How Does the 2011 Volvo S40 Shape Up?

OVERALL RATING 4.1 of 5.0
  • Performance
    3.8 of 5.0
  • Cost of Ownership
    4.5 of 5.0
  • Interior
    3.9 of 5.0
  • Reliability
    4.0 of 5.0
CarSession
14 Jan 2011
3

There are a number of differences between the two versions but we can all agree on some  things; both the 2010 and the 2011 Volvo S40 versions fall short of the standard sedans when it comes to European luxury sports cars. While they both have comfortable features such as the front seats and excellent safety features the 2010 version is available in an optional turbocharged engine while the 2011 has a more lively turbocharged engine and a little more emphasis on the style and design.

2010 & 2011 Volvo S40 Engines

When it comes to new additions, the 2010 is back with the 2.4i engine with a five speed manual gearbox while the T5 all wheel drive has a six speed manual transmission and the T5 R-design is the standard sedan driven by front wheels. The sedan’s head restraints have two positions and it has revised options. The general fuel consumption is improved in this version. For the 2011 version, there is no base 2.4i version and also the all wheel drive has been discontinued. The manufacturers have come up with a different look and performance by simply adding some extra features in the existing trim levels.

Different from the previous versions like the 2010 sedan, the 2011 Volvo S40 has bridged the gap between standards and premium versions. The gap has been filled by the introduction of an attractive 4-door luxury themed machine. The 2011 sedan is better than its predecessors but can not match up with other sophisticated European luxury cars. As for the 2010, it can be classified as the vehicle that can fulfill the dreams of an individual who cannot afford an expensive sedan and at the same time doesn’t want a very cheap car.

On a positive note, though the Volvo S40 has been in production for a while now; it still is impressive when it comes to the fresh look. This is more defined in the interior where there is a waterfall center stack that is available in two-tone upholstery, which separates this vehicle from all other types that are more conservative. Beneath the hood of this machine, there is a five-cylinder engine that provides 227 horsepower and a livelier acceleration compared to the four-cylinder sedan. Beyond these specs there are not a lot of things that can distinguish the S40 sedan. This car is not all that, but then again, there is no such thing as the perfect car as long as manufacturers are concerned. The 2011 Volvo S40 has its own benefits and some disadvantages, but the fact that people are still buying them means that the latter is in its minimum. It may not be as good as other popular sedans but it sure fills in the gap when it comes to wallet issues.

The 2011 S40 is available in 2 trims, the T5 R-Design and the T5. The T5 has a CD player with 8 speakers, HD USB/auxiliary and radio input jacks, an automatically imming rear view mirror, telescoping and tilting steering column, Bluetooth, cruise control. With additional packages, there can be more great features such as sunroof, powered passenger seat and leather upholstery, of course at an extra cost. The T5 R-Design possesses all these features but looks sportier with spoilers, side skirts, classic dial gauges, aluminum pedals and a sport steering wheel.

In both trims, there is an option for a car that is fit for any weather. Some of the features in this type are automatic windscreen wipers, auto controlled climate, head light washers and heated front seats. There is a multimedia package with 10 speakers not forgetting the navigation system that displays traffic real-time. A stand a lone option has 18-inch wheels, satellite radio, keyless entry and ignition, blind spot detection system, rear parking sensors and adaptive xenon headlamps. The 2010 version has most of all these features only that they are not as improved as the ones in the 2011 Volvo S40.

Volvo S40 T5 R-Design

The base engine used in the 2010 version was cancelled and the 2011 S40 now is available only with turbocharged 2.5-liter engine. The engine provides a 227 horsepower and a 236-pound per feet torque. The all wheel drive was cancelled and the 5-speed auto transmission drives the front wheels at an acceleration of 0 to 60 mile per hour under 6.7 seconds. The fuel consumption is estimated to be 30 miles per gallon on highway, 21 miles per gallon in the city and 24 miles per gallon for the combination of both. This is an improvement from the 2010 S40, which does 60 mph in less than 8.4 seconds with 28 miles per gallon on the highway, 20 miles per gallon in the city and 23 miles per galloon in both.

The Volvo S40’s Safety Standards & Interior

For safety, the 2011 S40 has a standard anti-lock brakes, stability and traction control.  The front seats have side airbags and front head restraints for the purpose of reducing whiplash. There is an option of a blind spot warning system. The S40 is among the safest cars in crashes. This has been proved by strenuous crash testing procedures; the 2011 is  safer compared to the 2010 version. The ratings are as follows, 5 stars for the safety of the driver in frontal crashes, 5 stars for frontal crash passenger protection and 5 stars for side and rear impact protection. In fact, the S40 was rated best in frontal crash protection and came second in side impact tests.

The interior of the S40 is created and deigned using good materials with well-shaped seats that provide comfort for long distances. The R-Design has a leather interior that is a good option of a youthful spirit. The climate control is easy to operate but the navigation system is a bit of disappointment with its outdated graphics and menus, and it’s burdened with a lot of not easy to use controls.

The 2011 Volvo S40, with its supercharged 5-cylinder engine, is a great machine for drivers who love power. This car is stable on curvy roads thought the competition from other models in high.

Volvo S40 Interior


3 Comments

  • please help me out with this confusion. i m planning to buy Volvo S40 and saw that its specs were really very nice and it is also a fast car. but at the same time i saw this car’s name on the consumers list to avoid cars. is it worthy enough to buy this car or it comes with lots of problems. plz help me out with good info.
    thanks.

  • It’s a great car. It runs very smoothly and design is great. The site compares to other luxury cars, but volvo has greater reliability then its European peers (audi,vw,bmw).

    The only thing to consider is that they are not sure how long production for the s40 will continue (meaning future years, as they change their lineup / platform).

    I’ve owned an S40 and have had no problems. Now moving upto the XC60.

  • I own a 2009 s40 2.4i automatic. got it brand new and live in calgary where theres a lot of snow sometimes during winter and i always commute with no problems and very safe. Ive never had a problem with my car, its very reliable. It might not be the fastest, but it is very responsive, and with tough laws here in Canada, I think the 2.4i 170hp engine is more than enough. im 22 yrs old and i really enjoy it. I got this car brand new in 2009 and i put over 120,000 kms on it already cuz i drove it all the way down to mexico and came back with no problems and just pleasure. and i always travel to bc and florida…seriously, best car ive got as far as right now. I used to drive an accord before the s40 and started with a nissan altima…and finally got the s40 and no regrets at all. only problem i had one time is that ac hose was leaking but it got fix by warranty at no cost right away, and got a loaner while in shop at no cost ! 🙂

Leave a Reply