Have you ever seen a movie and a day later can't remember what it was about? I have several examples of movies that haven't left an impression on me. I was going to name a few, but I just can't remember their titles, which demonstrates my point. The 2005 Volvo S40 will go down in my database of cars (like movies) that won't leave a lasting impression on me. There's nothing terribly noteworthy about it. It's fine to drive, not stellar and not awful either. It's just there.
I'm sure I'm going to have some speed demon, testosterone laden person write to me complaining that I didn't mention the S40's Turbocharged, All Aluminum Engine with DOHC Variable Valve Timing. Don't panic. I don't know what variable valve timing is either. You can give a car all the power in the world but if it doesn't have functional storage for me and my brood, it's just not worth much in my book.
Speaking of storage, I had an interesting thing happen to me in this car. After unloading my groceries I came up missing two cans of tomato soup (used to make Aunt Elizabeth Jane's Beef Stew). While silently accusing the check out boy of forgetting to put them in my bag, I decided to do a thorough search of the trunk. During this search, I discovered a black hole on either side of the trunk floor. Lifting the floor panel, I found a spare tire and yes, two cans of tomato soup. My point, you ask? If you decide to buy the Volvo S40, save yourself the hassle and get the optional grocery bag hooks.
The storage compartments inside the cabin are puny at best. The two front cupholders are busy holding my cell phone and ChapStick because the storage dish that normally appears just below the center console is moved behind the console on the S40; a design that looks really sharp, but doesn't function very well.
Another annoyance while driving this car are the extremely tall front headrests. With the driver's seat cranked forward to accommodate my not-so-towering stature, I can't swivel the sun visor to block sun from the driver's side window.
To balance out the negative things about the 2005 Volvo S40, there are just as many positives. First up, the clearly labeled and easy to navigate controls (everything from the window locks and radio to the thermostat).
I like the location of the fuel filler door release button. It's just under the headlight controls, making it easy to find without contorting to reach one on the floor (as seems to be so common).
While digging myself and the car out of five inches of snow with a kitchen spatula (because my husband left for work with the only ice scraper), I found that the front and rear defrosters work amazingly well - as does my spatula. After running the defrost for a few minutes, an effortless swipe of my kitchen utensil (used only on my nicest Teflon pans) rids the windshield of snow and ice. I bet MacGyver hasn't even thought of that one.
The 2005 Volvo S40 T5 All Wheel Drive is fast and powerful in the typically described ways. It'll make many people a fun, high performing sedan. If you have more intricate and detailed needs, however, keep on searching.
For more information on the 2005 Volvo S40 and its safety features visit Cars.com.