The first Volvo S40s rolled onto the world’s highways in 1995 but didn’t reach the American shore until five years later. Originally intended to be a part of the S4/F4 series, it had to settle for its second name choice because Audi already nabbed the designation, so the S4 became the S40 instead. Warmly received by critics and buying public as well, it won its share of industry awards for its unique style and sleek design. As a four-door sedan and a five-door station wagon, it offered four-cylinder engines providing them power with a 1.9-liter turbo diesel and several fuel injected engines offering different fuel variations.
Body Styles: sedan
Engines: 1.9-liter four-cylinder
Transmissions: five-speed automatic
Models: Volvo S40, Volvo S40 SE
Even though the 2001 Volvo S40 only arrived in America the previous year, it executed a whole host of changes. The engine improved to decrease chemical emissions and boost power while it gained some additional crash protection in the form of standard head-protection airbags. Dual-stage front airbags and a new child seat-safety system were added, and the previous four-speed automatic transmission was dumped in favor of a five-speed instead. The interior enjoys a few alterations as well with a redesigned center console, improved switchgear, more durable front seats, and a few new color options while its exterior gets revamped fenders, bumpers, and headlamps.
The 2001 Volvo S40 is fitted with its trademark front-end vertical bar chrome grille and enjoys a slightly longer wheelbase this time out. The overall longer length is now 178 inches, increased by two-and-a-half inches thanks to its new bumpers and more sculpted fenders. It also comes with 15-inch alloy wheels and 10 different exterior body tones.
As expected, the 2001 Volvo S40’s interior layout nicely combines driver and passenger functionality with luxurious materials and high-end amenities. Its center console area is updated for a more comfortable and anatomical, and it receives ergonomically-designed functionality with climate control and dashboard buttons easier to use. On-board cargo room comes out at just over 13 cubic feet of space with a 70/30 split rear seat that folds down for additional room. Standard features include an air-conditioner, one-touch power locks/windows, heated mirrors, cruise control, an AM/FM stereo cassette player with CD player available in the SE trim and an immobilizer theft-deterrent system, while leather upholstery and a power sunroof are both optional.
Performance & Handling
The 2001 S40 compact sedan come saddled with a 1.9-liter, four-cylinder, turbo-charged engine that generates 160 hp and 170 lb-ft of torque married to a five-speed automatic transmission. With a zero-to-60-mph rate of 8.5 seconds, it offers a decently powerful yet taut driving experience thanks to its up-front struts, rear suspension, and rack and pinion steering.
The 2001 Volvo S40 provides a substantial degree of driver and passenger safety with standard head-protective airbags, side airbags for front passengers, seatbelt pre-tensioners, four-wheel anti-lock brakes, daytime running lights, an anti-theft alarm system, and front/rear height adjustable headrests with whiplash protection. A new child safety system, referred to as the ISO-FIX, allows owners to conveniently attach and detach a child or infant seat.
EPA Fuel Economy
Volvo S40: 20/29 mpg city/highway
- Nicely revamped safety features
- Good fuel economy
- Affordable price
- Quality, spacious interior cabin
You Won't Like
- Automatic transmission only
- Vehicle begins to get a tad expensive once amenities are tacked on
Compact, affordably-priced, and loaded with plenty of safety features.
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