Car reviews - Volvo - S40 - S sedan
Meet Volvo's underrated S40 S, one of the top premium sedan bargains of this year
6 Oct 2006
By CHRIS HARRIS
VOLVO’S latest-generation small-car, the S40, has suffered from high pricing for too long. At the beginning of 2006, the Swedes slashed $10,000 from the price, deleted a few non-necessities from the base specification, and – in the process – have created one of the compact prestige bargains of the year. Before buying a BMW 1 Series, Audi A3, Honda Accord Euro or Mercedes A-class or B-class, we strongly recommend checking the new S40 S out.
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Volvo S40 2.0 Series IIReleased: April 2001
Ended: May 2004
Family Tree: S40
One of the great automotive disappointments of the latter 1990s was the original Volvo S40, a Dutch-built, front-wheel drive, four-door sedan that was stylish enough to be pitched against the Audi A4, but, in reality, lacked the necessary dynamic and quality abilities to actually pull it off. Part of the problem was that it was twinned with a Europe-only Mitsubishi model called the Carisma, and so suffered for being engineered down to a price. The Phase II facelift of 2000 attempted – but mostly failed – to fix many of the refinement and driveability issues of the earlier S40s. In the base 2.0 highlighted here, power came courtesy of a 100kW/190Nm 2.0-litre twin-cam four-cylinder engine, replacing the rather ordinary 90kW/170Nm 1.8-litre unit that Volvo previously reserved for its S40 opener.
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