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Volvo S40 2.0 2004 Review


Only for a week, you understand, and it was strictly business.

How did I earn this status? I was driving a Volvo S40 with a rear window sticker that proclaimed my status.

I hate that campaign. Australians are pretty good at tolerating abuse – but do we have to pay $50,000 for the privilege?

Ignore the window sticker and I quickly appreciated that this was one Volvo that I could enjoy.

Few other Volvos – with the exception of the expensive S60 AWD and perhaps the even-more expensive S80 – are such nice rides.

The whole of the S40 car comes together well – it looks smart, has good interior room, good visibility, an excellent list of standard features, gutsy engine and smooth five-speed auto box.

And it's Swedish, so it's stylish, right? Well, it's stylish, but it's made in Belgium.

Owners of the previous S40 model remember not only the model name but the sedan's shape.

Take off your spectacles and there's not a lot that is immediately different between old and new.

Get up close and replace the glasses and there are subtle, yet important, body changes. The nose is longer, with a more

pronounced snout, while the rear is stubbier to exaggerate the length of the cabin. Inside you can fit four adults with enough leg and headroom, possibly adding another adult for shorter journeys.

The interior trim is pretty close to perfect, with excellent seats and a comfortable driving position helped by a heap of standard features that reflect in the comprehensive dashboard layout.

This high level of features really impresses, though the Tupperware plastic look of the optional centre console and door inserts probably should be overlooked in favour of the standard plastic wood.

The Volvo radio has a digital read-out that declares upcoming songs, unfortunately only on Nova – which was fine with my daughter. But the level of equipment is overshadowed by a delightful five-cylinder engine and five-speed automatic transmission.

Though there is some early lag when pressing the accelerator, it's made up for later by the spirit of the engine. It'll run hard and throaty to the red line.

It's also fuel efficient. The 10.1 litres/100km wasn't too bad, given hard driving – mostly using the sequential mode of the auto box – and some slow highway work.

I really liked this thing. It delivers solid performance and is very solid in its road feel.

It looks great – though perhaps too much like its lesser-rated predecessor – and is possibly the best Volvo that's ever hit the Australian market.

Pricing guides

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Range and Specs

2.0 1.9L, PULP, 5 SP AUTO $4,000 – 6,490 2004 Volvo S40 2004 2.0 Pricing and Specs
2.0 SE 1.9L, ULP, 5 SP MAN $4,600 – 7,370 2004 Volvo S40 2004 2.0 SE Pricing and Specs
2.0T 1.9L, PULP, 5 SP AUTO $4,200 – 6,820 2004 Volvo S40 2004 2.0T Pricing and Specs
2.4 2.4L, ULP, 5 SP AUTO $4,600 – 7,370 2004 Volvo S40 2004 2.4 Pricing and Specs
Pricing Guide


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Disclaimer: The pricing information shown in the editorial content (Review Prices) is to be used as a guide only and is based on information provided to Carsguide Autotrader Media Solutions Pty Ltd (Carsguide) both by third party sources and the car manufacturer at the time of publication. The Review Prices were correct at the time of publication.  Carsguide does not warrant or represent that the information is accurate, reliable, complete, current or suitable for any particular purpose. You should not use or rely upon this information without conducting an independent assessment and valuation of the vehicle.