Premium compact car; Built in Belgium
  • 4-door sedan
  • 4-door wagon
  • transverse front-engine/front- or all-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $6,800 – $24,500*


2005 Volvo S40 and V50


2005 Volvo S40 and V50


2005 Volvo S40 and V50

Pros:
  • Build quality
  • Quietness
  • Ride/handling
Cons:
  • Acceleration (2.4i)

They may be a little too pricey and not quite sporty enough to snare the young driving enthusiasts Volvo targets. But the S40 sedan and V50 wagon are solid, capable, and–without the optional sport suspension/17-inch-tire combination–comfortable cars that offer most big-Volvo features in compact packages. Availability of all-wheel drive strengthens the attraction.

Overview

Volvo’s entry-level line added wagon and all-wheel-drive variants for 2005. The S40 sedan was joined by a wagon called the V50. Both offered base 2.4i and sporty T5 models, each with a 5-cyl engine. 2.4i models were front-wheel drive and had 168 hp. T5s offered front- or all-wheel drive, were turbocharged, and had 218 hp. The S40 2.4i was available with a 5-speed manual transmission or a 5-speed automatic with manual shift gate. The V50 2.4i came only with the automatic. T5s were available with a 6-speed manual or the 5-speed automatic. Standard on every S40 and V50 were ABS, front side airbags, curtain side airbags, and traction control. AWD versions had a standard sport suspension that was optional on other models. Other options included an antiskid system and navigation system with pop-up dashboard screen. Leather upholstery, sunroof, and heated seats were also available.

Yearly Updates

2006 S40 and V50
Volvo’s smallest sedans and wagons had no changes of note for 2006.
2007 S40 and V50
An antiskid system was standard instead of optional on 2007 versions of Volvo’s entry-level sedans and wagons. Keyless entry/starting was a new option for all models, which got a minor interior freshening for ’07.
2008 S40 and V50
Both the S40 and V50 received revised exterior and interior styling, and a blind-sport monitoring system was newly optional.
2009 S40 and V50
The 2009 Volvo S40 sedan dropped its manual transmission and gained an R-Design model with a different grille, a sport body kit, and other unique trim pieces. Satellite radio and a sunroof were now standard, as was a wireless cell-phone link. 17-inch tires replace 16-inch tires as standard. The V50 wagon gained standard all-wheel drive on its T5 model, which is renamed T5 R-Design. Newly standard for all 2009 V50 models were a sunroof and 17-inch wheels.
2010 S40 and V50
The 2010 Volvo S40 lineup underwent a few changes, most notably the return of a manual transmission. The same was true for the 2010 Volvo V50.
2011 S40 and V50
The 2011 Volvo S40 and V50 lineups deleted their manual-transmission and all-wheel-drive models.

Engines

transverse front-engine/front- or all-wheel drive

Both S40 and V50 use 5-cylinder engines. Base 2.4i models have a 168-hp 2.4-liter, and T5s have a turbocharged 218-hp 2.5-liter. Manual transmission is standard, a 5-speed on 2.4i, a 6-speed on T5. A 5-speed automatic with manual shift gate is optional on all. The 2009 Volvo S40 sedan dropped its manual transmission, but it returned for model-year 2010.

dohc I5
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.4/149
Engine HP 168
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 170
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
5-speed automatic
22/29
22/30
Turbocharged dohc I5
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.5/154
Engine HP 218
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 236
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed manual
5-speed automatic
21/29
21/29
20.3
20.6

Road Test

Despite Volvo’s 0-60 mph acceleration claim of 7.7 sec with the manual transmission and 8.4 with the automatic, S40 2.4i models are unimpressive when it comes to acceleration. At least the manual transmission has precise linkage, and the automatic shifts smoothly. T5s are snappier, showing little turbo lag (a delay in throttle response) in most conditions. An S40 T5 with manual transmission did 6.9 sec 0-60 mph in our test.

Test S40 T5 models averaged 20.3 mpg with the manual transmission, 20.6 with the automatic. An AWD V50 T5 averaged 25.0 mpg with more highway use. We have not had an opportunity to measure with a 2.4i. Premium-grade fuel is recommended for all.

Any S40 or V50 has a firm ride, even with the base suspension. But those versions are the most comfortable. The available sport suspension (which is standard on AWD models) makes for an uncomfortably stiff ride, especially when used in conjunction with the optional 17-inch tires. The tradeoff comes in the form of solid handling response. These premium compacts are assured and nimble, if not quite as tenacious as top sport sedans like the BMW 3-Series. S40 and V50’s steering is accurate, but some of our testers find it to be overassisted. Braking is stable and secure.

Standard 5-cyl engines in all S40s and V50s aren’t as smooth as the six cylinders found in competitors’ vehicles. But they’re not overly loud. Wind noise is modest, as is tire noise on the standard 16s. The optional 17s rumble on all but the smoothest surfaces. Note that one test AWD V50 had an annoying drumming noise that came from the cargo area at highway speeds.

Interior design is a bit of a mixed bag. The appearance is modern, with a unique ultrathin center stack for audio and climate controls. Some testers say, though, the layout takes acclamation. Materials quality is appropriate for the class. One test AWD V50 had a persistent squeak from the driver seat.

Adults have sufficient head and leg room up front, and they sit on supportive seats. Standard tilt/telescope steering columns and available power driver seats help tailor a comfortable driving position. In back, there’s decent space for two, though knees get cramped with the front seats more than halfway back. Visibility to good on all, except to the right rear in sedans, where the head restraints and high deck interfere.

Cargo space is quite good for a compact vehicle, with wagons being very flexible haulers. Folding rear seats are standard on S40 and V50. Be wary of the wagon’s liftgate as it doesn’t raise above the roofline, making access complicated for taller users.

Ratings

Model Tested: 2005 Volvo S40 T5, auto.

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 - 6
60%
Fuel Economy - 5
50%
Ride Quality - 7
70%
Steering/Handling - 6
60%
Quietness - 6
60%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 7
70%
Room/Comfort Front - 7
70%
Room/Comfort Rear - 4
40%
Cargo Room - 3
30%

Other

Value - 6
60%

Total: 57

Specifications

4-door sedan
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
103.9 175.9 69.7 57.2
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
14.3 16.3 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
38.9 37.2 41.6 34.4
4-door wagon
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
103.9 177.7 69.7 57.2
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
62.7 15.9 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
38.9 38.1 41.6 34.4
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 2005 S40 4-door sedan w/side airbags 4-door sedan

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 4
80%
Front Passenger Injury - 5
100%

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

Air conditioner
Description: The climate control system may blow hot when cold is chosen or all the flaps may close of airflow due to a fault in the climate control module software, which must be recalibrated. (2006)
Air conditioner
Description: The climate system airflow changes between the defroster and floor vents due to a problem with the distribution actuator or the inner defroster flap. (2004-09)
Alarm system
Description: The theft alarm may sound while driving and an “alarm service required” message may appear on the driver information center requiring replacement of the central communications module. (2006-07)
Alarm system
Description: The theft alarm may sound while driving and an “alarm service required” message may appear on the driver information center requiring replacement of the central communications module. (2006-07)
Brake noise
Description: Noisy front brakes are corrected by installing a bigger caliper support that fits cars with 16-inch wheels, while rear brake noise is corrected with revised pads. (2004-05)
Keyless entry
Description: The keyless entry may work intermittently because a small screw in the unit works loose and parts fall out of place inside. (2004-06)
Audio system
Description: The audio system screen may freeze and there may be no sound from the speakers, but problems may clear when car is restarted, and flashing the control module eliminates the problem. (2004-05)
Audio system
Description: Various noises may come from the speakers is an auxiliary music player (e.g. iPod) is used and the volume is above half-way on some early-production vehicles for which there is a revised cable for the wiring harness. (2007)
Audio system
Description: Noises in the audio system when an accessory media player (MP3, etc.) requires replacement of a cable between the jack and the audio module. (2007)
Audio system
Description: Various noises may come from the speakers is an auxiliary music player (e.g. iPod) is used and the volume is above half-way on some early-production vehicles for which there is a revised cable for the wiring harness. (2007)
Audio system
Description: Noises in the audio system when an accessory media player (MP3, etc.) requires replacement of a cable between the jack and the audio module. (2007)
Steering noise
Description: Noise from the power steering pump due to it touching the A/C accumulator.(2004-06)
Battery
Description: The battery may go dead overnight if the “infotainment” system won’t allow the central control module go to sleep mode. (2005-06)
Electrical problem
Description: On a few cars, the harness connector inside the A-pillar can get wet and corrode, so a campaign was issued to pack the connector with grease or replace if it was corroded. (2004-05)
Electrical problem
Description: The driver info center may display a “BLIS Service Required” message requiring update to the blind spot information system. (2007-10)

Recall History

2004-06 S40 and V50
Description: This recall applies to vehicles sold in or currently registered in the states of Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia. When exposed to salty-wet conditions, the pump electronic module (PEM) may corrode internally, causing a faulty signal to be sent to the fuel pump, resulting in Check Engine light illumination, engine-start failure or stalling. Dealers will replace the PEM and install it in a new location to prevent corrosion.
2005-06 S40 and V50
Description: The fuel line tube on some T5 models may leak in the area near the exhaust manifold, which could cause a fire. Dealer will change the fuel line material to Teflon from polyamide.
2007 S40 and V50
Description: An internal leak in the brake system is possible, due to prematurely-worn components, increasing brake-pedal effort significantly. Deterioration can eventually result in complete loss of brake-system functionality. Dealers will inspect the master cylinder. The brake master cylinder and brake fluid reservoir will be replaced and certain brake lines cleaned.
2008 V50 with roof rails
Description: The bolts on the roof rail may come loose during heavy braking or sudden stops when carrying roof cargo. Dealers will replace the roof rail bolts.
2008-09 S40 & V50
Description: The power steering return hose may rupture. This will result a complete loss of power assistance, increasing the risk of a crash. Dealers will inspect and replace the steering return line hose assembly.
2010-2011 S40/V50 vehicles equipped with 6-speed manual transmissions
Description: The gearshift lever stud assembly may not have been tightened to the correct specification during assembly. If the gearshift lever cable or stud assembly becomes loose, it may not be possible to engage, disengage or shift gears. This condition can increase the risk of a vehicle crash. Dealers will torque the gearshift lever stud assembly to the correct specification free of charge.
2011 S40 passenger vehicles
Description: A crack on the top side of the passenger side support member in the engine compartment may have developed during the forming process in component production. The crack could have an effect on the front structure and may reduce the crash performance of the vehicle. If no crack is found, no further action is needed. If dealer inspection reveals that a vehicle has a crack in the side support member, the vehicle will immediately be taken out of service. A new replacement vehicle of equal specification will be provided by Volvo.

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.