Premium compact car; Built in The Netherlands
  • 4-door sedan
  • 4-door wagon
  • transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $2,500 – $8,200*


2000 Volvo S40


2000 Volvo V40


2000 Volvo 40 series interior


2000 Volvo S40


2002 Volvo S40

Pros:
  • Ride
  • Steering/handling
  • Brake performance
Cons:
  • Rear-seat room

While delivering a generally solid driving feel, the S40/V40 do not have the same quality of interior materials or detailed workmanship as Swedish-built Volvos. Fully equipped models get a bit pricey, impairing overall value. An Acura TL or Infiniti I30/I35 is roomier, quicker, and more refined.

Overview

Volvo introduced a pair of Dutch-built, front-drive compacts for 2000, to join its larger models. With both the S40 sedan and its V40 wagon companion, they wanted to attract younger buyers than the Swedish automaker’s traditional customers. Rivals included the Acura TL, Audi A4, Infiniti I30, and Lexus ES 300.

With a 100.4-inch wheelbase, the sedan and wagon ranked among the smallest cars in the near-luxury segment. They were also among the least expensive.

Under the hood, a 160-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine worked with a four-speed automatic transmission. Standard safety features included side-impact airbags, four-wheel disc antilock braking, and front-seat head restraints that were designed to minimize whiplash injury in a collision.

Sedans had a trunk pass-through in the back seat. Wagons had a standard split folding rear seat. Heated front seats were available in an optional Cold Weather package. Other options included traction control, leather upholstery, a power moonroof, and integrated rear child-booster seats.

Yearly Updates

2001 S40/V40
After only one year on the market, the S40 sedan and V40 wagon got a thorough makeover, including freshened styling and slightly more engine power. The four-cylinder engine was now rated at 165 horsepower. A new five-speed automatic transmission replaced the initial four-speed unit.
In addition to extending the wheelbase by half an inch, Volvo designers subtly reshaped the fenders, reworked the front bumper with an integrated spoiler, and modified the front suspension. Recontoured seats went up front, along with upgraded trim and rear child-seat anchors. Power window and mirror switches moved from the console to the driver’s door. Optional heated seats now had two warmth levels. Standard curtain side airbags were installed. A new sensor system could trigger the dashboard airbags to deploy with full or reduced force, according to crash severity and whether occupants were buckled up.
2002 S40/V40
Except for a new in-trunk emergency release and twin cupholders, front and rear, little was new for 2002 in the slow-selling S40 sedan and V40 wagon. An optional Sport Package featured leather upholstery, a spoiler, fog lights, and custom interior trim, but included no engine or suspension modifications.
2003 S40/V40
Volvo’s slow-selling S40 sedan and V40 wagon got more horsepower–180 instead of 170. CD/cassette player was made standard and gauges were revised.
2004 S40/V40
S40 and V40 got a limited-edition luxury models for 2004, the LSE, with production limited to only 2500. It includes a color-contrasting exterior and special alloy wheels.

Engines

transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive

In their first season, the S40 sedan and V40 wagon had a turbocharged dual-overhead-cam four-cylinder engine that produced 160 horsepower, driving a four-speed automatic transmission. Engine output rose to 165 horsepower in 2001, when a five-speed automatic transmission replaced the four-speed unit. Power was up again in ’03, this time to 170 horsepower.

Turbocharged dohc I4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 1.9/116
Engine HP 160-170
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 175-177
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic
5-speed automatic
22/32
22/32
21.6

Road Test

Most class rivals have V6 engines and are a bit quicker and more refined than the S40/V40. Still, the turbo four provides brisk takeoffs and good midrange punch. Little turbo-related throttle lag is evident at higher speeds. A V40 wagon accelerated to 60 mph in just 8.3 seconds. Downshifts from the four-speed automatic transmission are generally prompt, but expect some hesitation in full-throttle kickdowns from midrange speeds and a little jerkiness in some part-throttle shifts. Early test cars averaged 21 mpg in performance testing, which is fair for their weight and power. Premium fuel is required.

Despite a relatively short wheelbase, the ride is supple and comfortable. Sharp bumps do register, but the suspension copes well with large ruts and humps–albeit with occasional floatiness. Handling and roadholding are good. Even the wagon corners with predictable grip and moderate body lean. Precise steering and powerful brakes also enhance confidence, but the wagon’s tail tends to drift slightly in simulated panic stops. Road and wind noise are well managed. The engine is quiet in top-gear cruising, but hard acceleration induces exhaust boom and intake growl.

Seating is comfortably supportive, with ample space forward. Rear leg and foot room are almost subcompact-class and head room is tight for those over 5-foot-7. Moving front seats more than halfway aft inhibits entry/exit, as do narrowish rear doors. Visibility is slightly hindered by rear headrests. Gauges are clear and controls handy. The sedan’s roomy trunk has usefully low liftover, but the small opening may prevent loading of bulky objects. The wagon’s load deck is fairly wide but not that long, and its cargo cover is too short.

Ratings

Model Tested: 2001 Volvo S40

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.

Performance

Acceleration - 5
50%
Fuel Economy - 6
60%
Ride Quality - 6
60%
Steering/Handling - 6
60%
Quietness - 4
40%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 5
50%
Room/Comfort Front - 5
50%
Room/Comfort Rear - 3
30%
Cargo Room - 3
30%

Other

Value - 4
40%

Total: 47

Specifications

4-door sedan
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
100.9 176.4 67.7 55.5
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
13.2 15.8 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
38.7 37.2 41.4 32.7
4-door wagon
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
100.9 176.4 67.7 55.5
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
61.3 15.8 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
38.7 38.3 41.4 32.7
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: N/A

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
N/A0%
Front Passenger Injury - N/A
N/A0%

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
N/A0%
Rear Passenger Injury - N/A
N/A0%

HLDI

(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Exhaust system
Description: The exhaust-manifold nuts may become loose and dealers should replace all nuts with new ones having captive washers. (2000-01)
Oil consumption
Description: The screen in the oil filler can get loose inside the filler neck and often would’ve been replaced when the vehicle was in for other services. (2000)
Seat
Description: The seat-adjustment mechanism squeaks if not periodically lubricated. (2001)
None
Description: The fuel rail may leak on a small number (15,000) of vehicles due to a bad weld and owners may call 1-800-458-1552 to see if they are eligible for the recall fix. (2003-04)

Recall History

2000
Description: Water may be able to enter the brake vacuum pump, possibly causing a loss of stopping ability. Dealers will inspect and replace all affected parts.
2001
Description: A diode in the electronic climate-control system may have a reduced service life. If it fails, the heater fan stops running, affecting the defroster.
2004
Description: Non-return valve on some cars may crack, causing vacuum leak; more brake-pedal force may then be required, and/or vehicle may experience rough engine idle.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.

Pricing

Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.