Volvo S40 is First Produced
Volvo Cars introduced the first generation Volvo S40 (Saloon) and V40 (Versatility/estate) compact executive cars in 1995.
The second generation arrived in 2004, where the new V50 station wagon replaced the V40.
In the summer of 1995 Volvo released the S4/V4 series but had to change the model's name as it conflicted with Audi who had already reserved the "S4" name. The quickly renamed S40 saloon (sedan) and V40 estate (station wagon), manufactured at the NedCar factory in Holland (a pre-Ford joint venture between Volvo and Mitsubishi Motors) and based on a common platform with the Mitsubishi Carisma. The V40, with Drag coefficient of 0.32, was the first whole model to be introduced under the direction of the British designer Peter Horbury, Volvo’s Design Director, and was marketed in Australia, North and South America, and the Far East. The V40 was named the ‘Most Beautiful Estate Car in the World’ at an Italian award ceremony.
In 2001 Volvo updated the 40 Series ("Phase II"), implementing a number of technical improvements, e.g., improved engine management, direct (diesel) fuel injection, extra safety features, larger brake discs, new front suspension and steering, revised rear suspension, larger tires and a widening of the track width. A minor facelift gave larger headlights, more streamlining and larger rear light clusters as well as minor instruments and fascia re-design.
The 40 Series cars were equipped with four-cylinder engines, such as a 1.9 turbo diesel or 1.6 (1588 cc), 1.8 (1731 cc), 2.0T (1948 cc), 1.9 T4 (1855 cc) or 2.0 (1948 cc) fuel-injected gasoline engines all of which are derivatives of the modular whiteblock engine series that started life in the Volvo 960 and carried in both 5 and 6 cyl formats in Volvo's bigger FWD cars. There was also a 1.8 L (1834 cc) Gasoline direct injection engine provided by Mitsubishi as part of the platform sharing between the 40 series and the Carisma.
The low (2.0T) and high (1.9 T4) pressure turbo variants at the top of the motor range. The 2.0T was rounded down and badged as 1.9T and was the only engine available in North America. The 5 speed manual transmission, widely available in Europe was not certified for us in US spec S40s, with the 5 Speed automatic the only option. No electric CVT transmission was planned unlike the 440 HTA / High Tech Auto CVT that had been released before the 400 series was completely phased out.
In the UK trim levels were XS, SE and CD.
Due to the common platform, many components of the suspension and drive train are compatible with Carisma as well as the Mitsubishi Evolution III. and Proton Impian.
The Volvo S40 was the first car to earn four stars in Euro-NCAP.
Introduced in the middle of the 2004 model year, the second generation S40 (known as the 2004.5 Volvo S40) introduced a new design based on the Volvo P1 platform built at the Volvo Cars factory in Ghent, Belgium. At the same time, the V40 was replaced by the V50 estate, also based on the P1 platform and built in Ghent. The S40 was nominated for the World Car of the Year award for 2005 and won the Canadian Car of the Year Best New Sport Compact award for 2005. It has also been elected the South African Car of the Year for 2005 by the South African Guild of Motoring Journalists.
The chassis for this car and the majority of its components were developed by Volvo, however similar mechanical components can be found in the Mazda3 and the European Ford Focus. The engine, a 2.5L 5 cylinder (B5254T3, and B5254S respectively for the turbo and naturally aspirated models) is the latest generation of Volvo's 5 cylinder engines. These inline fives have been continually developed by Volvo since the debut of the engine in the 850, in 1993. The top of the line S40 T5 AWD, as well as the 2.4 and 2.4i, powertrain is still made by Volvo. The transmission is developed with Getrag at Volvo's Koping Transmission Center in Sweden, and the AWD system bought from Haldex Traction of Sweden.
The S40 T5 (one of the several variants of the S40) features a 2.5 L (2521 cc) five-cylinder fuel-injected engine with a light-pressure turbocharger. The valvetrain has four valves per cylinder and is a DOHC design. The engine is transversely mounted at the front of the vehicle and drives the front wheels, as was with the first generation.
In early 2004, Volvo started an ad campaign called The Mystery of Dalarö in which 32 residents of the same Swedish town bought the same car on the same day from the same dealer. The advert was produced in a documentary style by director Spike Jonze.
The S40 was refreshed for 2008. Improvements include improved audio systems, increased storage space and new safety features like Emergency Brake Lights which flash rapidly during hard braking to alert traffic behind the car. The new S40 also comes with optional Active Bi-Xenon headlights which point the light beam in the direction of the road as it curves (standard in SE Lux models). There is also a camera which can be located on the side mirrors which alerts the drivers of passing vehicles beside the car. The camera is optional on all models. This is given the name BLIS (Blind Spot Information System).
Volvo released the 2.0 litre diesel Geartronic on the third week of February 2008 except in Ireland where it was released in the last week of May (due to delivery intervals).
The T5 engine received a performance increase of 9 hp (6.7 kW), giving an output of 227 hp (169 kW). The D5 engine became available with a manual gearbox offering 400 N·m (300 ft·lbf) of torque and an automatic transmission offering 350 N·m (260 ft·lbf) in the second half of 2007.
The 2009 model saw rear-end trunk lid changes, changing the badge from "VOLVO" to "V O L V O" with spaces in between the letters with larger characters, as in the newer Volvo models.
The next S40 will be based on the next-generation global Ford Focus C1 platform.
German car companies have long been the dominant players in the compact sport sedan market. The Volvo S40, introduced to the North American market in 2000, was the Swedish brand's first stab at stealing some market share. Though it had its shortcomings, the S40 was a decent small sedan that helped redefine Volvo's image. Instead of the standard boxy shape once associated with Volvos, the S40 had a sleeker silhouette and was relatively fun to drive.
Volvo released the improved second-generation S40 midway through 2004. Styling is sportier and more refined, as are the car's ride and handling dynamics. Additionally, there are now two engine choices, including a 218-horsepower turbocharged five-cylinder. Though it still doesn't have the prestige or athleticism of its German competition, the latest Volvo S40 costs less and still offers plenty of refinement, comfort and style.
Current Volvo S40
The Volvo S40 compact sport sedan is available in three trim levels. The front-wheel-drive 2.4i trim comes with a 2.4-liter five-cylinder engine, while those looking for a sportier drive should take a look at the T5 R-Design or T5 R-Design AWD trim, which is powered by a turbocharged 227-hp 2.5-liter five-cylinder. A five-speed automatic is mandatory for all S40 models, and front-wheel drive is standard on all but the T5 R-Design AWD.
Standard features include alloy wheels, a telescoping steering wheel with auxiliary audio controls, a sunroof, Bluetooth and a six-CD changer with satellite radio. The T5 and T5 AWD models are decked out with sporty "R-Design" exterior and interior styling cues. Leather seating, premium Dolby ProLogic audio, a navigation system and a Sport package are just some of the optional luxury features that Volvo offers. Inside the S40, the seats, dash and panels look upscale and classy, and the ultra-slim center stack design makes a fashion statement while adding to the car's functionality. The driving position is snug and comfortable, but adults seated in the rear might find legroom tight.
In reviews, our editors have found the Volvo S40 to be an entertaining car to drive. The chassis and suspension give the car sharp handling attributes. The optional sport package comes with a revised suspension and bigger wheels and tires, which improves cornering performance at the expense of comfort. For most buyers, the standard suspension setup will provide plenty of thrills while offering more cushioning over potholes. As the base 2.4-liter engine's output is rather unimpressive, going with the T5 probably isn't a bad idea.
Used Volvo S40 Models
The present second-generation Volvo S40 was introduced midyear as a 2004.5 model. (A related wagon variant is called the V50.) Originally, this S40 had an optional six-speed manual transmission available for the T5; it was discontinued for the front-drive model for 2007 and the all-wheel-drive model for 2008. A manual transmission was available for the base 2.4i model through 2008, and the T5 -- originally rated at 218 hp -- received a slight boost to 227 hp that year. Stability control became standard on all S40s for 2007, and upgraded audio components and the new blind-spot monitoring system joined the roster for '08. The 2009 model received a slew of former options as standard equipment, with a corresponding price hike.
The first-generation Volvo S40 sport sedan debuted for 2000. It came with a turbocharged 1.9-liter four-cylinder engine that made 160 hp and 170 pound-feet of torque. A four-speed automatic transmission delivered power to the front wheels, and there was no manual transmission or AWD option. Standard features included ABS, automatic climate control, power windows and locks, and heated mirrors, while features like leather upholstery and a power driver seat were optional. In 2001, Volvo added safety features to the S40 and made minor styling changes to the headlights and interior. The company also brought out a new five-speed automatic transmission. For 2003, power was increased to 170 hp, and a CD player became standard. In 2004, Volvo added an LSE trim to the lineup to sustain interest in the car until the current generation launched later in the year.
In reviews of the first-generation Volvo S40, we noted that it was a competent small sedan but nonetheless a tough sell over the less expensive but comparably upscale turbocharged or V6-powered Volkswagen Jetta. If you're interested in buying a used S40 of this vintage, we'd recommend going with one from '03 or later, as these models benefited from the abovementioned mild power bump and standard CD player.
The Volvo S40 continues to enhance Volvo's reputation as a maker of superb sports sedans. For 2010 the S40 2.4i and T5 AWD include a standard six-speed manual transmission and available five-speed Geartronic automatic. The T5 FWD continues to include a five-speed auto.
The Volvo S40 is a sporty front-wheel or all-wheel drive four-door sedan. The front-wheel drive 2.4i has a 168-hp 2.4-liter inline-five-cylinder engine. The front-wheel or all-wheel drive T5 is powered by a 227-hp turbocharged 2.5-liter inline-five engine. Safety features include electronic stability control, side-impact and side curtain airbags, and all-disc anti-lock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution. The S40 includes Bluetooth in standard equipment and the T5 is only available with the unique R-Design package, enhancing appearance and comfort.
The 2010 Volvo S40 is mainly a carryover from 2009, with the addition of a manual transmission.
The Volvo S40 has a compact body with rounded lines and a clean-cut tail section. The car's appearance exudes modern design and speed. The short bonnet and pronounced cab-forward stance help create a spacious cabin with generous interior space. Broad haunches and convex side panels signal power and underscore the car's compact dimensions.
The sporty and prestigious front has elements from the Volvo S80 and V70. The grille has a deep mesh pattern. The surrounding chrome mouldings help to emphasise the premium image.
The headlamps are the same on the S40 and the V50 models and come in three different versions:
The Active Bending headlamps rotate together with the steering wheel for optimal lighting when driving on winding roads. The tail lamps follow Volvo's modern form.
The lower door mouldings and the sill mouldings enhance the sporty character of the car. In addition to standard black they can be painted in the same colour as the car's body. To protect the painted sill mouldings they are combined with small mud flaps behind the front wheels. The lower sections of the front and rear spoiler are also available in black or in the colour co-ordinated version. The T5 and D5 models always come with colour co-ordinated mouldings and spoilers as standard (European version).
The Volvo S40 1.6D DRIVe models have a number of unique aerodynamic design elements that, beside optimising airflow and lowering fuel consumption (and reducing CO2 emissions), visualise the entire DRIVe philosophy. The S40 1.6D DRIVe comes with an aluminium wheel, Libra, in two different sizes, 15" or 16". In addition, the front spoiler and the spoiler on the boot lid come from the Volvo S40 T5 and D5 models.
As an option, the front side windows can be given an extra water repellent coating. The treatment means that water blows off the glass more easily, improving visibility during rain.
An Auto-fold function is available for the power retractable mirror option. With the Auto-fold function, the mirrors are set to automatically fold in when the car is locked. When the car is unlocked, the mirrors will fold out again.
The following exterior colours are available for the Volvo S40:
* Black Stone Solid (019)
* Passion Red Solid (612)
* Ice White Solid (614)
* Silver Metallic (426)
* Black Sapphire Metallic (452)
* Titanium Grey Pearl (455)
* Flint Grey Pearl (462)
* Safari Green Pearl (464)
* Barents Blue Pearl (466)
* Brilliant Blue Pearl (476)
* Electric Silver Metallic (477)
* Maple Red Pearl (478)
* Orinoco Blue Pearl (479)
* Gecko Green Pearl (488)
* Matt Gold Pearl (489)
* Chameleon Blue Pearl (490)
* Savile Grey Pearl (492)
Despite its compact exterior dimensions, the Volvo S40 offers a spacious and flexible interior. Every passenger seat has a fold-flat backrest. With the seats folded down, the load compartment floor is entirely flat. The interior is inspired by Scandinavian product design with the emphasis on uncluttered surfaces, honest materials and good function. The Volvo S40 saw the introduction of Volvo's ultra-slim, free-floating centre console with illuminated storage compartment behind.
The Volvo S40 was also launched with a specially developed upholstery material called T-Tec, which echoes ultra-modern sports clothes and travel goods.
The tunnel console and the armrest have been given a design matching the dashboard's floating centre console and with the same type of decor inserts. The aim has been to provide the highest possible feeling of quality while still increasing the flexibility and storage possibilities.
The space below the centre armrest is deep, long and wide and can house 10 CDs. The audio system AUX input is located here. In the armrest cover, there is extra storage space that can house mobile telephones, MP3 players or other odds and ends. The storage space in front of the armrest has room for two removable cup holders. The space is covered by an elegant black rubber roll-top.
Volvo Cars adopts a holistic view of safety that encompasses both preventive and protective safety. Preventive safety is closely linked to the car's driving properties. The body of the Volvo S40 features immense torsional rigidity and the car has a sturdy chassis, a combination that results in consistent, predictable behaviour on the road.
Volvo Cars has developed various information systems designed to help the driver while on the move. One such system is IDIS (Intelligent Driver Information System), which for instance delays incoming phone calls in complex traffic situations that require the driver's undivided attention. Protective safety in the Volvo S40 is structured around a network consisting of exterior and interior safety systems that interact with one another to reduce the risk of occupant injury in a collision.
The exterior systems have the task of distributing and absorbing incoming collision forces so that the passenger compartment remains as intact and undamaged as possible. The body is therefore built in the form of a metal cage made using different grades of steel, where all the components interact with one another to ensure controlled deformation.
The interior safety systems aim to keep the passengers securely in place and also to reduce the risk of serious injury. In order to provide the most effective protection possible, Volvo Cars has developed a number of in-house systems, such as WHIPS (Whiplash Protection System), SIPS (Side Impact Protection System) and IC (Inflatable Curtain). All are fitted as standard in the Volvo S40. What is more, all five seats are equipped with three-point inertia-reel seat belts, belt pre-tensioners and head restraints. The highest possible safety requires that all the car's occupants always use their seat belts.
The Volvo S40 can be equipped with the HomeLink function. The function makes it possible to operate up to three remote controlled home devices (e.g., garage door, home alarm system, etc.) via a module integrated into the sun visor. HomeLink contributes to easy and safe access to your home.
Volvo S40 is available with an advanced function that helps reducing the risk of alcohol-related traffic accidents. This function, Alcoguard, is an immobiliser that helps the driver to make a decision whether to drive or not while influenced by alcohol. However, it is ultimately the driver's responsibility to make "sober" decisions in relation to the Alcoguard function's recommendations.
Driveline and handling
The engines in the Volvo S40 are transversely installed in-line units. New methods of shrinking the engine's external dimensions have made it possible to fit a five-cylinder engine in the compact S40 body. Volvo can thus offer a compact car with high performance and large-car feel. A five-cylinder engine gives low vibration and smooth operation. Together with large displacement, the five-cylinder configuration provides high torque across a broad rev band, and thus also swift acceleration and excellent driveability within a wide speed range. Four-cylinder engines are available as an option.
The Volvo S40 T5 is the top model, featuring a turbocharger and five-speed automatic transmission or a six-speed manual gearbox. The T5 model is also available with electronically controlled All-Wheel Drive.