Volvo expands its U.S. lineup for 2000 with the V40 wagon and S40 sedan, front-drive compacts that have been available in Europe the past few years. The V40 and S40 are now Volvo's entry-level models, sized and priced below the S70 and V70. Volvo, now owned by Ford, developed the V40 and S40 with Japanese automaker Mitsubishi before Ford purchased the Swedish manufacturer. The cars are built at a plant Volvo and Mitsubishi share in the Netherlands.
The V40 wears a trademark Volvo grille with chrome vertical bars and character lines carved in the hood and along the shoulders like those on the company's larger models. The V40's 100-inch wheelbase is 5 inches shorter than the V70's and its 176-inch overall length is 10 inches shorter.
Three-point seatbelts are provided for all five seating positions in the S40, which comes with standard cloth upholstery and a 70/30-split, folding rear seat. Narrow rear doors make it hard for adults to gracefully enter and exit the rear seat. Cargo volume is 30 cubic feet behind the rear seat and 61 cubic feet with both sides folded.
Air conditioning, power locks and windows, cruise control, a cassette player and an immobilizer theft-deterrent system are standard. Leather upholstery and a power sunroof are optional.
Under the Hood
The only engine for the V40 is a turbocharged 1.9-liter four-cylinder with 160 horsepower, which Volvo says is enough power to hit 60 mph in 8.5 seconds. The V40 comes with a four-speed automatic transmission.
The federally required front airbags have two deployment levels, with lower force used in low-speed collisions. Other standard safety features include side-impact airbags for the front seats, anti-lock brakes and Volvo's Whiplash Protection System, which moves the front seats rearward in a collision.