Volvo S40

While most of Volvo’s models have a boxy body style, the S40 tries something a little different. This car looks sleeker and more modern than past Volvos and quickly earns the sedan a great deal of attention.

More on the Volvo S40
Volvo S40 Origins

While most Americans tend to think of American-made cars and trucks first, foreign companies have a lot to offer. Much like many of the U.S.-based automotive manufacturers, a large majority of the foreign car companies started out in the first quarter of the 1900s. This certainly holds true for the Swedish automaker, Volvo. The company began around 1925 and focuses on creating the safest, most reliable, and best-made cars possible. The company’s first models fared well in the local markets and quickly became popular.

The onset of World War II adversely affected all kinds of business, and European automakers took a hard hit. While Volvo continued to make good, quality products, it had to slow down production and only offered a limited number of new models during the war.

However, once World War II ended, the company turned its sights to broader horizons and made the decision to offer its cars in the U.S. during the 1950s. It turns out the American public wanted its well-made and safe vehicles. That sentiment holds true today, with Volvo sales doing well in the U.S. Among Volvo’s other options, the S40 remains popular.

About the Volvo S40

For the most part, the sport sedan class has almost always been dominated by German carmakers. When Volvo released the S40 for the first time in 2000, it marked the Swedish company’s entry in the class.

In addition to its unique look, the S40 also earns attention for its reliable Volvo powertrain and safety features. Most people have come to associate reliability, durability, and safety with these cars. Though the powertrain is reliable and safe enough, the engineers at Volvo also make it fun to drive. This sport sedan really does behave just like it should with plenty of precision and easy handling. Certain model years feature different engine choices that intend to give the consumer as much control as possible over their car’s features. The S40 carries a lower price tag than its German counterparts, making it a good choice for people on a budget.

Volvo S40 Features

Starting with the 2011 model year, the S40 sport sedan comes in two distinct trim levels, the base T5 and the T5 R.

With the T5, Volvo includes fog lights, heated outside mirrors, air-conditioning, and 17-inch alloy wheels. This trim level also features cruise control and Bluetooth capabilities. Under the hood, the T5 S40 comes equipped with a 2.5-liter, inline five-cylinder, turbocharged motor. A standard five-speed automatic transmission pairs with this motor. Volvo no longer offers the all-wheel drive option for this series.

The powertrain for the S40 T5 R remains the same as the T5. This edition has all of the amenities as other trim levels. However, consumers can expect some extra pizzazz in the form of a sport steering wheel, attractive watch dial gauges, and front and rear spoilers. Front and side airbags come standard, as well as whiplash-reducing head restraints in the front of the vehicle.

Volvo S40 Evolution

There have been two generations of the Volvo S40 to date. The first generation debuted in the U.S. market in 2000. This generation lasted until the middle of the 2004 model year when Volvo released an updated version. Originally the S40 came equipped with a 1.9-liter, turbocharged, four-cylinder engine. This motor produces 160 hp and links to a four-speed automatic transmission. Some of the standard features include power windows and locks, heated mirrors, and anti-lock brakes. A power driver’s seat and leather upholstery comprise the upgraded feature options.

The second generation of the Volvo S40 debuted in 2004. This sedan differs from the first generation in several ways. It features a 2.4-liter, naturally aspirated, inline five-cylinder engine that couples with a standard automatic transmission, but buyers can find some of these sedans with a manual system. All-wheel drive remained an option until the 2010 model year.

For the most part, these cars remain good choices for the used car buyer, but pay attention to each model year. In some cases, the models differ in ways that may be important to the buyer.

Select a Volvo S40 Year

2011 Volvo S40

Midsize, Sedan

Until a few years ago, there was a distinct schism between the non-premium and premium sedans.

2010 Volvo S40

Midsize, Sedan

Standard equipment for the 2.4i now includes a 5-speed manual transmission, a leather-covered gearshift with aluminum inlay, electronic climate control, and adjustable front headrests. Options include a navigation system and satellite radio. Standard equipment for the T5 R-Design now includes adjustable front headrests, while the Preferred Packages gain a power glass moonroof, keyless ignition, and a power front passenger’s seat. The T5 is also now available with Ice White paint.

2009 Volvo S40

Midsize, Sedan

The 2009 Volvo S40 is a premium compact sedan that increased in price so much so that it is now as expensive as its rivals, thereby losing a previously-enjoyed advantage.

2008 Volvo S40

Midsize, Sedan

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.

2007 Volvo S40

Midsize, Sedan

The 2007 S40 is one of the best small sedans that Volvo has released in a long time.

2006 Volvo S40

Midsize, Sedan

The 2006 Volvo S40 aims to be the new safe and secure car targeted towards young people.

2005 Volvo S40

Midsize, Sedan

2004 Volvo S40

Midsize, Sedan

Originally introduced in 1995, the S40 marks Volvo’s original attempt at breaking into the compact sedan market.

2003 Volvo S40

Midsize, Sedan

2002 Volvo S40

Midsize, Sedan

The 2002 Volvo S40 sedan is one of the smaller packages in the Swedish maker’s car line-up.

2001 Volvo S40

Midsize, Sedan

The first Volvo S40s rolled onto the world’s highways in 1995 but didn’t reach the American shore until five years later.

2000 Volvo S40

Midsize, Sedan

The 2000 Volvo S40 starts as a new vehicle for younger buyers.