem also received a mild facelift.

Volvo replaced the previous grille that had three horizontal slats with a new one that employs 21 thinner vertical bars

Third, the V40 received five new exterior colors. There’s Amazon Blue and Denim Blue, which are completely new for Volvo, and Bursting Blue, Mussel Blue, and Luminous Sand, which were borrowed from other models. And yes, four of the five new colors are different versions of blue. The folks over at Volvo must really dig blue...

Finally, the V40 also gained the "rank marks" that were first introduced on the XC90 to differentiate trims and versions and eight new wheel designs for the V40, R-Design and V40 Cross Country models.

Not a lot has changed, but it’s more than enough for a vehicle that has only four years on the market. Not to mention that the V40 is on the pretty side of the hatchback market.

Interior

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Inside, changes include a new upholstery called City Weave, inspired by the Volvo Concept Estate, and a new Charcoal/Blond steering wheel option. New panel inlays were also added, with customers getting to choose between Milled Aluminum, Black Grid Aluminum, and Stealth Aluminum. Accent trim colors in the door inserts will now be offered with contrasting stitching and, for the first time, a black headliner will be available as an option in the V40. The R-Design and Inscription trim levels get new tread plates. An updated key fob with the new Volvo logo rounds out the package.

On the tech side, there's an updated Volvo On Call smartphone app

On the tech side, there’s an updated Volvo On Call smartphone app. While the previous version was able to deliver wearable connectivity for Apple Watch and Android Wear, the new app offers Microsoft Band 2 connectivity as well. This enables voice-control for certain features when using Windows 10-based smartphones. The update also brings a calendar integration function and Flic button compatibility. Flic allows drivers to program a single "smart button" to perform several tasks, such as locking the car or to start/stop pre-heating.

Finally, the V40’s cabin is now equipped with CleanZone technology, which ensures that outside air is filtered before entering the cabin, removing harmful pollutants. CleanZone logos have been placed on the dashboard air vents.

Drivetrain

2017 Volvo V40 High Resolution Exterior
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Everything remains the same in the drivetrain department, meaning that the V40 can be had with one of two gasoline and two diesel engines. The base model gets its juice from a T2 gasoline unit rated at 122 PS. Then there’s the T3 with 152 PS. Moving over to diesels, the D2 cranks out 120 PS, while the D3 sends 150 PS to the wheels. Transmission choices include a six-speed manual and a six-speed automatic. Volvo says it has reduced CO2 emissions on its popular D2 manual powertrain to just 89 g/km. The previous rating was 94 g/km. It looks like the V40 will continue with the same engine until the next-generation model arrives sometime in 2018.

Safety

2017 Volvo V40 High Resolution Exterior
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Safety features are carried over from the previous model, but that’s not something you should be worried about, as safety is an intrinsic part of Volvo’s DNA. The updated V40 comes with IntelliSafe, City Safety collision avoidance technology, Collision Warning with Full Auto Brake and Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection, Blind Spot Information System, Lane Keeping Aid and Cross Traffic Alert, Road Sign Information technology, and Adaptive Cruise Control. The V40 also uses a pedestrian airbag system, an industry first at the time of its introduction in 2012. When impact occurs, the section of the engine hood that’s closest to the windscreen is released and elevated by the deployment of the airbag. The inflated airbag covers the area under the raised hood, around one-third of the windscreen, and the lower section of the A-pillar. The system is designed to help reduce the severity of pedestrian injuries in the event of an unfortunate accident.

Prices

Volvo has yet to announce pricing information for the updated V40, but it shouldn’t cost a lot more than the current version. Given that current pricing starts from €26,880 (about $29,610), the facelifted model should start from around €27,400 (around $30,190) in Germany.

Competition

BMW 1 Series

2016 - 2018 BMW 1 Series High Resolution Exterior
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One of the best-selling premium hatchbacks of the 21st century, the 1 Series just received a makeover for the 2016 model year. The German hatch is available with a wide array of gasoline and diesel engines with three and four cylinders. The Mini-sourced 1.5-liter three-pot cranks out 109 horsepower in the base gas model, while the 1.6-liter four-banger generates 136 and 177 horses. More power comes from the 2.0-liter rated at 218 horsepower and the 3.0-liter inline-six that pumps 326 horses in the range-topping M135i version. Diesel offerings include a 116-horsepower 1.5-liter three-cylinder and a 2.0-liter four-banger rated at either 150, 190 or 224 horses depending on trim. The five-door version of the 1 Series retails from €24,000, but BMW also offers a three-door variant from €23,250.

Find out more about the BMW 1 Series here.

Infiniti Q30

2017 Infiniti Q30 High Resolution Exterior
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The Q30 is one of the newest nameplates available in dealerships and Infiniti’s smallest offering yet. Built on Mercedes’ MFA architecture, which also underpins the A-Class, B-Class, and CLA-Class, the Q30 features a more stylish and muscular appearance compared to its German sibling. The two also share drivetrains, meaning that the Q30 can be had with 1.6- and 2.0-liter gasoline units or 1.5- and 2.2-liter diesels. Gasoline models come with 120, 154, and 207 horsepower, respectively, while oil burners crank out 107 and 167 horses, respectively. The Infiniti Q30 retails from €24,200 (about $26,650) in Germany.

Read more about the Infiniti Q30 here.

Conclusion

2017 Volvo V40 High Resolution Exterior
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The V40’s facelift may be a bit on the mild side, but that’s far from surprising given the current market trends and Volvo’s recent habits. That’s not to say that the updated V40 is disappointing though. The "Thor’s Hammer" headlamps and the vertical-slat grill sets it apart nicely from the previous model and even gives it a more premium appearance. The extra options available in the cabin should also make this Swedish hatch a more interesting proposition. It is a bit disappointing that there are no engine upgrades, but the biggest issue is that Volvo still hasn’t come up with a performance-oriented version of the V40. It may have the looks and the premium interior to compete with premium products from BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, and Infiniti, but it still needs a performance trim to give the BMW M135i and Mercedes-AMG A45, and Audi RS3 a run for their money. Hopefully, the next-gen model will get the attention it deserves from Polestar. Until then, the V40 remains an attractive hatch with a sporty exterior, classy interior, and fuel-efficient drivetrains.

  • Leave it
    • * No engine upgrades
    • * Needs a performance model
    • * Not coming to the U.S.

Press Release

Volvo Cars gives its bestselling V40 and V40 Cross Country the new face of Volvo for Model Year 2017 with trim updates across the range.

2017 Volvo V40 High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Central to the model year exterior updates are new grille meshes featuring the updated and more visually striking Volvo Iron Mark. The update also equips the V40 with the new ‘Thor’s Hammer’ headlights, resulting in a confident new look shared with Volvo’s new 90 Series cars.

“The V40 is the best-selling Volvo model in Europe and the second-most popular Volvo model globally, making it a very important car for the company. With the updates for model year 2017 we make this already very successful model even more attractive to customers in the segment,” said Björn Annwall, Senior Vice President, Sales, Marketing and Customer Service at Volvo Car Group.

The exterior update includes the addition of five colours to Volvo’s V40 offer including the completely new Amazon Blue and Denim Blue, as well as three colours already used by other models in the Volvo Cars portfolio: Bursting Blue, Mussel Blue and Luminous Sand.

The V40 will also receive the new ‘rank marks’ that were first introduced on the XC90, visualising trim levels and variants and a total of eight new wheels across the V40, R-Design and V40 Cross Country models.

In a cue taken from the award-winning Volvo Concept Estate a new upholstery called City Weave will be added along with a new Charcoal/Blond steering wheel option. Several new interior panel trims are also to be offered: Milled Aluminium, Black Grid Aluminium and Stealth Aluminium. Accent trim colours in the door inserts will now be offered with contrasting stitching and for the first time a black headliner will be available as an option in the V40. New tread plates will be added for the R-Design and Inscription trim levels and an updated key fob with the new Volvo logo will be available.

2017 Volvo V40 High Resolution Exterior
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Continuing its innovative approach to powertrain engineering, Volvo has reduced CO2 emissions on its popular D2 manual powertrain to just 89 g/km with the full tyre program.

Volvo On Call

The Volvo On Call smartphone app which allows remote access and control over a wide range of in-car features, receives a substantial update. Volvo On Call already delivers wearable connectivity (Apple Watch/Android Wear) and now Microsoft Band 2 connectivity, enabling voice-control for certain features when using Windows 10-based smartphones.

Other updates to Volvo On Call include a calendar integration function that connects your personal calendar to the mobile app allowing it to send calendar appointment destinations directly to your navigation on request. For 2016 Volvo On Call will broaden its scope and provide support for up to 10 Volvo vehicles, giving access to all the usual functions across a fleet of cars.

Volvo will also introduce Flic button compatibility with Volvo On Call. Flic allows you to program a single physical ‘smart button’ to perform several tasks, such as lock your car or to start/stop pre-heating and can be used as a shortcut to Volvo On Call services.

Volvo now also offers support for Windows 10 with a new version of the Volvo On Call application that can be used on regular PCs and tablets to interact with your car.

CleanZone technology

2017 Volvo V40 High Resolution Exterior
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Volvo’s continuing leadership in interior air quality is highlighted across the 40 Series from 2016 with the inclusion of the CleanZone logo on instrument panel air vents. Volvo’s award-winning CleanZone technology ensures that outside air is effectively filtered before entering the cabin, removing harmful pollutants that are increasingly common in large urban areas. CleanZone technology reflects Volvo’s ongoing work to improve the in-car experience, covering incoming air, interior emissions and odours, interior surfaces and contact allergies.

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