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Volvo S40 consumer car reviews and road tests

Volvo S40

3.5 stars - average customer rating
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Volvo S40 consumer reviews by year of make:2001 2002 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 

Volvo S40 consumer car reviews

Gordon Smith, Stirlingshire

Volvo S40 2.0 D 2009

5 star review

The best way to look at this car is by comparing it to what else is on the market around that price market. I bought my Volvo S40 2.0D as a ex mobility vehicle 3 years old with 15000 on the clock for just under 11k which was a steal in my eyes. I have mostly up until now drove company cars and to be fair had all the usual Audi, BMW and Ford so fairly confident to have a good opinion here. The first thing you notice is the styling on the S40 which is way better looking than its nearest competition, standing and looking at it from the front it just looks sporty and well stylish. Side on you notice the way the doors do not bevel in like others and there is a very good reason for this and that’s safety! When you sit in the car and shut the drivers door it feels exactly like a Volvo should and that is solid and reassuring with all the controls almost minimalistic, but robust, no cheap feel like most new cars. Turn the key and wait for the diesel sound? Its not there and even at exuberant driving its not an issue. Handling is excellent and trust me at times i like to push my car and have to say its got what it takes when the chips are down. If your looking for a safe and reliable car which looks like it has a bit of class then go for it, you will not be disappointed.

Submitted: 2014-02-01 | ID: 51490

John Smith, Staffordshire

Volvo S40 2005

2 star review

My Volvo S40 SE sport 1.8 petrol has wipers that come on at will. Also, on the display sceen it says "Anti-skid service required" and if you then put your indicator on you can’t turn them off, with the signal flashing for up to an hour. I took it to my volvo agent who ran three diagnostic checks costing £266. They said it could be a problem with the CEM control panel. However, When it goes off it leaves the engine management light on and the next day it all starts again! It is not safe to drive and I have cars sounding horns at me all the time because the indicators are stuck on!

Submitted: 2013-07-25 | ID: 51489

Tibor Szabo, South Africa

Volvo S40 2.4i 2006

5 star review

Originally I wanted the S40 T5, but was put off by the price and the possibility that it had been hammered a bit. I took a used 2.4i for a test drive and was immediately sold; the engine note alone did it for me, that awesome 5 cylinder "warble" puts a smile on my face every time. Add in the full house generous spec levels, awesome interior and exterior design and brilliant open road cruising ability, and it makes for a perfect vehicle. Also, the ability to put the occasional hot hatch to shame at traffic lights is not a bad thing! :)

Submitted: 2012-01-17 | ID: 51488

Herman Bester, South Africa

Volvo S40 t4 2002

1 star review

I Had a volvo S40 T4. It needed 6 head gasgets on one engine and two further head gasgets on a new engine. The biggest bunch of rubbish ever. Never, ever again!!!!

Responses to this review

Obviously you are driving the car into the ground - mine is S40 T2 2001 model and last year had waterpump and water bottle replaced and front shock absorbers and she as 142,000 km on the clock and still purrs - shows you what decent driving and care does to a car... Had Renault Megane 1.6 previously 2004 model and thought that was a great car - maintenance-wise Renault Megane and Volvo turned out to be the same and absolutely love(d) both ...... - Martha Sharp from South Africa

Submitted: 2012-01-08 | ID: 51486

Richard Smith, Surrey

Volvo S40 S40 Sport 2005

5 star review

I’ve owned a Volvo S40 Sport 2005 model for over 3 years now and I’ve never had a single thing go wrong with it other than tyres, breaks, the usual wear and tear. I love the sport, very agressive, although road noise is louder than normal, but I put it down to having 18" alloys and lowered. I have had it serviced by Volvo since the day I bought it. I’m on my 3rd S40 (2 were previous shapes, 2001 LPG models.) I will be selling very shortly to get a new S60. :-) I’m on here looking how to change a fuse and with so many people moaning I thought I’d have my say. I love S40’s, good work horses.

Submitted: 2011-04-30 | ID: 51483

James McKendry, Scotland

Volvo S40 1600 s petrol 2005

2 star review

Got this car two weeks ago and was pleased with it at the start; has 17" alloys and gives a lot of road noise, my doors on passanger side won’t open and the windows won’t operate either and indicator on mirror, suspect a dodgy relay or blown fuse as the other side works fine, will wait and see what the garage says.<br /><br />

Submitted: 2011-03-14 | ID: 51484

Phillip E Howell, Bridgend

Volvo S40 2004

5 star review

Excellent car, drives well, road holding excellent, fuel good and when car is ticking over it’s very quiet. The only fault to my mind is that the rear window could do with a wiper. This is my 2nd Volvo, my first was an 850 auto, and both have been excellent cars.

Submitted: 2011-01-12 | ID: 51482

Carol Phillips, Hampshire

Volvo S40 2004

1 star review

Don’t buy one, there is a common problem with the brakes, a light appears telling you the brakes have failed and to pull over, the engine then slows down, going from 70 to 15 on a motorway can be a very dangerous problem. If you look on the internet you will find loads of people with the same problem, also the same response from Dealers and Volvo, they cannot find out what it wrong as it doesn’t show a code, therefore there is nothing wrong with the vehicle other than the fact that it either doesn’t start or stops the engine whilst driving. I maybe "only a woman" but that is a pretty serious problem to me. I have complained to Volvo direct and they are not interested, I now intend to spread the word and speak to The Office of Fair Trading. Hopefully someone will make the manufacturer responsible before someone is killed.

Responses to this review

Somebody has had their feet high up in the front passenger footwell and with a kick or knock have slightly dislodged a connection. Up high behind the dash is the CEM Control panel module. Open it up, drop it down and make sure everything is connected. Then lock it back up. Problem solved - Paul H from England

Submitted: 2011-01-06 | ID: 51478

John Allford, England

Volvo S40 2.0 D 2005

1 star review

Absolute rubbish, bought from dealers at 18 months old with 19000 miles on clock. First dual mass flywheel failure at 21000, repaired under warranty. Two weeks later clutch and the two week old flywheel had failed so on its 3rd flywheel at 21500 miles. 62000 miles failed gearbox, replaced under warranty; the gearbox that volvo fitted was a recon and was worse than the one that came out, eventually they agreed it was faulty so it had another fitted. 65000 miles signs of imminent flywheel failure so I got rid sharpish and changed it for a proper volvo an S60 d5 which has been superb. Don’t be fooled by the S40, it’s a Ford Focus in a posh body with a Ford engine that’s well known for serious and frequent transmission failures. Worst thing Volvo ever did was to get involved with Ford.<br /><br />

Responses to this review

If anything, Volvo quality improved under Ford ownership. I’ve had two S40s, and they’ve both been excellent cars. The Focus platform is one of the best around. Without Ford, Volvo would have gone to the wall - Craig Coleman from Yorkshire

Have to disagree with the reply Craig Coleman above. Regarding a Volvo S40 2.0D, the Focus mk.2 version. Great car to drive, looks very stylish bodywork (gets positive comments), ergonomics inside good, but... reliability horrendous and cost of repairs very expensive. Here are some of the faults experienced over the last 2 years: dual mass flywheel, alternator, starter, airbag sensor failure, intermittent faults with the 6 cd player. All very expensive repairs, some needing a Volvo dealer to sort, some critical safety matters - didn't this used to be a Volvo priority? Other forums brings up these and other faults such as brake issues. These seem to be repetitive faults as a result of the parts not being tested prior to being sold. Spoke to Volvo direct? Not interested at all. Very disappointing. Such a shame - will never touch Volvo again I'm afraid, just not good enough. - K.Cooper, England from Lancashire

Have to disagree with the reply Craig Coleman above. Regarding a Volvo S40 2.0D, the Focus mk.2 version. Great car to drive, looks very stylish bodywork (gets positive comments), ergonomics inside good, but... reliability horrendous and cost of repairs very expensive. Here are some of the faults experienced over the last 2 years: dual mass flywheel, alternator, starter, airbag sensor failure, intermittent faults with the 6 cd player. All very expensive repairs, some needing a Volvo dealer to sort, some critical safety matters - didn't this used to be a Volvo priority? Other forums brings up these and other faults such as brake issues. These seem to be repetitive faults as a result of the parts not being tested prior to being sold. Spoke to Volvo direct? Not interested at all. Very disappointing. Such a shame - will never touch Volvo again I'm afraid, just not good enough. - K.Cooper, England from Lancashire

Submitted: 2011-01-03 | ID: 51480

Michelle Scott, Aberdeenshire

Volvo S40 T5 2008

5 star review

This is our 4th Volvo, second S40 T5. Build quality, safety and reliability are brilliant. Extremely responsive on over taking. Averaging 34mpg, our older T5 was slightly better. Have the r-design but prefered the older wooden dash board, apart from that we are very happy with the car. Servicing is a ridiculous price as we only have one dealer north Scotland and Highlands!! Perth and Dundee are a bit more competitive. Sound system 6cd player is fantastic. Would certainly miss the 240 bhp if I down scaled.

Submitted: 2010-10-30 | ID: 51485

L Smith, Cumberland

Volvo S40 2.4is 2004

4 star review

This is my first Volvo and certainly not my last. Due to family I am restricted to a 4 door vehicle and also need the practicality, something with a bit of get up and go should the need arise; enter volvo’s 2.4i five pot engine, what a peach, what a sound. I was sold the moment I drove this superb looking car with a chic interior to match. My car was a unmarked 1 owner 4 year old with 34k on the clock when I purchased it 2 years ago for £8000. I do a lot of miles mainly fast cross country B roads and it has never let me down, it’s over taking ability is excellent as is it’s handling (although my wife complains of the harsh ride ?) it’s quite versatile regarding load carrying ability due to it’s drop down rear seats. It is now showing 70k (miles) and feels none the worse, main cost’s being servicing and tyres ("17" can be pricey) but servicing can be realistic using none franchised Volvo specialists and I do get 33mpg. Definately a wolf in sheeps clothing and not much slower than the T5 variant in the real world, pick up a bargain, A PREMIUM FAST 4 DOOR SALOON THAT HANDLES.

Submitted: 2010-05-07 | ID: 51477

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Have your say!

Gerardo Fuad, Mexico

Volvo S40 T5 2007

5 star review

I bought it second hand, a super deal 2 years ago. The power and aceleration are super! Suspension is not sporty but comfortable. Mechanical and electrical problems: just one, a bulb. It is a big car and I like the ride; it is easy to park everywhere. The adventages are 1 - great acceleration and acceptable km/ lt average 2- Super comfortble ergonomic seats 3- safety, fantastic double glass windows 4- style, design and a great stereo performance.

Submitted: 2010-01-20 | ID: 51473

Daniel Joubert, England

Volvo S40 2.4 Geartronic 2005

5 star review

Without sounding soppy, I simply love this car. I bought it second hand and it had been previously owned/driven by someone who had been less than caring when it comes to maintenance, but even so my impressions are of of very solid, well balanced, very safe and highly responsive car. On the long road, the 2.4l engine eats up the miles, at very acceptable levels of consumption, and the cruise control makes driving an effortless exercise. The styling is timeless and the new Volvo remains one of the most beautiful cars on the road. I don’t care about depreciation, I will never sell my car! Volvo for life!

Submitted: 2010-01-12 | ID: 51474

Paul Clarke, Sutherland

Volvo S40 1.8 s 2001

5 star review

A nice looking car. I’ve had it for 5 months and have done 5 thousand miles. The computer says the average fuel consumption on a long run is 42 miles to the gallon, with around town at 33 mpg. More than happy. I have had only 1 problem to date which is a noisy rear wheel bearing. It feels well screwed together with no irratating rattles. It has plenty of power when needed. The seats need a bit of time to set up to get comfortable. Very good road holding with the suspension set just right. I would put it on par with a Honda Accord. All in all a good alrounder with good safety equipment.

Submitted: 2009-12-11 | ID: 51475

Paul Gladstone, Yorkshire

Volvo S40 2008

1 star review

I’ve had the car from new for six months, in that time it has been back to the garage four times, the last time for six weeks. The car keeps shutting down and will either rev continually or will not go above 30mph. The car is dangerous and unreliable, you can not trust it. I would not recommend a Volvo to anybody. When the weather is cold it is pot luck if the car is going to start or not. I am very, very, disappointed with the car and when it happens again, which it will, I will seriously consider telling Volvo they can have the car back as it is not safe.

Submitted: 2009-12-10 | ID: 51476

Albertus de Nysschen, Devon

Volvo S40 1.6d SE 2005

5 star review

This car has a surprising amount of power and torque and has a very willing turbo with little lag. It drives smoothly in all gears and the engine management provides an even response while ticking over at low speeds in traffic. This makes it very tempting to play around in the gears with a gearshift that is positive and almost sporty, easily manipulated by your thumb and index finger. There’s definately no ’spoon in a bowl of porridge’ feel with this gear gate. Fuel consumption is a little dissapointing if you are expecting 60 mpg on all trips. This is only achievable on a very calm day at lower speeds. I have recorded 64 mpg at 64mph average from Watford to Exeter but have only managed that once. That does not mean though that you do not average between 50 and 55 mpg on a regular basis on the open road. City driving gives me an average 44 mpg return. Road Noise and wind noise is impressively low. Engine noise at low speeds is probably in line with most average small diesels, but at 70 mph it purrs along no different to my previous petrol driven car. As far as looks are concerned it still gives me a thrill even now when I walk towards it. That prowling nose lying low on the ground as you walk towards it is simply ’very impressive’. The side lines and the back of the car simply continue the symphony of design which few cars in it’s class have. It’s well worth letting it grow on you by dragging a deck chair a little closer, sitting down, and just looking at the lines....for a long time. The only complaint thus far is an irritating shock absorber rattle at low speed on a rough road. My milaege is 65,000 miles and I would have thought that suspension components on a modern car should do a bit better than that. So in summary I can only say that this has been one of my best buys, if not the best. So the next time you want to buy a car, spend some time admiring the S40 1.6d SE.

Submitted: 2009-08-05 | ID: 51472

Brian Wilkinson, Lancashire

Volvo S40 S40 D 2005

1 star review

Sat here waiting for the car to be taken into the garage (again). To add to the problems of stalling at low revs; seat belt lights and buzzer coming on (this is alarming when in the outside lane of the motorway when the bing bing alarm goes of, and no nothing on the seat). That I sorted myself by unplugging the wiring loom under the seat and plugging it back in again, 3 visits to the garage and they can’t work that out. Best one was the interior light in the passenger footwell that would not turn off (when ignition on), they couldn’t see it!! I show the sales office manager, nearly stuck his nose in it "Oh I see! Really!!!!". Driving slowly, revs suddenly drop to 0 = stalls. Radio turned itsself up to full volume, then wouldn’t switch off; £789.36 for the 36,000 miles service!!!!! Really tired of Volvo treating me like a inconvenience; the best garage they had used to understand my queries, so what did Stratstone do? Close it!!!! It has now got to the point that I dare not go too far from home despite having breakdown cover, it is the hassle and stress of thinking - "Will it start this time after I stop?".

Submitted: 2009-05-28 | ID: 51494

Mark Cady, Cardiff

Volvo S40 2.0d SE 2008

5 star review

I have had the car since June 2008, arriving with optional extras of leather seats, park distance and CD changer. I have already covered 21k miles and am approaching my second service. Only had one set of front tyres at 16k miles, with the rears set for 30k miles. The drive is assured, performance more than adequate and it provides a great blend of motorway and around the town driving that my previous vehicles failed to deliver. The badge carries some prestige, without the high costs of BMW’s and Audi’s..... My only concern is cost of servicing, and I am glad this is a company car. My 12.5k miles service (at 6 months old) cost £324, and all I had extra was some wiper blades. Overall I could not be happier, and I am already looking at my next Volvo for when my car gets changed at 60k miles.

Submitted: 2009-03-26 | ID: 51495

David Felton, Wiltshire

Volvo S40 2.0 Sport 2007

4 star review

Very good, quiet, ultra reliable car. The 2.0 Sport model is a comfortable car to drive, good handling, plenty of power when needed with reasonable fuel economy. On long journeys the cruise control is a boon! The climate control "does what it says on the tin" and during this cold weather the defrost saves all that scraping! Two minutes and the windows from front to back plus mirrors are clear. The only thing that this car needs is a rear wash/wiper. (Volvo please take note.) These cars are not cheap but you only get what you can afford .(My previous car was an Alfa Romeo). All around, one of the best cars I have owned (so far). I look forward to driving it’s successor!

Submitted: 2009-01-28 | ID: 51496

John Bell, England

Volvo S40 T5 Sedan 2008

5 star review

The 2008 Volvo S40 T5 is currently for me, a British Columbia, Canada owner, Volvo’s best offering. It is the most nimble, easy-to-park,economical, and space-efficient model of the four Volvo’s I have owned since 1982. On a long trip(such as a recent 2300km inter-provincial one which I took in June) the car’s comfortable seats, quiet air-conditioning, unflappable suspension, and fine gasoline mileage(37mpg) made it an outstanding vehicle for long-distance travel. Its sun roof made it a great platform from which to view the snowy peaks of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Around town it carries out errands( at least so far) with out faltering. No vehicle is perfect. I would like to see a more accessible glove box, an improved jack handle, and a better coin holder. Reflective safety triangles on the doors and reflective tape on the front and rear bumpers should be in place as on earlier Volvo’s. Volvo Canada has a winner in this little car and should do more to promote it in this country.

Submitted: 2008-07-30 | ID: 51491

Dan Bailey, England

Volvo S40 2.0D 2005

4 star review

I’d just like to counter the ’low miles’ review above - three years and 80,000 miles later, this car is still tight as a drum. Averaging 50mpg on my motorway commute, leather just getting really comfortable now it’s worn in nicely! No engine problems except for the EGR valve - a common problem on all [Ford/Peugeot group] 2.0 diesels, usually an early/warranty failure if it’s going to go - mine was. Only fault was the CD autochanger failed just out of warranty - goodwill payment from Volvo; parts are expensive, however [no different from BMW, Audi, Alfa etc]. Don’t worry about the diesel engine - proven to be good for hundreds of thousands of miles if respected [oil changes/servicing etc.] Safety second to none, leather the best in the business, cruise as standard, a decent drive on 17"alloys, floating console a design classic. Prestige branding without looking like you’re in a company car; a nice sight on the motorway, different to the usual 3series/A4 middle-manager repmobiles. Looks less fussy than the Jag X type, more mature than a Focus or Golf.. If you’re after a leftfield choice, an Apple to everyone else’s PC, then it’s this, the Saab 9-3, or the Lexus 220.

Submitted: 2008-07-08 | ID: 51492

Paul Masters, Berkshire

Volvo S40 1.6D SE 2007

3 star review

Good looker however not completely free from its faults The 1.6d would have not been my first choice however this was company car, and so the tax was considerably low for a car in its class. The 1.6d is quite refined an I am impressed by the engine management as Volvo seem to know how to get the best performance from a small diesel engine.. The main problem is that I don’t think Volvo planned the S40 1.6d to be a high miler. My car is a 56 plate, Nov 06, and it now as 27000 on the clock. There seems to be a issue with the intercooler as mine was replaced at 20000 miles. Maybe the turbo’s working overtime to get the best out of the 1.6d?. The annoying thing with this car is that, should the cars on board computer detect the slightest fault, this will take over and limit the cars performance. Should this occur the car would only do a maximum of 60mph on a flat road, reducing to about 30-40mph even on a slight incline and is not ideal when away on business! This happened 3 times until Volvo finally replaced the intercooler. The air con has also stopped working which, has been addressed by Volvo however, 3 visit to the garage later the air cons still not working! My colleges have also had issues with the 2ltr petrol, as they seem to cut out and having said this, one of my college had the contract ended early as he claimed the cars was not fit for purpose due to on going problems with the loss of power. Overall, I wouldn’t really suggest the s40 as a fleet car however, problems do happen and having driven the S40 2.4i SE, this is the model I would recommend however, only for low mileage users!

Submitted: 2007-09-20 | ID: 51493

What Do You Say...?

Responses

  • A response has been made to John Allford (03/07/2014 11:56:00)
  • A response has been made to Herman Bester (08/01/2012 14:14:03)

Questions

Answers

  • Martin Doran's question has been answered: "It is very possible that the EGR (exhaust gas return) valve is sticking. If you buy this part from a main dealer, expect to pay up to £200. I got one - Kevin Mahoney from England' '..." (02/11/2012 15:29:09)
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Road tests

Volvo S40

1.6D DRIVe - The Volvo S40 is an elegant saloon the features excellent build quality and safety. The performance is spirited and the handling is precise. Volvo’s strong residuals and the impressive fuel economy of the DRIVe will undoubtedly appeal to customers for both financial and environmental reasons.

Road Test Reports Says 4 star ratingFull Report
An image of the Volvo S40 1.6D DRIVe

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