Volvo's new medium saloon looks like a scaled-down S60, and feels just as sporting. More stylish, more refined and far more appealing than its predecessor, S40 is a quality family saloon.
- Best medium Volvo to date
- Expect impeccable reliability and years of service
- Tauter handling than old S40
- High prices for this class
- Little chance of used bargains for some time
- No threat to 3-Series for image or enjoyment
S40 shares its underpinnings with the next-generation Ford Focus, Focus C-MAX and Mazda3. So it's hardly surprising that it's a huge improvement on the old S40.
As a quality sports saloon, S40 is smart enough to be a genuine rival to the Audi A4, Saab 9-3, and even BMW 3-Series and Mercedes C Class - although it is small for this market sector. It's good value, well equipped and offers a choice of strong engines. Top unit is the five-cylinder T5 turbo - a very Swedish solution, and pleasantly quirky, if not that easy to drive with so much power to the front wheels.
S40's efficiently laid out cabin is classier and better finished than before, with tasteful yet innovative design touches. Ride is smooth, even with larger wheels, and S40's composure and refinement make it feel larger than it is. The saloon bodystyle is a drawback for many, but then there is the V50 estate.
Need To Know
JD Power stars: 4
Worst Models: 1.6 petrol
Quality & Reliability
Value for Money