When it went on sale in spring 2004 as a 2004.5 model, the latest version of the S40 compact sedan was a little shorter, wider and taller than its predecessor — and aimed more clearly at a younger audience.
Changes are minimal for 2007; electronic stability control is newly standard, and the button to engage the system has moved to the steering wheel stalk.
Safety and crashworthiness are principal themes for the S40, which includes a stiff body and side-impact and side curtain airbags. The T5 model can be fitted with all-wheel drive.
Steering-wheel audio controls are standard in the 2.4i model, and all S40s have a simplified package and option structure. T5 models with the six-speed manual transmission have a "pushdown" function to engage Reverse gear.
For 2007, there's a new body-styling package that adds side skirts as well as rear, front and trunk spoilers to 2.4i models. The Dynamic Trim Package adds skirts and spoilers as well as 17-inch wheels to T5 models. The S40's Flint Gray exterior color option has been replaced with Titanium Grey.
An upright grille with a diagonal cross-member, a V-shaped hood and large wraparound taillights are installed. Turn signals are integrated into the door mirrors, and the S40's shoulders — which run along the bodyside cladding — enhance its kinship to other Volvo models.
Alloy wheels hold standard 16-inch tires, but 17-inchers are available. Built on a 103.9-inch wheelbase, the S40 is 175.9 inches long overall.
The S40's stereo gains an optional auxiliary input for MP3 players and other devices for 2007, and the overhead console has been redesigned. T5 models gain the option of keyless drive and a sport steering wheel and gearshift knob. Sirius Satellite Radio is a new standalone option for all S40s.
Standard upholstery in the five-occupant interior is said to be inspired by sportswear. The rear seatbacks fold down separately, and the front passenger seat has a folding backrest. Two round gauges on the instrument cluster are surrounded by metal bezels. Leather upholstery is available.
Standard 2.4i equipment includes air conditioning, power windows, a CD audio system, remote-control central locking, a leather-wrapped tilt/telescoping steering wheel and an audio theft-deterrent system. The T5 sedan adds a power driver's seat, electronic climate control, a trip computer and aluminum interior trim. An optional Premium Package for the T5 includes leather seating surfaces, a power sunroof and a power passenger seat. Trunk space totals 12.6 cubic feet.
A 2.4-liter inline-five-cylinder that produces 168 horsepower powers the 2.4i. High-performance T5 editions hold a turbocharged 2.5-liter inline-five-cylinder that generates 218 hp at 5,000 rpm and 236 pounds-feet of torque. The 2.4i comes standard with a five-speed manual transmission, while the T5 comes with a standard five-speed automatic that includes Geartronic operation for manually selected gear changes. All-wheel-drive T5s come with a six-speed manual transmission, but can be had with the Geartronic five-speed automatic. T5 models also gain a sport suspension with the addition of the Dynamic Trim Package.
All-disc antilock brakes, side-impact airbags and side curtain airbags are standard. Electronic stability control with traction control is standard for 2007.
Even when equipped with the automatic transmission, the S40 accelerates with some spirit, though the engine growls when pushed. Despite a taut suspension, ride comfort is generally satisfactory, but the sedan can hit some bumps rather hard.
Stable on the road, the S40 maneuvers easily and delivers appealing control. Curves produce only modest body lean, and the sedan corners crisply. Driveline whine is noticeable at times. Despite ample cushioning, drivers tend to sit on top of the seat rather than in it.