Volvo V40 T5 Cross Country AWD

We drive the four-wheel-drive version of the rugged Volvo V40 Cross Country

Overall Auto Express Rating

3.0 out of 5

Despite being long in the tooth, the T5 is still a great engine, while the four-wheel-drive system works well on the road. Even so, we’d stick to the cheaper and cleaner front-wheel-drive diesels. The T5 is an engine that would be more at home in the new R-Design model; fitted with the optional sports suspension it would make a more refined and grown-up alternative to hot-hatches like the new 247bhp Focus ST and BMW M135i.

We’ve already driven the V40 Cross Country with the five-cylinder D4 diesel engine, but now it’s the turn of the T5 range-topper - the only model to compliment the utilitarian styling with four-wheel drive.

Just to recap on the styling changes, the Cross Country ‘pack’ costs £1,000 and adds silver roof rails, plastic bumpers (with LED lights at the front) and side skirts, plus metal cladding to protect the underbody. The suspension is hiked up by 40mm, too.

What this T5 model brings to the table is a generous slug of power, four-wheel drive and Volvo’s six-speed Geartronic auto ‘box. On paper fuel economy of 34mpg and CO2 emissions of 194g/km aren’t disastrous either.

The engine is the 2.5-litre five-cylinder turbo made famous by the last-generation Ford Focus ST and RS. Here it’s tuned to 250bhp but more subdued with none of the induction whoosh or exhaust blare synonymous with the fast Fords.

There’s nothing wrong with the way it flings the V40 CC down the road, though, with a sustained shove and smooth changes from the gearbox.

The extra ride height means the Cross Country is generally more supple than the standard model, but our test car was fitted with optional 18-inch wheels (costing £700) which caused it to crash over bumps - we’d stick with the standard 17-inch alloys.

Find some testing corners and the handling is composed. There’s barely any feedback from the steering, and the body tilts slightly as the G-force increases, but the grip levels are high and traction from the four-wheel-drive system is superb, even in greasy conditions.

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