Based on the same platform as the new Ford Focus and the Mazda3, the new Volvo S40 has 68% greater torsional rigidity than the previous S40 model maximising the performance of the new multi-link rear suspension.
How It Drove - Ride and Handling
Based on the same platform as the new Ford Focus and the Mazda3, the new Volvo S40 has 68% greater torsional rigidity than the previous S40 model maximising the performance of the new multi-link rear suspension. The front and rear tracks have also been increased to improve stability and DSTC (Dynamic Stability and Traction Control) is now standard across the S40 model range enhancing active safety.
We found the Volvo S40 to be relatively nimble, but the ride is on the soft side and although it does offer passengers a cosseting ride, we wouldn't describe it as a dynamic driving experience, rather a relaxed one. According to Volvo the electro-hydraulic power steering has been tuned to maximise feedback and control but we found it a little on the light side and lacking in feedback.
Ease of Use
Visibility is good all round, our test car was equipped with the optional Rear Park Assist (£340 option) which was helpful for tight parking spaces.
Front head and leg room is very good although rear leg room is limited. The doors don't open that wide so we had to mind our heads getting in and out of the Volvo S40.
The boot offers 404 litres of space and the rear 60/40 split seats fold flat, the front passenger seat backrest folds down to allow for longer loads to be carried.
On a practical level the Volvo S40 features: front cupholders, rear 12v socket, front fog lights, dynamic chassis, exterior temperature gauge, information centre, illuminated driver and front passenger lights and grocery bag holder and rear centre armrest with twin cupholders and storage.
Volvo S40 Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||Volvo S40D SE|
|Body Type||4-Door Saloon|
|Colour||Brilliant Blue Pearl|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||8.6 Seconds|
|Top Speed||130 mph|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||61.4 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||5|
|Warranty||3-Year/60,000 Mile Warranty|
|Price (when tested on the 14/05/06)||£20,538 OTR (Test Car £22,847.13)|