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2004 Volvo V40 Review
Safety and simplicity with a Volvo badge.
Reviewed by Automotive on
The 2004 Volvo V40 classifies as a compact station wagon that first debuted in 1995. The wagon received a minor redesign in 2003, introducing a new grille, body-colored moldings, and headlight surrounds. The 2004 V40 offers the Limited Sport Edition (LSE). As the name suggests, Volvo limits the number of LSE units to 2500.
Engines: 1.9-liter turbocharged four-cylinder
Transmissions: four-speed automatic
Models: Volvo V40, Volvo V40 LSE
The 2004 Volvo V40 comes with a new trim version: the high-end LSE. Apart from this, the exterior of the V40 wagon gets some minor changes, specifically to the front fascia. The audio system also comes prewired to the CD changer. Previous models required customers to purchase this as an option.
The 2004 Volvo V40 follows many of the same styling cues as other wagons manufactured by the Swedish carmaker. The wagon can be clearly identified by the trademark Volvo grille with vertical chrome bars in front, and character lines running through the hood and along the sides. The wagon has a wheelbase of around 100.9 inches, which remains the same as its sedan sibling, the S40. It measures 180.2 inches in length, about two inches more than the sedan version. When compared to the higher-end V70 wagon, the V40 comes up 7.6 inches shorter in terms of wheelbase and 5.2 inches shorter in terms of overall length. The standard tires measure 15 inches in diameter, but 16-inch alloy wheels are available as well.
The 2004 Volvo V40 comes with standard cloth upholstery and leather upholstery as an option. The front gets bucket seats, and the rear gets a 70/30-split folding bench. Three-point seat belts accommodate all five seating positions, along with integrated child safety seats at the rear. The cargo space totals 33.5 cubic feet at the least, and it expands to a maximum of 68.1 cubic feet with the rear seat folded down. The seating itself feels comfortable and supportive, with more space forward. Gauges in front look large and clear enough to read. At the rear, legroom and headroom equals that of a subcompact car, and the small door makes entry and exit a little problematic.
Performance & Handling
The 2004 V40 comes with a 1.9-liter, turbocharged, four-cylinder engine under the hood, delivering 170 horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque. The five-speed automatic transmission mated to the engine adapts to the driver’s personal driving style. The 2004 Volvo V40 perfectly encapsulates the pleasures of driving a large Volvo wagon, but without the large hole in the wallet. The ride seems generally satisfying, but competitors offer faster and more refined V-6 engines when compared to the four-cylinder engine of the V40.
Despite the fact that the four-cylinder engine gets outclassed by others, the turbocharger offers some salvation. The turbocharged four-cylinder accelerates briskly and provides a good punch of power at the middle range, and it propels the wagon from standstill to 60 mph in 8.3 seconds. The four-speed automatic transmission offers prompt downshifts, although there might be some resistance in full-throttle downshifts while the wagon is at midrange speeds. In spite of the short wheelbase, the 2004 Volvo V40 offers a rather supple and comfortable ride. The soft suspension copes with relatively large humps and ruts, although sharp bumps clearly show.
Handling feels good too, with the wagon turning corners with predictable grip and just a little lean. The steering feels precise, and the brakes quite powerful, both of which can inspire confidence in the driver. However, the rear end of the wagon tends to drift in sharp stops.
The 2004 Volvo V40 comes with an impressive list of standard safety equipment, including anti-lock brakes, side-impact airbags in front, and full-length side-curtain airbags. The patented Whiplash Protection System (WHIPS) also comes standard on all V40s. This system moves the front seat backwards during a frontal-impact collision. Another impressive safety feature present in the V40 is the Dynamic Stability Assistance system that lowers torque automatically when traction falls below a certain level.
EPA Fuel Economy
- Long list of safety features
- Affordable price for the base
- Smooth turbocharged engine
- Decent cargo space
You Won't Like
- Lack of manual transmission and sportiness
- Price increases exponentially when adding options
Safety and simplicity with a Volvo badge.
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