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.
Key specs (as tested)
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