RAC Cars News


Bored of German Techno? Try Some Swedish Metal!

By raccars Published

Some very innovative brains over at Volvo UK's marketing department have come up with an eye catching campaign to push the brand's best selling V40. Titled 'Bored of German techno? Try some Swedish metal,' the publicity push involves pitting the UK's best selling Volvo against the Mercedes A-Class, by offering back to back test drives.

So confident is Volvo that after a direct comparison between the two vehicles, customers will choose the V40, it is offering to cover the first month's payment for those who go for a Mercedes instead – with a maximum limit in place, of course. The comparison drive is taken in a Volvo V40 D2 R-Design versus a Mercedes A-Class A180 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY Sport.

The Volvo V40 was launched in 2012 and fast became the best selling model for Volvo UK, taking almost 36% of the brand's total sales volume in this country. The five door, five seater hatchback comes in standard, R-Design and Cross Country variants, all of which have a generous roster of modern safety, comfort and convenience features. The V40 also looks good and could fairly be called Volvo's first serious entry into the premium brand sector, making a very credible competitor to the BMW 1 Series and Audi A3, along with the Mercedes.

The D2 is the entry level car in the V40 line up, with a 115bhp 1.6 litre diesel engine. Its popularity in the UK can be explained by fuel economy figures of 78.5mpg and CO2 emissions of 94g/km, making it road tax and congestion charge exempt and far better than the equivalent A-Class. The D2 is no speed demon but is beautifully appointed and certainly handles like a premium contender. Those who prioritise performance over economy, however, will find plenty to satisfy them among the more powerful diesel D4 or the perky petrol options. Pioneering safety features, including an under bonnet airbag, have allowed Volvo to offer up a low, sleek shape while maintaining exemplary pedestrian and passenger protection.

The V40 is deliberately priced at between £20,000 and £27,000, slightly more expensive than similar rivals, the Ford Focus or Vauxhall Astra, to make it clear that it's gunning for the bigger players. However, Volvo does offer more equipment than its German competitors for that price, making it excellent value.

Volvo has indeed come up with a gem in the V40, capable of busting prejudices all round, which could make this very unusual marketing plot rather entertaining to watch. Even more interesting could be what happens if the idea catches on and other companies start offering direct comparison deals...

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