2008 Volvo S40

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$24,365

starting MSRP

2008 Volvo S40

Key specs

Base trim shown

Overview

The good:

  • Rich feel
  • Nimble
  • Relative interior space
  • Safety features galore
  • Blind-spot detection option
  • Large trunk opening

The bad:

  • T5 manual transmission discontinued
  • Below-average reliability
  • Side-impact crash test could be better
  • Premium gas preferred
  • Backseat a bit tight

2 trims

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price

Wondering which trim is right for you?

Our 2008 Volvo S40 trim comparison will help you decide.

Notable features

  • Lightly restyled
  • T5 engine gains power
  • Cabin storage increased
  • Front- or all-wheel drive
  • New safety features
  • Wagon version (V50) offered

2008 Volvo S40 review: Our expert's take

Vehicle Overview
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. A few years past a full redesign, the S40 and its V50 wagon sister have been substantially freshened for 2008. The exterior is refinished, cabin storage is improved and there are new safety and convenience features. The T5 gets more power from the same engine but loses its choice of transmissions. Competitors include the Audi A3, Subaru WRX and Volkswagen GTI.

Exterior
For 2008, the nose and tail are modified, and though Volvo says it has changed the headlights and taillights, it seems limited to the elements within, such as taillamp LEDs and lens colors, and not a change in overall shape. The V-shaped hood bulge runs down into a more sculpted nose, and the lower air intake is broader. The unmistakable diagonal cross-member grille is even less mistakable, with a 50 percent larger Volvo logo. In contrast to the nose, the door sill and bumper extensions have been smoothed out. A Dynamic Trim Package option for the T5 adds a trunklid spoiler, side skirts and spoilers for the “chin” and below the rear bumper.

The S40 was an early adopter of side mirrors with integrated turn signals. Sixteen-inch alloy wheels are standard, but 17-inchers are available on either trim level.

Interior
The standard upholstery in the five-occupant interior has a slightly coarse woven feel said to be inspired by sportswear. Leather upholstery is available. Volvo says storage space is improved both in the door pockets and center console. The center armrest is modified for greater comfort, and the handbrake handle is smaller and less intrusive. The T5’s instruments are redesigned for 2008 with watch-style gauges. Nordic Light Oak trim is now optional on the 2.4i; the T5 has aluminum trim.

The rear seatbacks fold down separately, and the front passenger seat’s backrest also folds flat. Standard 2.4i equipment includes air conditioning, power windows, power locks with remote keyless entry, and a leather-wrapped tilt/telescoping steering wheel. The S40’s auxiliary stereo input for MP3 players is now standard equipment. A single-CD player with steering-wheel stereo controls is standard, but buyers can upgrade to an in-dash six-CD changer. Sirius Satellite Radio is standard on the T5 and optional on the 2.4i and includes six months of free service.

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, among other items. T5 options include keyless ignition, a sport steering wheel and gearshift knob, a new premium stereo, a GPS navigation system and active xenon headlights that swivel in the direction of a turn. The previous option’s were fixed.

Under the Hood
A 2.4-liter inline-five-cylinder produces 168 horsepower in the 2.4i. High-performance T5 editions employ a turbocharged 2.5-liter inline-five-cylinder that now generates 227 hp (up from 218 hp) 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 now come only with a Geartronic five-speed automatic. The six-speed manual has been discontinued. With the addition of the Dynamic Trim Package, T5 models gain a sport suspension, sport steering wheel and a shift knob with aluminum trim.

Safety
The S40 has earned good crash-test scores from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Specifically, it scores Good (the best possible) in frontal and rear impacts and Acceptable (one ranking below) in the side-impact test.

The wealth of standard safety features includes side-impact and side curtain airbags, all-disc antilock brakes, an electronic stability system with traction control and a tire pressure monitoring system. Advanced options include the Blind Spot Information System, which lights an indicator just inboard of either of the S40’s side mirrors when a car occupies its corresponding blind spot.

Driving Impressions
Even when equipped with the automatic transmission, the S40 2.4i accelerates with 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. We have yet to drive the newly upgraded T5.

Stable on the road, the S40 maneuvers easily and delivers appealing control. Curves produce only modest body lean, and the sedan corners crisply. Occupants tend to sit on top of the seats rather than in them, but they still prove supportive and comfortable during long drives. The cabin is impressively roomy — roughly the same volume as the larger S60 sedan.

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.3
  • Interior design 4.8
  • Performance 4.6
  • Value for the money 4.6
  • Exterior styling 4.7
  • Reliability 4.8

Most recent consumer reviews

4.0

Reliable but expensive to repair

This is a good car but once the car starts breaking down it’s like a domino effect. However, it is a Swedish car so the repairs should be expected to be expensive. It is one of those cars that you truly have to stay on top of.

4.7

I would buy it again and again and again!

I enjoy my new used Volvo s40 so much! It’s reliable, safe and very comfortable. My previous car was leased Nisan Centra 2016. Much newer... I had it for almost three years but always had back pain after I drove it. The sit was so uncomfortable and I never found the right position. With my new used Volvo s40, I feel so comfortable to drive, the engine is very quiet even though it had 162 000 miles at the time I purchased it. Comparing to the Nisan, I have much more stability and control in the road, especially when it snow and rains. And it runs much smoother than 2016 Nisan.

4.7

It's for my daughter in college it rides good.

It is a reliable vehicle that looks good and drive good I am happy to purchased this vehicle for my daughter she also is excited.

See all 24 consumer reviews

Warranty

New car and Certified Pre-Owned programs by Volvo
Certified Pre-Owned program benefits
Maximum age/mileage
Less than 5 years/less than 80,000 miles
Basic warranty terms
5 years/unlimited miles , upgradeable up to 10 years
Powertrain
N/A
Dealer certification required
170- plus point inspection
Roadside assistance
Yes
View all cpo program details

Have questions about warranties or CPO programs?

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