2008 Volvo S40

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2008 Volvo S40 Review

Note: This review was created when the 2008 Volvo S40 was new.

The S40 is a quirky entry into the upscale market that offers outstanding safety features and a classy and minimalist appearance both inside and out. But it doesn't have a reputation for powerful performance, nor does it have the cargo capacity of other cars in its class.

8.1

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 7.9
Performance: 7.1
Interior: 7.6
Safety: 9.6
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Pros & Cons

  • Extensive and innovative safety features
  • Well-received exterior and interior design
  • Secure-feeling all-wheel drive trim
  • Limited options for storage
  • Six-speed manual transmission no longer available

2008 Volvo S40 Overview

It's not a neck-snapping performer, nor is it your traditional upscale sedan, but our analysis shows that the 2008 Volvo S40 has enough style, cutting-edge safety features and solid road performance to appeal to drivers. For 2008, both the Volvo S40 and the Volvo V50 wagon have modified their body lines and cabin. There is also an increase in engine power and more advanced safety features. Overall, the changes made don't make the two cars the best in their respective classes, but reviews reveal the changes do solidify both vehicles as strong alternatives. In addition, the S40 offers competitve pricing for its class. The S40 is offered in three trims: the base 2.4i, the T5 and the T5 with all-wheel drive. If you're interested in an upscale small car, also consider the top-rated Volkswagen GTI or the Audi A3. The Volvo V50 has the S40's quirky style but more space.

  • "The S40 is one of those cars that might not get an enthusiast's pulse racing but are well worth considering. It has a crisp and sporting feel, excellent steering, good looks, is reputed to be safe, and brings the Volvo brand to a younger, less affluent (and probably hipper) customer." -- Car and Driver
  • "The S40 and V50 may not sell themselves to enthusiast drivers based solely on the way they carve corners and dust the quarter mile; but neither should their dynamics deter the hip, IKEA-loyal, young prospective buyers lured by their now even better-looking exterior styling and unmistakably Scandinavian interiors." -- Motor Trend
  • "The Volvo S40 sedan is nimble and peppy, if not overtly sporty." -- Forbes
  • "The Volvo S40 continues to enhance Volvo's reputation as a maker of superb sports sedans. The S40 looks and acts like a sports sedan." -- New Car Test Drive
  • "The Volvo S40 is a real driver's car: a quick, compact four-door sedan you can get with both all-wheel drive and a stick shift. It's a genuine rival to all-wheel-drive versions of German sedans much prized by driving enthusiasts. -- BusinessWeek
  • "If you've overlooked the S40 based on the original model, give it another chance. It is, this time, a Volvo." --Orlando Sentinel
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