Volvo has always been famous for safety and the current V40 more than lives up to this reputation, being recognised as the safest car on the market when it was first crash tested.

What Volvo hasn’t always been known for, however, is style. But the new V40 adds a hefty dose of attractive Swedish design to the medium car market, with its smooth lines and slick interior. After a recent range update, the V40 also boasts some of the most economical motors in the class, despite offering strong performance across the range.

The V40 range isn’t the cheapest, though, so we’ve trawled through the model range to round up the most appealing versions for buyers on a shoestring, those after the most bang for their buck and others who simply want the best equipped model they can get their hands on.

The smart choice for those on a budget: T2 ES – £19,195

The T2 ES may sit at the bottom of the V40 range, but you shouldn’t feel short changed with one of these, as the turbocharged petrol motor not only breaks the 50mpg mark – and costs a reasonable £110 to tax – but can also accelerate to 62mph in under 10 seconds, meaning that it should feel suitably sprightly on the motorway.

Also making motorway journeys a cinch is the long list of standard kit, which includes a digital radio, Bluetooth hands free functionality, climate control, a high performance sound system and a speed limiter function to make sure that you don’t inadvertently get caught breaking the speed limit in average speed camera zones. Front and rear electric windows and 16-inch alloy wheels are also standard – all for safely under £20,000, making the T2 ES strong value.

The smart choice for low running costs: D2 SE Nav – £23,520

You may have to dig a little deeper to put a D2 diesel on the drive, but the super-economical engine should quickly claw back some of this premium, with official fuel consumption standing at 78.5mpg. CO2 emissions of 94g/km, meanwhile, mean that annual road tax is free, too.

This diesel motor is also sprightly enough, powering the V40 to 62mpg in 10.5 seconds. Opt for SE Nav trim and extra goodies over the model above include cruise control, automatic windscreen wipers, electric folding wing mirrors and sat nav with European mapping and lifetime traffic updates.

The smart choice for technophiles: D4 R-Design Lux Nav – £28,220

If money is less of a concern, though, splashing out on the range-topping D4 model gets you a very impressive blend of performance and economy – along with a lengthy list of standard kit.

With the D4 motor under the bonnet, the V40 scampers to 62mph in a speedy 7.4 seconds, though it still boasts an impressive claimed economy figure of 74.3mpg, meaning that fuel top ups should be a rare prospect. Car tax is also free under current rules, thanks to a CO2 emission figure of 99g/km.

Meanwhile, standard kit on the R-Design Lux Nav model includes a unique sports body kit with 17-inch alloy wheels and aluminium trim inside, along with supportive leather sports seats. This model also features cruise control, automatic windscreen wipers and powerful xenon headlights that swivel as you turn the steering wheel.

Picture: Volvo