HAVING launched in South Africa as the world’s safest-ever hatchback in 2012, the Volvo V40 has been updated for the 2017 model year with a more premium, classier look, and a renewed sense of character. V40 Cross Country models also receive design tweaks, the results of which add an even more adventurous feel to the range.Designed in line with new and future Volvo cars, including the all-new Volvo XC90 and the forthcoming S90, the signature “Thor’s Hammer” LED daytime lights now feature on some models and the new Volvo iron mark takes pride of place inside and out.“While the changes to the Volvo V40 may appear subtle, we are building on what has been established as a competitive player in the premium compact hatchback segment,” says Greg Maruszewski, Volvo Car South Africa managing director.“We continue to offer a complete range of efficient petrol and diesel Drive-E engines across the range, and our class-leading safety ratings continue to elevate the V40 above its competitors.”The updated Volvo V40 places emphasis on the individuality and unique personality of the driver in every respect. The Swedish design and uniquely Scandinavian approach to life means the Volvo V40 is different – much like the individuals to which it appeals. The collaboration, which continues Volvo’s tradition of featuring Swedish musical talent in its advertising campaigns, features the new single “Carry On’” performed by rising Swedish star Sabina Ddumba and produced by Andreas Kleerup.Available as standard on certain models and as a cost-effective option on others, new all-LED headlights which feature Volvo’s new ‘Thor’s Hammer’ light signature give the V40 range an injection of class and luxury – and bring it in line with other new Volvos like the all-new XC90 and forthcoming S90.New grille treatments for all derivatives enhance the visage further, with the grilles now featuring vertical bars. R-Design derivatives also receive a new grille treatment in line with their sportier personalities. New badging for Inscription and R-Design models now also adorns the tailgate, as well as front door sills.While the Volvo V40 exudes class and style in every direction, the Cross Country versions bestow the range with cheeky and adventurous alternatives. Available with all engine and gearbox combinations on standard V40 models, the R-Design upgrade releases a truly energetic look and feel. A sportier body kit with aggressive front and rear bumpers, large (functional) exhaust tips, bespoke 18-inch alloy wheels, sports seats and a more expressive interior ambience are included in R-Design models – turning any ordinary V40 into a spirited, muscular sports hatch.Introduced during the first half of the V40’s life cycle, Volvo’s Drive-E engines power each and every V40 and V40 Cross Country derivative. Engineered and built by Volvo Cars, the modular engines, all turbocharged and available in petrol or diesel guise, bestow the V40 range with industry-leading efficiency potential – as well as great performance. With the exception of the 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol Drive-E engine in the V40 T3 automatic model, the entire line-up is powered by new-generation 2.0-litre Drive-E engines.From the 2.0-litre turbocharged diesel which powers the V40 D2 – which can consume as little as 3.4-litres per 100 km and emit just 89 g/km of CO2 – to the powerful 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol unit in the V40 Cross Country T5 AWD, which puts out as much as 180 kW and 350 Nm, the entire range of engines ensures an optimal balance between driveability and efficiency. The gearbox range continues to include six speed manual, six-speed Geartronic (automatic) and eight-speed Geartronic transmissions.Standard safety equipment naturally continues to include seven airbags, ABD, EBD and ESC (stability and traction control), and the world’s only pedestrian airbag is still available as an optional extra. City Safety is still fitted as standard to all variants, which uses autonomous emergency braking to avoid collisions with vehicles travelling ahead. - Supplied.