It has also moved to create more differentiation from the V5 wagon which will more closely resemble the upcoming V70.
A number of refining design cues position the Volvo S40 sedan a visual step nearer to Volvo's S80 large luxury sedan.
There will be no price change and both models will get trip computers and the option of active headlights across the range.
S40 gets a new colour-coordinated soft nose for a broader, lower stance.
There is also a new grille with a larger Volvo Iron Mark, new headlamps and a lower air intake that sweeps across the entire front unlike the current model's three-part design.
V50 also gets a new black egg-crate grille with larger Volvo Iron Mark, new headlights and three sculpted lower air intakes.
The lower part of the tail lamp panel on both the S40 and V50 is 30mm higher than before and the lamps have a new graphic layout. The brake lights are now long-lasting LED and the new bumper features integrated reflectors in the lower corners.
The entire lower part of the front door inside panels was redesigned to provide more space; and the audio system loudspeakers were reshaped to free space for a new, larger storage compartment with space for an A4 format book, an upright soft drinks can or a water bottle lying down. Space was also freed for an extra Dynaudio loudspeaker in the Premium Sound option.
The slim centre console is available in additional decor versions such as the Nordic light oak real wood inlay.
The handbrake has a more compact design, freeing up space for more storage capacity in the centre console.
On the back of the console there is a flip-up holder big enough for a 1.5-litre bottle.