Any owner comparisons please: Volvo V40 R Design Pro vs. Audi A3 S line vs. Merc A 200d AMG line

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Deleted member 498601

Guest
Hi all, thanks for reading.

I'm currently looking at changing my company car, and have narrowed it down to the 3 in the title.

My company car allowance is not massive (as I understand it. I'm new to the scheme), I get £370 p/m and can add in what I need to as necessary.
The 3 cars I've shortlisted come in at a variety of prices, and I'm reading reviews and researching to death, to try and ensure I'm not lumbered with a turkey for the next 4 years!

All 3 cars are quite similarly specced, with an approx 190 bhp, 2 litre diesel engine (2.2 in the Merc), an auto gearbox, sat nav etc...

I'm swinging more towards the Volvo atm, although I've never driven one (nor the Merc, been in the A3 a few times as a passenger). The Volvo will cost me around £80-90 p/m, the Audi £110, the Merc over £150 - this is on top of the BIK tax I'll pay, which tbh, is around the same as my monthly car cost. The reality is that I'll pay circ £160 of tax/ cash for the Volvo, but nearly £300 for the Merc - which I'm willing to do IF it's worth it.

Any owners of the above cars - or preferably, anyone that's driven/ owned more than one of my choices? I'd appreciate any feedback that you have. I know that ultimately, I'll have to choose myself after test-driving etc..., but there are loads of things that drivers only discover through longer-term ownership.

Many thanks.
 

Qactuar

Distinguished Member
Driven A3 S Line and the Volvo.

Do you like hard suspension? The s line can be pretty unforgiving. The engine is the same as I had in my Leon FR and goes like the clappers through the gears...it's very much capable of its top speed.

Volvo is pretty nice but I've not driven an r line to compare harsh suspension. I think the interior is very nice though.

How many miles will you do and have you considered leasing on a personal deal instead?

If you can claim fuel back it might be worth considering, as other cars can easily be found on decent deals.
 
D

Deleted member 27989

Guest
I agree for that kind of BIK opting out and getting your own could be beneficial. All depends on your mileage and insurance I guess.
 
D

Deleted member 498601

Guest
Driven A3 S Line and the Volvo.

Do you like hard suspension? The s line can be pretty unforgiving. The engine is the same as I had in my Leon FR and goes like the clappers through the gears...it's very much capable of its top speed.

Volvo is pretty nice but I've not driven an r line to compare harsh suspension. I think the interior is very nice though.

How many miles will you do and have you considered leasing on a personal deal instead?

If you can claim fuel back it might be worth considering, as other cars can easily be found on decent deals.

I agree for that kind of BIK opting out and getting your own could be beneficial. All depends on your mileage and insurance I guess.

Thank both

I'll be doing around 30,000 miles a year. The only issue I have with opting out is that to lease a car, I'll have to find £1000s for a deposit first. Unless I'm wrong?
 

Qactuar

Distinguished Member
Thank both

I'll be doing around 30,000 miles a year. The only issue I have with opting out is that to lease a car, I'll have to find £1000s for a deposit first. Unless I'm wrong?
You're wrong, yes. It's all up to you to ask for the initial payment (it's not a deposit) to be lower.

Most deals are like 9+23 profile (9 months of payment now, 23 monthly after) to make them look cheap.

I always go for a 1+23 profile. You pay the same over the life of the car, just less capital upfront.

For 30k miles for four years though, you're going to be looking at 120k miles when it goes back...

Company scheme will cover the works.

Personal, you'd probably do 2x 24 month deals. But 30k a year might be prohibitive to get something good.

Honestly - with that mileage, I'd avoid rock hard suspension and go for something softer and probably with DSG and adaptive cruise control, so you just need to steer and let the car drive and brake.
 
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Deleted member 27989

Guest
Ok 30k miles is a lot. Those company car deals work better. I'd forgo the sline personally. I'd also hate paying extra towards a company car.

A nice Volvo it is :)
 

Dony

Distinguished Member
I'm currently driving a Volvo S60 D4 R Design as a company car and would happily recommend the V40 (which I've driven a few times as a courtesy car).
Like you I'd never owned a Volvo before, but when considering what to get, the 2 main criteria for me were comfort and safety. I do similar miles to you and want to give myself the best chance I can to get back to my family!

The interior is very well put together and the seats are easily the best I've had (VW Passatt's, 3 Series, Mazda 6). However, there whole range is going through an upgrade (XC60 has now got the same fantastic interior as the '90's, and I was told the new S60 is due out at the end of next year. My lease is up in April and I'm the type of person who would get restless knowing I was driving the 'older' version so it's going to be a bit of a dilemma for me.
If that sort of thing doesn't bother you, then the Volvo is a great option.
 

Dony

Distinguished Member
Test drove a volvo d3 and while the interior was good the engine was like a tractor! Very noisy and not something I could live with.

Surprised you thought that. Inside the S60 is very quiet compared to other diesels I've owned.
 

PlasmaVirgin

Well-known Member
Own an XC60 which I love and had a V40 R Design on courtesy hire last week whilst mine was in for a service. Was very impressed and found the ride quite forgiving on some of the awful roads around here.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
You can, I believe, spec the S3 with softer suspension. However, as Sloppy Bob suggests, look at the face lifted Golf GTD where the excellent dynamic chassis control can be had (£830). It's a great drive.
 

Qactuar

Distinguished Member
If you're not concerned on image either, both the Leon FR 184 and Octavia VRS both offer swathes more value for money than all the others mentioned ;)

But appreciate it's horses for courses.

My 184 was - like for like - £4K list cheaper than the GTD at the time and had better standard equipment. But slightly worse plastics.

Happily for me, I spent more time driving than stroking the plastic so was more than contented.
 
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Deleted member 27989

Guest
At 30K per annum, the seats and comfort would be my main concern. Besides the seats I'd want ventilation to be really good with the vents in the right places and not irritating my eyes. Also like the pillars and visors to be in the absolutely correct spot.

But seat and comfort first and foremost. I also find, but that may be personal, a longer wheels base to provide better comfort.

All in my opinion of course, I don't have to buy the vehicle nor do the mileage :)
 

Qactuar

Distinguished Member
At 30K per annum, the seats and comfort would be my main concern. Besides the seats I'd want ventilation to be really good with the vents in the right places and not irritating my eyes. Also like the pillars and visors to be in the absolutely correct spot.

But seat and comfort first and foremost. I also find, but that may be personal, a longer wheels base to provide better comfort.

All in my opinion of course, I don't have to buy the vehicle nor do the mileage :)

Most of the sport type hatches can be ruled out then - one seats for comfort on long drives.

Audi is rock hard and worse on S Line suspension; Golf/Leon/VRS all reasonable but not amazing; Merc may as well be a tombstone from previous E Coupe experience and the Volvo would win hands down.

But I agree! I spend a lot of time doing average mileage each year and opted for the Skoda Superb. Seats are seriously comfortable and cross-country drives are effortless for my shape and size.
 
D

Deleted member 27989

Guest
Most of the sport type hatches can be ruled out then - one seats for comfort on long drives.

Audi is rock hard and worse on S Line suspension; Golf/Leon/VRS all reasonable but not amazing; Merc may as well be a tombstone from previous E Coupe experience and the Volvo would win hands down.

But I agree! I spend a lot of time doing average mileage each year and opted for the Skoda Superb. Seats are seriously comfortable and cross-country drives are effortless for my shape and size.
Indeed and the Superb has that longer wheel base as well which helps making it more comfortable...

So out of the three for the OP, and considering it is the 'best value' as well, I think the Volvo is a clear winner. I'd definitely take it for a good test drive though to make certain you like it.
 

Qactuar

Distinguished Member
Indeed and the Superb has that longer wheel base as well which helps making it more comfortable...

So out of the three for the OP, and considering it is the 'best value' as well, I think the Volvo is a clear winner. I'd definitely take it for a good test drive though to make certain you like it.

The Volvo will definitely strike the best balance, but is really not that big inside (and the sheer number of buttons is annoying imo) if size matters, and if image matters over the next 4 years, bear in mind that it is being replaced next year.
 

Dony

Distinguished Member
The Volvo will definitely strike the best balance, but is really not that big inside (and the sheer number of buttons is annoying imo) if size matters, and if image matters over the next 4 years, bear in mind that it is being replaced next year.

I can find info on the S60 and V60 upgrades for 2018, but nothing on the 40's, despite the salesman telling me all the ranges would change. Probably best not to take my word for it and check at the dealership.
 

Qactuar

Distinguished Member
I remember reading that there was a V40 refresh for early '17/late '16 to ensure it wasn't out of kilter with the bigger models getting an upgrade and a new shape in 2018 - I'd imagine Q3/4 if on plan.

The info system in the V40 hasn't aged well - that alone would drive me bonkers!
 
D

Deleted member 27989

Guest
I remember reading that there was a V40 refresh for early '17/late '16 to ensure it wasn't out of kilter with the bigger models getting an upgrade and a new shape in 2018 - I'd imagine Q3/4 if on plan.

The info system in the V40 hasn't aged well - that alone would drive me bonkers!

It is very outdated. It would certainly put me off using it, therefore by default chossing it.

Is it really that bad? Doesn't it do NAV, DAB, plugin an iphone/android and select playlists with steering wheel controls and telephone integration.

What is so bad about it?
 

Qactuar

Distinguished Member
Is it really that bad? Doesn't it do NAV, DAB, plugin an iphone/android and select playlists with steering wheel controls and telephone integration.

What is so bad about it?

If you've used anything more modern from any of the other manufacturers, it looks an awful lot worse than perhaps it really is. It's quite recessed and reminds me of the outgoing Ford Focus and Fiesta built-in screens - feels far away!

FWIW, I still really hate the A Class interior - the Mercs look like someone has slapped a tablet on the dash!

Volvo V40, Audi A3, Skoda Octavia, Mercedes A Class, VW Golf, Seat Leon in that order.

volvo-v40-hatchback-dashboard.jpg


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Theseus

Distinguished Member
I remember reading that there was a V40 refresh for early '17/late '16 to ensure it wasn't out of kilter with the bigger models getting an upgrade and a new shape in 2018 - I'd imagine Q3/4 if on plan.

The info system in the V40 hasn't aged well - that alone would drive me bonkers!

That's the main reason I didn't go for a year old XC60 earlier this summer. Nice car but dated tech. Auto gearbox not as smooth as BMW, Mercedes or even VW.
 

jenam93

Well-known Member
Recently got a V40 Cross Country D3, and I love it, even with the small boot (but I rarely use the boot such that it would need to be bigger)

I purposefully did not get the R-Design as I can't abide black interior headlining etc which comes on the R-Design. Of course you can get the R-Design with panoramic roof but I just couldn't find one in my price range.

On the V40 you can specify Sports Chassis, which is a lot stiffer than the active chassis available on most models by default. Don't specify Sports Chassis with your mileage!
 

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