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Volvo S40

Although the Volvo S40 officially refers to the category of small family cars, to classify it isn’t easy: the S40 is the vehicle with the features of large cars masterly squeezed into a compact body.

The Swedish automaker produced the car, which is represented in two generations, between 1995 and 2012. The first generation saw two models built – the S40 (‘S’ stands for ‘saloon’) and V40 (‘V’ implies ‘versatility’; body type is estate car). The second-generation V40, constructed from 2004 to 2012, changed its name for the V50.

Exterior

The last 2012 Volvo S40 model rivals the Audi A4, BMW 3 Series, and Volvo S60. All the features it possesses – a comfortable cabin full of technical gimmicks, special design, and state-of-the-art safety equipment – are unparalleled except for the platform it shares with the Ford Focus. In everything else, it’s genuine Volvo.

The second generation of the Volvo S40 has some similar features with the S80: large-car attributes with tinges of sport style incarnated in a compact body. The 2012 Volvo S40 is an appropriate car for those who like to be noticed on the road and those who like high speeds. The Volvo S40 is compact but broad with roundish but chiselled lines. Its short hood contributes to a capacious cabin. The car’s low stance is more distinguished if to take a side view. Special forms of the rear bumper and taillights add to the car’s zippy appearance.

The 2012 Volvo S40 can be painted in a wide range of colours such as Ice White, Black Stone, and Passion Red Solid; Silver, Cosmic White, Black Sapphire, Titanium Grey, Orange Flame, Electric Silver, Barents Blue, and Chameleon Blue Metallic; and Caspian Blue.

Interior & Comfort

The S40 is true Volvo. Like in other cars by the automaker, its interior has nothing in excess. Every cabin’s element is made of high-quality, preferably natural materials. There aren’t unnecessary features here – the cabin looks neat and practical. One of Volvo’s calling cards is an ultra-slim ‘floating’ centre console. The S40 is the first Volvo car to feature it along with an illuminated luggage area at the back.

Yes, the Volvo S40 is roomier inside than it seems from the outside. However, it isn’t roomy enough to comfortably seat passengers at the back. The car’s wheelbase provides not so much legroom while the lowering roofline reduces headroom for them. Moreover, the S40’s rear doors are rather small. It can be troublesome for those owners who have little children and have to install child seats on the rear bench.

The Volvo S40 is available in four trim levels – the ES, SE, R-Design, and SE Lux.

Engine

The Volvo S40 comes with petrol and diesel engines, and the one that can operate on either usual petrol or mixture of petrol and ethanol.

A 1.6-L 16-valve inline 4-cylinder petrol engine, paired with a 5-speed manual transmission, produces 110 kW at 6,000 rpm and 195 Nm at 4,500 rpm. It speeds up the car to 100 km/h in 9.5 s with 220 km/h top speed. It runs 10.8 l/100 km city and 5.7 l/100 km highway (7.6 l/100 km combined) and emits 176 g/km of CO2.

A 2.0-L 16-valve inline 4-cylinder petrol engine makes 107 kW at 6,000 rpm and 185 Nm at 1,500-5,000 rpm. It’s teamed up with a 5-speed automatic transmission. Top speed is 235 km/h; the 100-km/h mark can be reached in 6.8 s. The engine needs 13.5 l/100 km in the city and 6.5 l/100 km on the highway (9.0 l/100 km combined). It produces 211 g/km of CO2.

The Volvo S40 can be equipped with one more petrol engine – a 2.5-L 20-valve inline 5-cylinder turbo that comes with a 5-speed manual gearbox. It produces 169 kW at 5,000 rpm and 320 Nm at 1,750 rpm. The car rushes 100 km/h in 11.4 s after the engine is started. It’s the most fuel-efficient petrol engine in the range – it consumes 4.9 l/100 km city and 3.4 l/100 km highway (3.9 l/100 km combined) and emanates 104 g/km of CO2.

The DRIVe 4-cylinder 16-valve turbo diesel engine’s displacement is 1,560 cc. It generates 80 kW at 4,000 rpm and 240 Nm at 1,750 rpm. Coupled with a 6-speed manual gearbox, it accelerates to 190 km/h at most (100 km/h are reached in 11.4 s). The engine consumes 5.2 l/100 km city and 3.8 l/100 km highway (4.3 l/100 km combined) emanating 114 g/km of CO2.

There’s also the D2 4-cylinder 8-valve turbo diesel motor that’s slightly more powerful than the previous one. Its power amounts to 84 kW at 3,600 rpm while torque is 270 Nm at 1,500-2,750 rpm. It can be teamed up with not just a 6-speed manual but automatic transmission as well. Top speed is also a little higher – 195 km/h. The same cannot be said about acceleration, though. This engine reaches the 100 km/h mark much faster: in 9.5 s with a manual gearbox and in 9.6 s with automatic one. Fuel consumption and emissions rates are considerably higher. A manual gearbox: 7.0 l/100 km city, 4.0 l/100 km highway (5.0 l/100 km combined), 134 g/km of CO2; an automatic one: 7.6 l/100 km city, 4.5 l/100 km highway (5.6 l/100 km combined), 149 g/km of CO2.

The D3 5-cylinder 20-valve turbo diesel engine makes 110 kW at 3,500 rpm and 350 Nm at 1,750-2,750 rpm and can be mated to either a 6-speed manual (speeds up to 100 km/h in 8.7 s) or automatic transmission (in 8.8 s). Fuel consumption and emissions rates are the same the D2’.

Another diesel engine the D4 5-cylinder 20-valve turbo produces 130 kW at 3,500 rpm and 400 Nm at 4,500 rpm. It comes with the only gearbox – a 5-speed manual. Its top speed is 220 km/h while 100 km/h are reached in 9.5 s. The engine consumes 10.9 l/100 km city and 5.8 l/100 km highway (7.7 l/100 km combined). CO2 emissions rate is 183 g/km.

A 2.0-L 4-cylinder 16-valve FlexiFuel engine can run on petrol or ethanol. It generates 107 kW and 185 Nm. Top speed is 210 km/h.

Safety

The Volvo S40 received five stars from the Euro NCAP and that is why. The car is equipped with front and curtain airbags as well as whiplash-reducing seats. All five passengers are provided with three-point seat belts with pre-tensioners and head restraints. Furthermore, there are stability and traction controls, side impact prevention system, blind spot warning system, and LED and daytime running lights.

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