2007 Volvo S40

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2007 Volvo S40 Review

By KBB.com Editors

The S40 is a fantastic way to enjoy the perks of owning a premium brand automobile without having to pay a premium price. For about the same money as a Honda Accord EX, customers can pick up an S40 complete with a frugal yet peppy five-cylinder engine, sporty ride and handling and legendary Volvo safety. For a bit more cash, the S40 T5 ups the ante with a powerful turbocharged engine, the availability of all-wheel drive and a long list of luxury features. While not as sophisticated or adept as an Audi A4 or BMW 3 Series, the S40 nonetheless plays well in this field, offering a nice balance of performance, economy and affordability.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you like to get the most bang for your buck, the S40 will impress you with its style, content and price. Long known for its emphasis on safety, Volvo carries on the tradition with side-impact and side-curtain airbags, Whiplash Protection Seating System and other safety features.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you regularly need room for four adults, the S40's cramped rear seat and moderate headroom are a negative. Power in the base car is far from exhilarating and all-wheel drive is available only with the pricier T5.

What's New for 2007

The 2.4i model receives stability control and a new overhead console, while the front-wheel-drive T5 models now feature a five-speed Geartronic automatic transmission. Optional audio units feature an MP3-compatible CD player and an audio input jack.

Driving the S40
Driving Impressions

Despite the moderate size, the S40 is one serious automobile, well suited for both the highway and twisting back roads. Stable and solid on the road, the S40 T5's steering...

... yields sharp, reasonably quick responses. Quiet and refined, the T5 is a spirited performer with its easy-action six-speed manual gearshift and courteous clutch. Except for appropriate engine sounds when accelerating, little noise is heard. The T5's suspension is noticeably stiffer than usual for Volvos, but discomfort occurs only on rougher bumps. On satisfactory surfaces, the ride is smooth enough. Though easy to load, the trunk's size is modest.

All-Wheel-Drive Availability
Even if required only occasionally, all-wheel drive enhances the Volvo's feeling of security. Most of the time, you don't even realize all-wheel drive is present.

Dynamic Sport Suspension
Standard on the T5 all-wheel drive and optional for the regular T5 sedan, Volvo's stiffer suspension boosts handling capabilities without extracting a significant penalty in ride comfort.

2007 Volvo S40 Details
2007 Volvo S40 photo Interior

Scandinavian in nature, the S40's interior and dashboard qualify as no-frills. Volvo claims the "ultra-slim" center console is the first of its kind on the market. While the console looks neat, its stylistic slimness would make it difficult to upgrade to an aftermarket audio unit. The company promotes the S40's "ergonomically designed" seats, and their comfort on long drives is undeniable. On the dashboard, temperature and fuel gauges are integrated into the speedometer, but are easy enough to read. Some controls on the vertical console aren't quite as logical as they look, and glovebox space is meager. Compact outside, the S40 is quite roomy in the front-seat area, though it lacks headroom.

2007 Volvo S40 photo

The S40's design evolves from the more rounded shape Volvo started with the S80. Few traces of the old squared-off profiles are left on today's products from the Swedish-based automaker. What Volvo calls Intelligent Vehicle Architecture includes "extremely rigid" cross members for side-impact protection and a considerable amount of high-tensile steel in the structure. Manufactured in Belgium, the S40 bears a close resemblance to other Volvo models. Up front, at least, it's a virtual twin to the new V50 wagon.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Even in the base 2.4i trim, the S40 features air conditioning, anti-lock brakes (ABS), an engine immobilizer, traction control, rear fog lamps, keyless remote entry, heated power mirrors, a CD player and a tilt/telescoping steering wheel. Upgrading to the T5 adds a 2.5-liter turbocharged engine, automatic climate control and an eight-way power driver's seat.

Optional Equipment

Popular options are mostly bundled into packages. The base 2.4i offers a Climate Package with heated seats, headlamp washers and rain-sensing wipers. The Select Package adds a power glass moonroof, six-disc CD/MP3 player, upgraded speakers, trip computer and a power driver's seat. Stand-alone options include leather seating and SIRIUS Satellite Radio. The T5 offers bi-xenon headlamps, sport steering wheel, sport suspension, power passenger seat, navigation and Keyless Drive remote start.

Under the Hood

The standard 2.4-liter engine is adequate for the casual driver, but lacks the low-end punch needed for quick bursts of speed when passing or merging. If you can swing the extra cash, opt for the T5 - its turbocharged engine brings the little S40 to life. The T5's six-speed manual is great fun for those who still enjoy shifting their own gears, but the five-speed Geartronic automatic won't disappoint you, either.

2.4-liter in-line 5
168 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
170 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/29 (manual), 22/31 (automatic)

2.5-liter in-line 5 Turbocharged
218 horsepower @ 5000 rpm
236 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/30 (FWD manual), 21/30 (FWD automatic), 20/28 (AWD manual), 20/28 (AWD automatic)

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