Volvo V40 T4: Spotted

Right, then, folks: what we have here, and yours for a relatively measly sum, is a turbocharged, bright yellow Volvo estate from the 1990s, finished in yellow.

'Ooh. An 850 T-5R', you're thinking. Well, you would be if this attempt at a suspense hadn't been ruined by the picture above. So no, this is not an 850 T-5R. It's something a little less cool, a little less well-known, but a whole heck of a heap cheaper. This is the Volvo V40 T4 - and it's a car you should buy right now.

OK, so this one isn't technically from the 1990s - it was just designed then - but that's no bad thing. It's a 2000 car, to be exact, which means it's a post-facelift model with the smoked, twin-chamber headlamps. And that's a good thing, even if it's for very little reason other than it looks a little more upmarket than the earlier models.

It won't have escaped your attention that it's finished in yellow. Panama Yellow, to be precise. Think of it as Volvo's Dakar Yellow; a shade that's best described as 'Marmite'. But slathered all over a V40 T4, contrasting with those dark headlamps and the black rubbing strips encircling the car, we're rather partial. Certainly, you won't see another like it out on the road.

Also in common with the 850 is its BTCC link, albeit a slightly more tenuous one. By 2000, Volvo had pulled out of the BTCC, but the year before, the V40's saloon sibling, the S40, was Volvo's touring car of choice, bringing the manufacturer a solid third place in the constructors' championship. Granted, nobody but die-hard motorsport enthusiasts will remember that - but still, the link is there.

This one's done just 85,000 miles, too - and you don't need us to tell you that finding a Volvo from this era with that mileage is a rare thing, and so much the rarer when we're talking performance models. As you'd hope, there's a stack of invoices to back up that mileage, and evidence of lots of TLC through the years.

What of the T4 as a thing to drive, though? It's a bit of a mixed bag, to be honest. That 1.9-litre turbo engine kicks out 200hp and 221lb ft at just 2,500rpm, giving it properly useful poke - enough to drag it to 62mph in a little over seven seconds. Granted, the somewhat woolly steering and tendency for front-driven torque steer mean it isn't all that handy in the corners, but frankly, it is what it is - a comfortable cruiser that's quick in a straight line, and anything else is irrelevant.

Besides, who cares when it's this cheap? And this useful? And this unusual? As an interesting daily for very little outlay, this V40 has bags of appeal; sure, it doesn't have quite the same kudos as its bigger brother, but you'll have spent a fraction of the price and you'll be having almost as much fun. And who knows? Maybe one day it'll be as cool as a T-5R. It's already just as yellow.

1,855cc 4-cyl turbo
Transmission: 5-speed manual, front-wheel-drive
Power (hp): 200@5,500rpm
Torque (lb ft): 221@2,500rpm
MPG: 23.7 (NEDC combined)
CO2: 212g/km
First registered: 2000
Recorded mileage: 85,000
Price new: £19,645
Yours for: £1,895

See the original advert here.

P.H. O'meter

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Comments (37) Join the discussion on the forum

  • CAMELZED 17 Jun 2018

    231.7 mpg. Fantastic!
    Did he say it was yellow?

  • Toyoda 17 Jun 2018

    Anyone else thinking the asking price isn't exactly cheap?!

  • dme123 17 Jun 2018

    Ah the traditional Volvo formula of an excellent engine and a car that can't really do it justice. That interior is pure Mitsubishi too, not a hint of design commonality with the cars Volvo actually designed themselves.

    These do appear to be quite robust though, well regarded in the shedding community provided you avoid the GDi engine.

  • snake_oil 17 Jun 2018

    Toyoda said:
    Anyone else thinking the asking price isn't exactly cheap?!
    Just how cheap do you want it to be?!

  • richinlondon 17 Jun 2018

    Remembering test driving one when new - appalling understeer and uncomfortable. Can recall the salesman agreeing saying they couldn’t handle the power

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