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As a part of my New Year’s resolutions for 2016, I decided to enjoy my life more. In doing so, I promised myself that although I love my work, it isn't everything. Come October each year and I feel burnt out. This problem is easily resolved when taking frequent breaks. So, I did what I promised myself: I travelled almost every two months. I went to our local coastlines, into the bush, Europe and then to the Far East. Let's say, my promise to myself paid off - I was happier, more relaxed and performed better at work. I had found a work-life balance.
The journey continues into 2017...
I've never been to the Pilanesberg National Park before although it's only 3-hours from Jozi. It exists in a transition zone between the dryness of the Kalahari and the wet Lowveld vegetation. Going in January, during the rainy season, meant the area was vibrantly green. There is also an incredible variety of game animals, flora and fauna that are not often found living side by side. In fact, on our first drive, we spotted lion, cheetah, giraffe, elephant, jackal, wild dog and lots of birds.
Getting to the Pilanesberg was made easy - driving what is arguably the pick-of-the-litter in Volvo's V40 range - the D4 Cross Country.
Not a spring chicken, it's 4-years old which makes it semi-vintage, albeit preserved like a good marmalade with a mid-life refresh last year. So, it's still sweet with a tart bite.
The Cross Country is the V40's answer to a Crossover within its range. Its ride height has been heightened by 12mm over the standard hatchback and Its body has been garnished with suitable off-road garb.
The D4 badging denotes a diesel engine. Diesel is my preference when picking an engine from Volvo because I feel they've mastered the art of engineering them. The specific motor in the D4 is 2.0-litre i4 twin-turbo diesel engine harvesting a healthy 140 kW/400 Nm - numeric for plenty - E.G you can expect to get from 0-100 km/h: 7.5 seconds and top out 210 km/h.
An additional benefit of owning a quick and refined diesel from Volvo is efficiency - expect to use 6.5 litres per 100 km and 62-litre tank full should see you doing around 850km with a mixed highway and heavy urban driving.
As you'd expect from a Volvo, the Cross Country is quiet, solid, reassuring and safe. Germanic in many ways without suggesting a German-made car is better than a Swedish.
The interior is fitted by compact crossover standards, although one feels ensconced in a luxury environment of leather and aluminium. Not a rattle or squeak from the cabin was heard. This is another indication that the V40 is well screwed together. You feel safe and loved when driving your Volvo.
The Cross Country is the pick of the V40 bunch. Yes, it's not new. Yes, it is showing signs of its age, but as a comparative product to the Mercedes-Benz GLA and the Subaru XV, the Volvo is better than both. Sitting price wise in the middle of the pricey Mercedes and budget-friendly Subaru. It will also compete with Audi's newest crossover the Q2, which is going to be good and hard-pressed to choose between the two.
Great diesel engine
Showing its age
V40 Cross Country range:
T4 Manual Momentum R429 100
T4 Geartronic Momentum R450 100
T4 Manual Inscription R452 000
T4 Geartronic Inscription R473 200
T5 Geartronic AWD Momentum R524 800
T5 Geartronic AWD Inscription R548 200
D3 Geartronic Momentum R471 000
D3 Geartronic Inscription R494 500
D4 Geartronic Momentum R488 300
D4 Geartronic Inscription R511 900
Service and Warranty
The Volvo V40 range comes standard with 5 year/100 000km warranty and maintenance plan. Additionally, there is a 5 year/100 000km unlimited mileage Road Assistant inclusive of a Skytrax tracker unit.
D4 Geartronic Inscription R511 900
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