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2017 Volvo V40 with Polestar Performance Kit Review


Good points

  • Polestar kit looks incredible
  • Rapid but efficient diesel
  • Luxurious, comfortable interior

Needs work

  • Fairly punishing ride
  • Wide turning circle
  • It's tight in the back
A 2017 Volvo V40 in motion

Want a stylish and luxurious European runabout? Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to buy German. The Swedes will sell you something much more unique – and in our eyes, even more appealing. It’s the 2017 Volvo V40, and this year it’s come in for a facelift and some interesting new engine options – including the closest thing we’ve seen to a Volvo V40 Polestar.

Our Denim Blue V40 might have started life as a mid-range diesel Inscription model, but an additional $10,000 spend meant it was delivered with the optional Polestar Performance Kit that transforms the character of the car.

First, it’s meaner – the snowflake Polestar wheels and fierce rear-end exhaust and diffuser treatment takes care of that.

Second, it’s meatier. The Polestar pack isn’t just visual – it takes this two-litre D4’s outputs to 147kW of power – up 5% on stock, and the torque to 440Nm – a substantial 10% boost.

Performance diesels are a rarity in Australia, and this “Polestar diesel” immediately conjures up memories of the now-gone Volkswagen Golf GTD. Come to think of it, the V40 with Polestar Kit would be a compelling upgrade for GTD owners lamenting Volkswagen’s decision to kill the fast diesel here.

It’s well established at Chasing Cars that we like the V40. It’s an antidote to the A-Class, 1 Series and A3 that seem to be everywhere. With new turbo engines, a great cabin and handsome looks, the smallest Volvo has already gained our trust.

But the new question is whether a steep $10,000 Polestar upgrade on a $45,000 car is money well spent. Over ten days with the car, this question was at the heart of our testing.

The rear end of a 2017 Volvo V40

Key specs (as tested)

Twin turbocharged
147kW between 1,500rpm and 3,000rpm
440Nm between 1,750rpm and 2,500rpm
Power to weight ratio
99kW / tonne
Fuel type
Fuel capacity
Average Range
Front wheel drive
Engine configuration
Unoccupied weight
Cargo space seats up
Cargo seats down

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Budget Direct Insurance arranged by Auto & General Services Pty Ltd ACN 003 617 909(AGS) AFSL 241 411, for and on behalf of the insurer, Auto & General Insurance Company Limited(ABN 42 111 586 353, AFSL 285 571).Because we don’t know your financial needs, we can’t advise you if this insurance will suit you. You should consider your needs and the Product Disclosure Statement before making a decision to buy insurance. Terms and conditions apply.

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