Car Review: Volvo S40 Second generation ~ Cars and Bikes
Cars and Bikes

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Car Review: Volvo S40 Second generation

VOLVO S40 Second Generation. As an owner of Volco S40 first generation, I’m so excited when have a time to ride the second generation Volvo S40 on December 2007. Even though already 3 years after she officially released to the market (mid 2004), but I still eager to write a comment on S40.

The exterior wow….., very attractive, especially if you compare from previous Volvo models (any type). It completely not likes a Japanese car as the first generation Volvo S40. If you had tried to drive Mitsubishi Galant or Carisma, you will get the same feeling with first generation Volvo S40 because they use the same platform. But the second generation S40 was completely different, its so original and new style (…actually not really, because its sharing platform with Mazda 3). The exterior is beautiful because its so classy, sporty and well proportioned. Nevertheless, its lines and curves fuse together to create an eye-catching body shell that beckons to be stared at.

Engine. The S40 powering by 2.4-litre, 20-valve, DOHC, normally aspirated, 5-cylinder engine with CVVT (continuous variable valve timing), which produces 168-horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 170 lb-ft of torque at 4,400 rpm. Its almost totally aluminum base engine. This type of engine already have quite long history in Volvo product-line, it is durable, low maintenance and bullet proof. This inline fives have been continually developed by Volvo since the debut of the engine in the 850, in 1993

The 168 horsepower seem slightly under for its body, especially in the hilly road passing power was minimal, the gear automatically dropped from 5th to 4th, however the engine still fell slow, its better if can drop down to 3rd gear. However in the highway and city driving, the power of 168 horses is more than enough, except you are a racing driver who always want in the front of the line (you can consider the T5 engine which generates 218 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque). If I can choose, I’ll rather take the 2.4 , 5 cylinder normally aspirated engine, its more than enough for daily use and less maintenance (at least less components) than the T5. The fuel consumption (2.4 liter engine) is 22 mpg for city driving and up to 29 mpg for highway driving.

Handling. Volvo S40 is very stable at highway and superb while cornering, probably due to its front MacPherson spring-strut suspension, with lower-links and an anti-roll bar, plus its rear multi-link setup with coil springs and another anti-roll bar. The suspension, combined with a rigid body shell and linked to a traditional hydraulic, speed-sensitive, power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering system, is yet again a winning combination. The cars comfortable chassis made the drive up to the lake very smooth, even on the bumpy parts of the highway and through construction areas. Also, the rubber from the P205/55R16 tires gripped the dry pavement impressively, further enhancing the S40s stability.

Interior. So cool and beautiful, makes my old S40 interior become a ugly old style. The new floating centre stack is the most attractive point of view, this one is so “futuristic”, which you can’t found in other cars. It houses all the necessary devices, such as climate control, CD player and AM/FM presets. Everything is clearly labeled and very user-friendly. The single, in-dash CD player was linked to a performance sound system with 6 speakers and four 25-watt amplifiers. Unlike the floating centre stack that housed it, the audio system is decent but nothing to fawn over (this is S40 anyway, don’t compared to the S80 sound system quality), however the optional sound system premium Dolby ProLogic audio up-grading is available as well as leather seating and navigation system. The Dynamic T-Tec upholstery that garnished the interior not only looks classy, but is also quite comfortable.

So, I was very impressed, Volvo S40 second generation is a stylish car, fun and enjoy to drive, equipped with a bullet proof low maintenance engine.

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