Proving itself extremely successful in Europe, Swedish automotive giant Volvo wanted to stir up the competition on the market of compacts in North America. For this purpose, Volvo chose its S40 sedan model as it was unique enough to bring a fresh impression of the company to the table, all the while keeping Volvo’s traditional features and core values within. Here’s what you need to know about the Volvo S40.

Configuration Choices

With the S40, Volvo decided to cut down some of the trims for the Canadian market. Having sold the model in Europe for several years prior to bringing it to the Canadian market, Volvo decided to go only with the trims which had the best results. The S40’s engine came in a 2.4-litre turbocharged gas configuration, which gained the most attention from the younger generation that wanted a remarkably tame car with decent sporty tendencies. The customers are also able to choose between the front-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive options. When it comes to the transmission, the only option on the Canadian market is the five-speed automatic trim.

Innovative Design

The first thing you will notice should you take a glance at the S40 model is Volvo’s recognizable grill along with the iconic headlights. Nonetheless, with this generation of models, which in addition to the S40 sedans also includes V50 and V40 wagons, Volvo wanted to say goodbye to its trademark boxy design and chose to go with a smooth, sporty look that gathered impressive attraction from the younger generation. Also, the designers implemented rounded rear shoulders which became a pleasant recurrence within future models as well.

When you open the doors of the S40, you are exposed to the unique and simplistic, yet efficient design characteristic of Scandinavian culture and furniture. The seats are soft and exceptionally comfortable; softer, in fact, than any other seats in this class of Volvo models. They come with memory systems which can memorize up to three previously saved seat positions. Additionally, buyers have the option of choosing leather seats for their S40, making the seats not only comfortable but also remarkably stylish.

In the centre, you’ll find the floaty console iconic to all Volvos. It has a TV remote-control look and is just as easy to use. The glove box is spacious and deep leaving plenty of room for your possessions. Additionally, when it comes to storage, there is plenty of rooms in the doors and in the little bag-like holders on the front side of the seats. Overall, the cabin is spacious, leaving plenty of leg and headroom for people who are even over six feet tall, making the ride enjoyable. Dashboards and armrests are soft to the touch, ensuring the additional comfort of all passengers.

On The Road

Volvo’s S40 is, simply put, a joy to drive. The model is based on and borrows some of Ford Focus’ building blocks, which means that it is extremely enjoyable on the road. When driving the S40, the driver feels in full control of the vehicle. The suspension is firm but that does not make the ride stiff and uncomfortable in any way. Handling is one of the strongest aspects of the S40; while the car grips tightly to the pavement, it gains good cornering power at the same time thanks to very responsive steering. The S40 is by no means a sluggish car, and the turbocharged 227-horsepower engine can thrill drivers who like to feel sporty from time to time.

Although Volvo went out of their way to make the S40 a template and flagship for many new aspects of the brand name, the company kept the tradition of building safe cars. The S40 comes with standard equipment such as regular front airbags, but, these are not the only line of defence in case of emergency. The S40 also has a side torso and side head curtain airbags, together with the Whiplash protection system for rear passengers. All of this made the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety mark it with a great rating, keeping the Volvo in pole position on the vehicle safety charts for years to come.