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2011 Volvo S40 Review

The 2011 Volvo S40 stands out with good gas mileage and a lot of standard interior features, but some rivals offer more interior space and better performance.

Pros & Cons

  • Good gas mileage
  • Comfortable front seats
  • Less cargo space than competitors
  • Tight second-row seats
  • Not as sporty as some rivals




Critics' Rating: 8.1
Performance: 7.6
Interior: 7.8
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.1
Safety: 8.9
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2011 Volvo S40 Overview

Reviewers said the 2011 Volvo S40’s interior is constructed with quality materials and has a simple, modern design that they expect from a Volvo. It comes with an eight-speaker stereo, Bluetooth and a USB port, which is typical for this class. Satellite radio and navigation were optional when it was new.

Like many 2011 small cars, the S40 doesn’t stand out with loads of passenger space. Reviewers said that the rear seats aren’t the most spacious, but said that the front seats are comfortable. The S40’s trunk space is typical for a sedan of its size, but some competitors have more.

The S40 comes standard with a 2.5-liter turbocharged five-cylinder engine, which offers good fuel economy ratings and power, though some test drivers noticed that it had some turbo lag. Reviewers appreciated the S40’s accurate steering, though most agreed that it’s not as fun to drive as rivals like the 2011 BMW 1-Series or 2011 Volkswagen GTI.

See the full 2011 Volvo S40 specs »

Other Cars to Consider

The 2011 Acura TSX has more standard features than the S40, including leather-appointed seats and a moonroof. The TSX has more cargo space than the S40, and reviewers said that its available V6 engine has plenty of power. Because it had the best combination of positive reviews and long-term ownership costs, we named the Acura TSX our 2011 Best Upscale Small Car for the Money.

Like the S40, the 2011 Audi A3 has European roots, but it surpasses the S40 with better performance and available all-wheel drive. With the A3, you can also get a diesel engine, which has very good fuel economy ratings. Inside, the A3 has a swanky interior and a lot of cargo space, and it also stands out with better safety ratings.

Compare the S40 to the TSX and A3 »

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