Volvo's smallest sedan, the compact S40, comes in 2.4i and T5 trim levels, the latter offered in all- as well as front-wheel drive. The S40 and its V50 wagon sister were substantially freshened for 2008. The T5 gets more power by turbocharging the same inline-five found in the 2.4i. Competitors include the Saab 9-3 and Audi A4.
New for 2009
The R-Design appearance package for the interior and exterior is standard on T5 models. Volvo simplified its options list, making many once-optional features standard. A manual transmission is no longer offered.
For 2008, the nose and tail were modified, but the overall shape wasn't changed much. For 2009, T5 models get a standard R-Design appearance package, which includes a unique grille, a sport body kit with color-coordinated side skirts and front and rear spoilers.
The S40 is small, coming in at 176.2 inches long and 69.7 inches wide — as compact as a Honda Civic. The Saab 9-3 and Audi A4 have the same width but are noticeably longer.
- Standard integrated turn signals
- Standard fog lights
- Standard power heated mirrors
- Standard power glass sunroof
- Standard 17-inch alloy wheels
- Optional 18-inch aluminum wheels
- Optional bi-xenon headlights with articulating headlamps
The standard upholstery in the five-occupant interior has a slightly coarse woven feel that's said to be inspired by sportswear. Leather upholstery is available. T5 R-Design trims come with unique premium leather seating surfaces with embossed R-Design logos, aluminum sport pedals, a sport shift knob, R-Design inlays, a watch dial instrument cluster and a sport steering wheel. Aluminum trim is now standard on both the 2.4i and the T5; Nordic Light Oak trim is optional.
The rear seatbacks fold down separately, and the front passenger seat's backrest also folds flat. Passenger volume comes in at 92.5 cubic feet, larger than the A4 but slightly less space than the 9-3. Cargo is a relatively small 12.6 cubic feet — the smallest of the group.
- Standard locks and windows with express down/up
- Standard leather-wrapped gearshift knob, parking brake and steering wheel
- Standard eight-speaker sound system with six-disc in-dash CD player
- Optional heated front seats (standard on T5)
- Optional navigation system
Under the Hood
The S40 comes standard with an aspirated inline five-cylinder engine, while the T5 gets a turbocharged unit. All vehicles now come standard with an automatic transmission.
- 168-horsepower, 2.4-liter five-cylinder with 170 pounds-feet of torque
- 227-hp, 2.5-liter turbocharged five-cylinder with 236 pounds-feet of torque
- Standard five-speed automatic transmission
- Front- or all-wheel drive
- Optional keyless drive
Volvos are known for their safety, and the S40 is no different. The car has a long list of standard safety features, including new-for-2009 automatic hazard warning lights that turn on when the airbags are deployed.
Other safety features include:
- Standard front-, side-impact and side curtain airbags
- Standard antilock braking system with electronic brake force distribution
- Standard electronic stability system and traction control
- Standard security system
- Standard immobilizer-encrypted ignition key
- Optional blind spot warning system
- Optional rain-sensing windshield wipers