By on February 27, 2012

Today is Wagon Day, a brand-new made up holiday when North Americans are tortured with photos of wagons that will not be available to us despite our endless pleas. First up, the Volvo V40.

Reports are stating that a 1.6L 4-cylinder will be present in the V40, but Volvo’s new modular engine family, with its 500cc per cylinder capacity, would suggest a 2.0L mill instead. We’ll find out for sure once the car is unveiled at the Geneva Auto Show. Since the C30 was such a spectacular sales flop in the United Sates, don’t look for this to make its way over here.

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21 Comments on “Finally, Real Pictures Of The Volvo V40...”

  • avatar

    This will probably come across as mere whining, but there’s a little too much “styling” here for me. What I love about our 2008 v50 is how practical and clean its lines are, while still being downright handsome. This new generation looks nice enough, but there are too many lines that are there for style, and not for usability and visibility. They are playing to the high beltline fad, and that rear column is going to be a bitch to see around. It’s a little too much Hyundai, and not enough Scandinavia.

    I’m also not a huge fan of the new dash….feels a little clunky and chunky compared to the floating center console of the last generation. Some found it boring, but the interior design of the previous generation has been extremely easy to use from day 1 in my experience.

    Overall, it’s a handsome car, but I feel like it’s losing a little bit of it’s Volvo-ness here.

    • 0 avatar

      Agreed. It’s overstyled. I don’t think the traditional “boxy & practical” Volvo buyers will take to this new design. On the other hand, if they are trying to broaden the brand’s appeal, then this might just be the ticket.

      • 0 avatar

        I agree. It seems that in general, we’re in an era of automotive styling that either doesn’t understand, or has no appreciation for classically handsome design. As someone who prefers that trait, this is why, even though we’re in an era of generally great mechanical reliability and performance, I find so few current model cars truly appealing.

        I maintain that there’s actually a large difference between “classically handsome” and “boring and uninspired.” More often than not though, it seems that the two get lumped together as the same thing in the court of public opinion.

    • 0 avatar

      +1, Nostrathomas. I’d like something a bit less swoopy.

      Still, if it has the space and utility and a reasonable price, some wagon lovers may go for it.

    • 0 avatar

      It gets a bit silly when they adorn this modern-Hyundai-style design with that scalloping-out of the upper flanks, the one that ends with a line that turns up to the windowline just above the rear door handle: That’s supposed to echo the corresponding design on the flank of the P1800, isn’t it? Clashes horribly with the SubaruKiaMazda snout, IMO.

      (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you can see it in comparatively subtle form here: , and accentuated by paint and chrome here: )

  • avatar

    Agreed. The high belt line/massive D-pillar is just horrible for those of us who actually like to see out of our cars when we drive. They can’t go away fast enough.

    • 0 avatar

      I agree completely.

      I like the styling direction, but the windows get way too short at the rear of the car, and there’s way too much skin left behind the window’s end.

      I also don’t like the center stack.

  • avatar

    That’s a hatch not a wagon.

    • 0 avatar

      I couldn’t agree more. A wagon has near-maximal rear room and a decently large and low tailgate opening. Naturally, this leads to (in most cases) excellent visibility all around. One of the great exemplars of the wagon tradition was Volvo (especially the last generation of rear-drive cars), so these photos are a little painful to see.

  • avatar
    Sammy B

    Part of the C30’s poor sales, IMO, has got to be due to launch timing, the price of the available cars (anecdotally, I heard it was hard to find the lower-trim models), and the 3 door set up. It ends up being a mini cooper fighter, as opposed to an A3 fighter (which also has somewhat “meh” sales).

    If Volvo could bring this over in place of the C30 to help round out the S40 line and give the sub-$30K buyer some more choice, it might do OK. It probably still wouldn’t break 15K units/year, but that may not be a realistic goal anyway.

    The public just doesn’t care unfortunately

    • 0 avatar

      The C30 was pretty good, but you’re right that supply and price were a problem (price was huge: it was just a stupid-expensive car for what you got, and I like expensive small cars)

      I still like it, but it really wants for some kind of killer feature: design, safety, performance, interior appointments—something. As it is, it kind of lacked anything special.

  • avatar

    I’ve stopped trying to keep up with who’s doing what, but are Ford and Volvo connected anymore? If you didn’t show the grille, I’d guess this was a Focus.

  • avatar

    If you’re interested in rear passenger or cargo space, it’s probably not a good sign that Volvo decided not to show these features in their collection of 17 official photos.

    I agree with the comment that this car looks strikingly like the Focus hatchback. There’s a lot of competition for a small number of buyers in the premium small wagohatch segment: Focus, Audi A3, and some trims of Mazda3 or Impreza. Normally I would chide a company for being too timid to bring their small wagons to the U.S., but I can’t think of many people clamoring for this.

    • 0 avatar

      I never thought I’d say this about a Volvo (especially a 5 door hatch), but I think it actually looks pretty good. I like those C/D pillars. IMO this manages to look more upscale, sporty and classier than the Focus hatchback.

  • avatar

    “They’re boxy, but they’re good”

  • avatar

    Ah, you know no one would buy it here. By the way, how are Acura’s wagon sales going?

  • avatar

    “Since the C30 was such a spectacular sales flop in the United Sates, don’t look for this to make its way over here.”

    Really? The C30 was a sales flop? It’s the only new Volvo I ever see on the road. I’ll let someone else lookup the sales figures, but I can’t belive that any other Volvos outsold the C30, except for maybe the big SUV.

    At some point I want to pick up nice used C30. Sure it’s just a tarted up previous generation Mazda 3/Euro Focus. But damn is it tarted up nicely with the waterfall dash and P1800 mimicking all glass rear hatch.

  • avatar

    The C30 was an overpriced turd, my local Volvo dealer still has a new one (3 years old) still sitting for sale.

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