The 2008 Volvo S40 is another example of Volvo’s commitment to making solidly built vehicles with a little bit of design flare that sets it apart from the norm. The S40 has had a major redesign this year, gaining a reshaped front and rear, a new grille surround, and a new bumper. The interior has been changed as well; a new ergonomic design taking over for the previous year’s controls.
Even the engine has received an update.
The S40 is a vehicle that even defies classification. It sits just between entry-level vehicles and the family sedan. Although there are other sedans that might give you a bit more value, the S40 is a great option for those looking for a sedan that’s fun to drive and convenient for the entire family.
Body Styles: premium compact sedan
Engines: 2.4-liter five-cylinder, 2.5-liter turbocharged five-cylinder engine
Transmissions: five-speed manual, five-speed automatic
Models: Volvo S40 2.4i, Volvo S40 T5, Volvo S40 T5 AWD
The 2008 Volvo S40 gets a fair bit of new design this year. The interior’s center console has been redesigned with increased storage area. The turbocharged T5 engine receives nine extra horsepower this year. The stereo receives an auxiliary jack as well as an upgraded stereo with satellite radio.
The exterior of the 2008 Volvo S40 has received significant changes this year. The front grille receives a new surround, and the back bumper has also received an upgrade, making it look more upscale than before. Standard features on the 2.4 include 16-inch alloy wheels. The T5 adds fog lamps.
Many Packages and options area also available. The Select Package includes 17-inch wheels, fog lights, and a sunroof. The Premium package for the T5 includes 17-inch wheels, sunroof, and auto-dimming mirrors with compass.
The interior of the 2008 Volvo S40 also receives a new design this year. The interior is fitted with Nordic Light Oak trim, and faux metal or real aluminum for the center console. All of the controls are easy to use and within reach. The seats are ergonomically designed, providing driver and passengers with a lot of comfort, even on long hauls. The telescoping steering wheel gives the driver a great seating position. The T-tec upholstery, while not as upscale as the leather, is much more breathable and comfortable for hot days. It also grips you when turning fast corners, which you may wish to do with the turbocharged T5 model.
Standard features on the 2.4i include an eight-way adjustable driver’s seat, tilt and telescoping steering wheel, leather wrapped steering wheel, T-tec cloth upholstery, climate control, full power accessories, and a six-speaker Dolby audio system. The T5 model receives power controls for the driver’s seat, automatic climate control, aluminum trim, a trip computer, and an eight-speaker audio system. The Select Package for the 2.4i includes the Nordic Light Oak trim, power driver seat, and a leather gear shift knob. The Premium package for the T5 includes power passenger seat, driver seat memory, an auto-dimming mirror with compass, and Homelink. A 12-speaker Dynaudio system is also available on a Dynamic trim package.
Performance & Handling
The 2008 Volvo S40 comes with two different engine types. The 2.4i comes equipped with a 2.4-liter, five-cylinder engine that produces 168 horsepower with 170 lb-ft of torque. The engine is paired with either a five-speed manual or a five-speed automatic. The T5 receives an upgraded engine this year, a turbocharged 2.5-liter, five-cylinder engine that produces 227 horsepower with 236 lb-ft or torque. Both the regular and all-wheel-drive (AWD) T5 come equipped wit ha five-speed manual only.
Neither engine is perfect. The 2.4-liter engine has poor acceleration and does not have the best fuel economy of the bunch. The turbocharged 2.5 works a lot better, but also has power peaks and lags when accelerating. However, the handling is very fun, so if you can get past the weak engine performance you might find yourself thrilled with the S40.
The 2008 Volvo S40 comes equipped with an Anti-lock Brake System (ABS), stability and traction control, front-seat side airbags, full-length curtain airbags, and active headrests come standard on all S40 models. The NHTSA gave the S40 four out of five stars for driver safety and five out of five stars for passenger safety.
EPA Fuel Economy
2008 Volvo S40 2.4i: 22/30 mpg city/highway
2008 Volvo S40 T5: 22/31 mpg city/highway
2008 Volvo S40 T5 AWD: 20/27 mpg city/highway
- Great Volvo styled interior and exterior
- Easy to use control
- Surprising handling
- Long list of safety features
- All-wheel drive availability
You Won't Like
- Poor acceleration with non-turbo engine
- Pricy options
- Sport suspension choppy
- No manual on T5
The 2008 Volvo S40 costs less than some of its more refined rivals, and offers plenty of features and comfort.
If You Like This Vehicle
- BMW 3 Series
- Nissan Altima