Volvo S40 Review & Features

2011 Volvo S40

Volvo S40 Review

German car companies have long been the dominant players in the compact sport sedan market. The Volvo S40, introduced to the North American market in 2000, was the Swedish brand's first stab at stealing some market share. Though it had its shortcomings, the S40 was a decent small sedan that helped redefine Volvo's image. Instead of the standard boxy shape once associated with Volvos, the S40 had a sleeker silhouette and was relatively fun to drive.

Volvo released the improved second-generation S40 midway through 2004. Styling was sportier and more refined, as was the car's handling. Additionally, there were two engine choices, including a turbocharged five-cylinder. Though it still didn't have the prestige or athleticism of its German competition, the newer Volvo S40 cost less and still offered plenty of refinement, comfort and style.

Used Volvo S40 models
Introduced midway through the 2004 model year (hence its 2004.5 status) and produced through 2011, the second and most recent generation of the Volvo S40 compact sport sedan changed little throughout the years. Still, used car shoppers will want to pay attention to the various updates over the years as they may see a desired feature or powertrain configuration that was available only certain years. There was also a wagon version of the S40 called the V50 that's covered in a separate review.

Up until 2011, Volvo offered a base 2.4i model with a naturally aspirated 2.4-liter inline-5 rated for 168 hp. There was also the turbocharged T5 that made 218 hp until 2008 when Volvo pumped up to 227 horses. The sportier T5 R-Design essentially replaced the T5 for 2009. A manual transmission was offered sporadically throughout the years for both engines, though most S40s you come across will likely have a five-speed automatic. All-wheel drive was also available for the T5 and T5 R-Design through 2010.

The few notable equipment changes include stability control becoming standard on all S40s for 2007 while upgraded audio components and a blind-spot monitoring system joined the roster the following year. For '09 the S40 received a slew of former options -- including Bluetooth compatibility, 17-inch alloy wheels, a sunroof, a power driver seat and an eight-speaker stereo with a six-CD changer and satellite radio -- as standard equipment. Options included leather seating, heated seats, a navigation system and a 12-speaker premium sound system.

This S40's styling reflects Volvo's more curvaceous aesthetic while the cabin featured an upscale vibe along with the company's trademark ultra-slim center stack design. The driving position was snug and comfortable, but adults seated in the rear might find legroom tight.

In reviews at the time, our editors found the Volvo S40 entertaining to drive thanks to its turbocharged engine and lively handling. But the S40 just didn't do much else to distinguish itself and the ride quality was rather stiff. Whether you're looking for the latest technology features, sportier performance, better fuel economy or just a more prestigious image, you'll likely find a better choice for a premium or entry-level luxury sedan.

The first-generation Volvo S40 sport sedan debuted for 2000. It came with a turbocharged 1.9-liter four-cylinder engine that made 160 hp and 170 pound-feet of torque. A four-speed automatic transmission delivered power to the front wheels, and there was no manual transmission or AWD option. Standard features included ABS, automatic climate control, power windows and locks, and heated mirrors, while features like leather upholstery and a power driver seat were optional.

In 2001, Volvo added safety features to the S40 and made minor styling changes to the headlights and interior. The company also brought out a new five-speed automatic transmission. For 2003, power was increased to 170 hp, and a CD player became standard. In 2004, Volvo added an LSE trim to the lineup to sustain interest in the car until the current generation launched later in the year.

In reviews of the first-generation Volvo S40, we noted that it was a competent small sedan but nonetheless a tough sell over the less expensive but comparably upscale turbocharged or V6-powered Volkswagen Jetta. If you're interested in buying a used S40 of this vintage, we'd recommend going with one from '03 or later, as these models benefited from the abovementioned mild power bump.

Volvo S40 Cars for Sale

2008 Volvo S40 2.4i
USED 2008 Volvo S40 2.4i
List$6,99586,381 miles
 + PerksCheck availability AutoNation Toyota Leesburg(5mi)(14)
Dealer Notes

METALLIC PAINT This vehicle includes a Money-Back Guarantee* and passed our precise inspection process. Best of all the price you see is the price you pay. No haggling. No back and forth. No pressure. And this price is so good it is guaranteed. THIS LOW MILEAGE S40 SEDAN IS GORGOUS AND HAS BEEN WELL KEPT * * PACKED WITH FEATURES AND FRESH FROM SERVICE WITH A FULL DETAIL AND A VIRGINIA INSPECTION * * CLEAN CARFAX * * AUTONATION IS A HAGGLE FREE / ONE PRICE DEALERSHIP * * WE OFFER OUR BEST PRICE UP FRONT TO ELIMINATE THE STRESS OFTEN ASSOCIATED WITH PURCHASHING AT DEALERSHIPS * * WE WOULD LIKE TO HELP YOU BUY A CAR * * NOT JUST SELL YOU ONE * * OFFERED WITH A 5 DAY / 250 MILE NO QUESTIONS ASKED MONEY BACK GUARANTEE * CALL NOW TO SCHEDULE A TEST DRIVE BEFORE IT SELLS * * AN APPOINTMENT WILL GUARANTEE THE BEST USE OF YOUR VALUABLE TIME AND ENSURE YOU RECEIVE THE BEST POSSIBLE SERVICE *Money-Back Guarantee is valid for 5 days or 250 miles, whichever comes first. Subject to certain terms and conditions. See store for details. Some restrictions apply.

2006 Volvo S40 T5
USED 2006 Volvo S40 T5
List$5,988108,641 miles
Special Offer + PerksCheck availability Jerry's Leesburg Chevrolet(6mi)(7)
2008 Volvo S40 2.4i
USED 2008 Volvo S40 2.4i
List$7,99072,909 miles
Special Offer + PerksCheck availability Rosenthal Fairfax Honda(15mi)(3)
Dealer Notes

Clean CARFAX. Blue 2008 Volvo S40 2.4i FWD 5-Speed 2.4L 5-Cylinder MPI DOHC CLEAN CARFAX**, Keyless entry, Se habla espan~ol!, Cruise control**, Power windows, mirrors and locks**, Locally driven and serviced, Financing for all situations, Sold with WARRANTY!!.Odometer is 36442 miles below market average! 28/20 Highway/City MPG***Buy with confidence ! 7 DAY EXCHANGE POLICY ON EVERY PURCHASE**Every vehicle IS safety and performance inspected by certified VIRGINIA State inspectors**

2009 Volvo S40 2.4i
USED 2009 Volvo S40 2.4i
List$7,99594,911 miles
 + PerksCheck availability Auto Trademark(17mi)(0)
Dealer Notes


2007 Volvo S40 2.4i
USED 2007 Volvo S40 2.4i
List$5,994102,373 miles
 + PerksCheck availability Land Rover Bethesda(20mi)(0)
Dealer Notes

METALLIC PAINT This vehicle includes a Money-Back Guarantee* and passed our precise inspection process. Best of all the price you see is the price you pay. No haggling. No back and forth. No pressure. And this price is so good it is guaranteed. *Money-Back Guarantee is valid for 5 days or 250 miles, whichever comes first. Subject to certain terms and conditions. See store for details. Some restrictions apply.

2005 Volvo S40 T5
USED 2005 Volvo S40 T5
List$5,99978,606 miles
Special Offer + PerksCheck availability Ourisman Volkswagen Of Bethesda(21mi)(41)
Dealer Notes

Air Conditioning,Climate Control - Auto,AM/FM Stereo,Security System,Bucket Seats,Cloth Seats,CD Player,Cruise Control,Air Bag - Driver,Daytime Running Lights,Fog Lights,Front Wheel Drive,Air Bags - Head,Heated Side Mirrors,Intermittent Wipers,Remote Keyless Entry,Air Bag - Passenger,Power Driver Seat,Power Door Locks,Power Steering,Power Windows,Rear Defrost,Air Bag - Side,Steering Wheel Stereo Controls,Trip Computer,Traction Control,Tilt Wheel,Child Safety Locks,4 Wheel Disc Brakes,Air Bag-Side-Head only-Rear,Brakes-ABS-4 Wheel,Floor Mats-Front,Mirrors-Pwr Driver,Seat-Rear Pass-Through,Wheels-Aluminum,Wipers-Variable Speed Intermittent,Engine Immobilizer/Vehicle Anti-Theft System,Mirrors-Vanity-Driver,Mirrors-Vanity-Passenger,Mirrors-Vanity-Driver Illuminated,Mirrors-Vanity-Passenger Illuminated,Reading Lamps-Front,Reading Lamps-Rear,Steering Wheel-Leather Wrapped,Trunk-Emergency Release

2008 Volvo S40 2.4i
USED 2008 Volvo S40 2.4i
List$7,77779,926 miles
Special Offer + PerksCheck availability Prime Motors(24mi)(0)
2006 Volvo S40 2.4i
USED 2006 Volvo S40 2.4i
List$5,178117,197 miles
Special Offer + PerksCheck availability Ourisman Lincoln Of Frederick(26mi)(0)
Dealer Notes

New Price! Odometer is 520 miles below market average! 30/22 Highway/City MPG

2006 Volvo S40 2.4i
USED 2006 Volvo S40 2.4i
List$6,79554,181 miles
 Check availability Brown's Alexandria Mazda(29mi)(9)
Dealer Notes

This vehicle has just arrived! For more information or to speak to a used car internet specialist please email us using the form to contact us directly.

2010 Volvo S40 2.4i
USED 2010 Volvo S40 2.4i
List$9,00075,875 miles
 + PerksCheck availability National Motors of Waldorf(42mi)(65)
Dealer Notes

THIS VOLVO S40 COMES WITH A SUNROOF AND LEATHER SEATS !!!!!!!!! Prices subject to change without notice and do not include Title, License, Registration Fees, State or Local Taxes or Processing Fees, if any. Please contact seller first for vehicle availability