There’s a genuine sports-tuned offering now available in the Volvo V40 line-up - the D4 Inscription.
Priced from $44,990, the five-door Volvo hatch is a car that you have to drive before you sign up for something like a Volkswagen Golf GTI.
Just be warned, the Polestar-enhanced Volvo is definitely more hard-edged than you might expect.
The super-stiff suspension not aiding in supplying a ride that is the other end of ‘supple’.
But, along with a super-stiff chassis, the Volvo V40 D4 Inscription handles brilliantly.
Awesome brakes, nicely weighted steering and an enthusiastic 140kW/400Nm twin-turbo diesel engine make the Volvo a whole lot of fun.
It was also a model that was enjoyable to drive using the paddle-shifters, although the V40 D4 is a touch too well insulated to really be able to hear what the engine is up to.
For some it might be a but much, especially because the Volvo lacks a ‘Normal’ drive mode - it pretty much does what it does and makes no apologies for it!
Some of the other things I liked about the Volvo included the styling - its a good-looking five-door hatch, the alloy wheel designs and the quality feel throughout the V40.
The cabin is also surprisingly roomy, even in the back and the seats are both comfortable and sporty/supportive.
Other pleasing things included the reliable speed sign recognition system, the boot space, cabin storage areas and the seating position.
There were a few things however that took some of the shine off.
The complaints include a lack of rear air-conditioning vents, no digital radio, I felt the infotainment system was a bit ‘clunky’ and I had trouble syncing my phone to the Bluetooth.
It also felt to me that the centre console arm rest could have been positioned slightly further forward, or at least be able to be adjusted forward.
The main centre controls are also way too busy for my liking, and are starting to look quite dated in design/lay-out.
While be prepared to have to tick a few options boxes if you go for the Volvo.
The test car that I drove was fitted with options like heated seats, Adaptive Cruise Control with Collision Warning and keyless entry system.
These options bumped the starting price up to just over $60,000.
While expect to have to hand over an additional $1,150 for metallic paint.
Around city/suburban streets though it could be just a bit ‘hard’ for some, so don’t come looking for anything less than a true hot-hatch.
NUTS and BOLTS - 2017 Volvo V40 D4 Inscription
Engine: 2.0 litre twin-turbo diesel producing 140kW/400Nm
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
Safety: Not tested
Warranty: Three years
Price: from $44,990