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2009 Volvo S40 Review

The 2009 Volvo S40 offers a feature-packed interior, but the base model’s performance comes up a little short when compared with rival used cars.

Pros & Cons

  • Good cargo space
  • Available all-wheel drive
  • Not as fast or agile as the competition
  • Hard-to-use interior controls




Critics' Rating: 8.1
Performance: 7.6
Interior: 7.8
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.0
Safety: 9.0
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2009 Volvo S40 Overview

According to car reviewers, the 2009 S40 upheld Volvo’s minimalistic interior style while maintaining a high-class look and feel. However, some reviewers thought the buttons for the stereo and climate control weren’t easy to use at first. The base S40 comes with Bluetooth, satellite radio, an eight-speaker stereo with an auxiliary jack and a power moonroof. Optional features included navigation, an upgraded stereo, heated front seats and blind-spot monitoring.

Reviewers said the S40 has comfortable front seats, but as with many 2009 small cars, they thought that the back seat would be a squeeze for most passengers. However, at 12.6 cubic feet, the S40’s trunk has a competitive amount of space for the class.

In terms of performance, many test drivers said that the base S40 lacks the spunk that competitors have, comparing the S40’s base five-cylinder engine to those found in economy cars. However, the S40 T5 R-Design has class-competitive power, thanks to its turbocharged five-cylinder engine. The T5 R-Design is also available with all-wheel drive, which should please shoppers who want additional assurance in wet or snowy weather. The S40 gets up to 20/31 mpg city/highway, which is class-competitive. Additionally, while not the best available rating, it has solid safety ratings.

Though the 2009 Volvo S40 probably won’t fill the void for performance enthusiasts, its well-equipped cabin make it a smart buy among used small cars.

See the full 2009 Volvo S40 specs »

Other Cars to Consider

The 2009 Acura TSX and S40 have a lot in common. Neither sedan has great performance, but both come loaded with standard features and offer class-competitive trunk space. The TSX has a better safety score.

The 2009 Audi A3 gives you access to four- and six-cylinder engines, as well as available all-wheel drive. Test drivers agreed that the A3’s cabin is posh, and as a hatchback, the A3 has more cargo space than the sedans in the class. Like most of its competitors, the A3’s rear row is pretty tight. The A3 has a higher safety score.

Compare the S40 to the TSX and the A3 »


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