Today I will review the 2007 Volvo s40.
This is the second generation s40, the car came to the market in 2004 and was built until 2012. The first facelift of the s40 was in 2008.
In this video i will explain what kind of car this is and show you some driving footage of the car and go further into the characteristics of the car.
This Volvo came about during the time that Ford owned Volvo, this led to many components being exchanged between the manufacturers. In this particular car the chassis of the car comes from the Ford Focus. The S40 also got a few Ford motors, like the 2.0 liter duratec.
This particular car has the iconic 5 cylinder from Volvo, this engine is what you can call proven technology. The 5 cylinders from Volvo have been around since the early 90’s and have proven themselves many times. This 5 cylinder is a continuation of that 90’s legacy.
This engine only produces 140 HP but has 220 NW torque. The torque figure changes the driving experience since this engine pulls in almost any gear no matter what the RPM does. Part of the reliability is the fact that Volvo only pulls 140 horses from a 2.4 liter 5 cylinder. I never have the feeling this engine has to work hard in this car.
The characteristic of the engine is that low in the RPM line torque is available and above 4000 RPM the engine really starts pulling and make a nice raspy 5 cylinder noise. In normal day use and frequently shifting this engine will barely rev higher than 2500 RPM. This makes the car quite and this makes sure the engine does not have to work that hard to accelerate. Another way to enhance durability.
The driving experience is somewhat sportive, it is not afraid of corners but it is clearly designed for long motorway journeys, the car is quite on higher speeds and the seats offer very good support. Comfort is what the chassis is designed for, the suspension is quite stiff but not uncomfortable. The Ford genes make the S40 an enjoyable car to drive, the more traditional Volvo chassis are completely designed for comfort, the chassis of the s40 finds a good balance between comfort and more dynamic driving.
When it comes to options, the car offers cruise-control, air conditioning, ABS, electronic stability control (ESC), radio/CD player, navigation, alarm, central locking etc.
From the factory the s40, like many Volvo’s turns on its headlight automatically. With a software update you can turn the headlights on and off. The button is already there, but without the software it will not function. With a software update you can also adjust the powered output of the engine. The 2.4 5 cylinder comes in two variants, the 140 HP and 170 HP versions. Engines codes are B5244S5 for the 140 HP and B5244S4 for the 170 HP.
Although the powered output can be better, it is sufficient for the Netherlands and many parts of Europe. The fastest s40 is the T5 which is a 2.5 liter 5 cylinder with a turbo that produced 220 HP and 320 NM between 1500 and 4800 NW, basically the whole revrange.
While searching for a replacement for my Volkswagen Polo I was looking at the Mercedes W203, the VW Passat B5 and the Audi A4 B6. The costs of running are quite high for older German cars. You might save some money buying an older Mercedes C-class or Passat but there are also many things that can fail on these cars. Reliability wise these cars are not great.The Volvo in that aspect is a better deal, besides that these Volvo’s are from the time that Volvo made reliable and distinguished cars that had a design I personally like.
The Volvo does not draw too much attention to itself. It’s a comfortable commuter that will bring you to the south of France without breaking a sweat. Yes it is not the most economical choice for the person that makes lots of miles, but the sound and engine characteristics make up for this.
I am averaging 8 liters on 100 KM on a mixture of roads. This engine was not designed to be frugal or reduce emissions. It was designed to eat up the miles and be reliable.
I can imagine reliability is very important in the harsh winter in Sweden, don’t want to be stuck in a winter storm and freeze to death. All jokes aside, part of the reliability is the fact the engine has a long history and built to last. Again a different approach manufacturers took during the design of this engine in the 90’s.
The greatness of the car really shines through when taking a long motorway journey. This car, like i said early is built for the highway. The seats offer great support and the cabin is nicely isolated. I drove it to Austria 2 months after i bought it and really enjoyed the drive, it will not be the fastest car on the autobahn but it is really good at cruising at 140 / 150 KMH.
At higher speeds you hear more wind noise which is understandable, but i will never be irritating. In contrary to the Volkswagen Polo, this car does not use any oil. Of course their might have been an issue with the Polo but I think it is worth mentioning.
Negative is the fact there is not much space in the interior the store stuff. The trunk is also not very big, but then again it is a sedan and not a station wagon.
Too me that is the only negative part of the car, even though it competes again the BMW 3-series and A4, it draws less attention to itself on the streets. The smile from the owner comes more from driving one and letting the 5 cylinder sing its tunes from time to time.
The Volvo is also cheaper second hand, due to the popularity the BMW and Audi keep their value better. During the time of owning the VW Polo I drove more and spent more on repairs. So far the Volvo has not let me down in the last 30.000 KM.
There are certain hints to show you this car is from the early 2000’s, one of them being the navigation system in the car. This car came to the market right before the iPhone and the moment people started navigating with the use of their smartphones.
But in retrospect the cars from the early 2000’s were built with a different filosophy. Now cars need to survive their lease contract, what happens after the contract is not interesting apparently. This Volvo is in my eyes the last of a era before the company went into a different direction. Volvo still makes good cars, but the philosophy is different these days. Volvo ditched the old 5 cylinder and claims they will drop diesel completely in favor of electricity.
Technically speaking the s40 is quite reliable, it sometimes happens that the 5 cylinder will start running on 4 cylinders instead. This is an error in the motor management and the root cause of this problems lays in a mechanical defect of the injector. The injector then needs replacement.
Another problem could be caused by crankcase unit, if this unit is defective you will hear a whistling noise from the engine bay. There is a quick fix in the form of pulling the dipstick a little bit up. The actual repairs then needs to be done in the workshop.
Sometimes when the remote control key has low battery, this will be displayed in the information terminal. The handbrake sometimes has issues when releasing it.
For the 2.4 specifically it can occur that the module for fuel pump can fail, a new unit is then needed. Many roadside assistance employees know a quick fix for these issues.
Hope you liked my review of the Volvo s40, if you have any questions let me know.
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