2011 Volvo S40 Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2011 Volvo S40 Sedan

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Volvo S40 Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.5 L Inline 5-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 227 hp @ 5000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 21/30 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2011 Volvo S40

  • The 2011 Volvo S40 has style and comfort on its side, but lacks the athleticism and refinement of other European luxury sport sedans.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Comfortable front seats; ample safety features; emphasis on style; lively turbocharged engine.

  • Cons

    Not quite a luxury sedan despite premium pricing; handling falls short of that seen in true sport sedans; awkward navigation system interface.

  • What's New for 2011

    For the 2011 Volvo S40, the base 2.4i model has been discontinued, as has the all-wheel-drive T5 R-Design. Some features have been added and shuffled between the surviving trim levels.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (7 total reviews)  |  Write a Review

2nd volvo s40

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Vehicle: 2010 Volvo S40

The 1.9% fin, maint covered for 5yrs/60K miles pursuaded me to buy 2nd S40 (prior being '06). Ownership experience has exceeded every reasonable expectation. With few exceptions (AC compressor), maint expense has been more than reasonable, considerably less than had I settled on another luxury make (considered BMW, Lexus). Seating is very comfortable, interior asthetically clean and simple, dash/instrumentation very intuitive. Subtle changes from my prior S40 is improved center console, USB/AUX/iPOD interface, Bluetooth, Satelite/HD radio, Auto- Climate control, BLIS. performance/handling is tight and responsive, though not as that as the '06 (which had sport-tuned suspension)

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

My second volvo

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Vehicle: 2010 Volvo S40

My first Volvo was a very used, "beater" 1966 122S, reliable as an anvil, quirks and all. A few months back, after a lot of research, I purchased a 2010 S40 2.4i. After being severely injured in an auto accident I wanted a safe, practical, small car with good handling characteristics and decent performance. I drove a C30, then an S40 and decide that the S40 was for me. Besides daily driving I have logged 1200 miles on a road trip to Connecticut from Ohio and back putting in two 550 mile days in comfort.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

My second volvo s40 2010

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Vehicle: 2010 Volvo S40

This is my second Volvo S40 and loving everything about it. The style, fit and finish of this car is very nice. It is a very solid well built car with every bit of safety in it. I just traded in my prius because I wanted more comfort and safety. I would rather pay more for gas and feel safe with my family in the car.

Well built car

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Volvo S40

This is the third S40 in the family, my second. This is the best money can buy at this time due to the 5 year warranty plan and discounts being taking off. After driving a prius for the last three years I really have missed my S40, such a solid well made car. Don't get me wrong, the only thing I'll miss about the prius will be the mileage. You can't put a price on your safety and comfort so I am willing to pay the extra for that. I now feel so much more relaxed when driving, I love my Volvo S40. The safety car crash star rating sold me back into my S40. My partner has had his now for five years and loves his as well, no major unexpected issues. For what I paid you get a lot.

My new volvo

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Volvo S40

This car is great! It handles the lumps and bumps of New Jersey's winter worn roads with ease. I love the great pick-up and the nimble way it handles! The clutch shifts smoothly and is extremely easy to. The instrument panel is simple to use as it is very logically designed. I am really enjoying this car and am so glad I made the choice to purchase it.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Solid ride

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Vehicle: 2010 Volvo S40

Picked up my S40 AWD R5 turbo in Sweden in early January. Have driven it 1200 miles since, through a lot of snow and construction on the autobahns, as well as urban driving in tight European streets. I love the stability of the car; it inspires more confidence than anything else I've had. Corners very flat. The acceleration is fine with me. Great sound system.

Full 2011 Volvo S40 Review

What's New for 2011

For the 2011 Volvo S40, the base 2.4i model has been discontinued, as has the all-wheel-drive T5 R-Design. Some features have been added and shuffled between the surviving trim levels.


There used to be a distinct gap between premium and non-premium sedans. In recent years, that gap has been filling up with attractively priced four-doors with luxury aspirations. The 2011 Volvo S40 is such a sedan, with more prestige than your run-of-the-mill domestic model, but not quite as much sophistication as the established European competitors. The niche positioning, however, presents some problems.

On the positive side, the Volvo S40 certainly looks the part of a European sport sedan. Even though this latest generation has been in production for seven years now, the S40 manages to still look fresh. This is especially true on the inside, where the sleek "floating waterfall" center stack and available two-tone upholstery continue to set this car apart from its more conservative rivals. Under the hood you'll find a standard 227-horsepower turbocharged five-cylinder engine that provides livelier acceleration than you'll find in the typical four-cylinder sedan.

Beyond this, the S40 just doesn't do much else to distinguish itself. Whether you're looking for the latest technology features, sportier performance, higher fuel economy or just a more prestigious image, you'll likely find a better choice. In the S40's price range, models like the sporty 2011 Acura TSX V6, the stylish 2011 Buick Regal and the well-equipped 2011 Volkswagen CC are more appealing. Similarly, the 2011 BMW 3 Series and Infiniti G Sedan justify their higher costs through added performance and prestige. Overall, the S40 is a fine car on its own merits, but you'll definitely want to shop around.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2011 Volvo S40 Sedan is available in two trim levels: T5 and T5 R-Design.

The base T5 comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, foglights, heated outside mirrors, air-conditioning, an eight-way power driver seat with memory, a tilt-and-telescoping steering column, neoprene-like T-Tec upholstery, a 60/40-split-folding rear seat, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, cruise control, Bluetooth and an eight-speaker stereo with a CD player, HD radio and USB/auxiliary input jacks. Adding the optional Preferred package will also get you a sunroof, leather upholstery and a power passenger seat.

The T5 R-Design includes all of the above and spices things up with front and rear spoilers, side skirts, a sport steering wheel, unique watch-dial gauges and aluminum pedals.

Both trims are available with the Climate package, which adds heated front seats, headlight washers, automatic wipers and automatic climate control. The Multimedia package adds a premium 10-speaker stereo and a navigation system with real-time traffic. Stand-alone options include 18-inch wheels, adaptive xenon headlights, satellite radio, keyless ignition/entry, rear parking sensors and a blind-spot detection system paired with power-folding mirrors.

Powertrains and Performance

With the cancellation of last year's base engine, the S40 is now offered solely with a turbocharged 2.5-liter inline-5 that pumps out 227 hp and 236 pound-feet of torque. A standard five-speed automatic routes power to the front wheels -- all-wheel drive is no longer available. Zero to 60 mph is reached in 6.7 seconds. The EPA estimates fuel economy at 21 mpg city/30 mpg highway and 24 mpg in combined driving.


Antilock disc brakes, traction control and stability control are standard on all 2011 Volvo S40s. Also included are front-seat side airbags and full-length head curtain airbags, along with whiplash-reducing front head restraints. A blind-spot warning system (BLIS) is optional across the lineup.

The S40 has not been rated using the government's new, more strenuous 2011 crash testing procedures. Its 2010 ratings (which aren't comparable to 2011 tests) resulted in ratings of four out of five stars for driver protection in a frontal crash, five stars for front passenger protection and five stars for front and rear side-impact protection. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety testing, the S40 was awarded the best rating of "Good" in the frontal-offset test and the second-best "Acceptable" rating in the side-impact test.

Interior Design and Special Features

Fans of modern Scandinavian design will likely find the 2011 S40's interior to their liking. The floating waterfall center stack is unique to Volvo models, and is indicative of the manufacturer's novel aesthetic; it's a look that helps set the S40's cabin apart from those seen in other sedans. The R-Design's two-tone leather interior -- with its generous serving of youthful spirit -- makes for an even more intriguing space. The climate controls are easy to operate and attractive in their simplicity, but the optional navigation system is burdened with unintuitive controls and outdated graphics and menus.

The interior itself is well constructed, with excellent materials. The seats are well-shaped for comfortable long-distance motoring, with plenty of support. The T-Tec upholstery in the base S40 breathes well in hot weather and also holds passengers in place when cornering, making it a fine substitute for the leather option. Trunk capacity, on the other hand, is a bit of a disappointment, at just 12.6 cubic feet.

Driving Impressions

The 2011 Volvo S40's turbocharged five-cylinder provides enough power to entertain most drivers, but there is a noticeable amount of turbo lag off the line. On curvy roads, the S40 is stable and confidence-inspiring, though the competing BMW 3 Series and Infiniti G37 are quite a bit more fun to drive.

Talk About The 2011 S40

Gas Mileage


  • 21
  • cty
  • 30
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs