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Used Volvo S40 review: 2006-2011

Graham Smith reviews the second generation, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 Volvo S40 as a used buy.

Volvo did away with straight lines to enter the mid-size sedan fray.


Following the surge in interest in mid-size sedans, predominantly from Japan, European makers joined in. Volvo's entry was the S40, which cut the mustard with competitive pricing and a long list of standard features.

Gone was the straight-edged styling of the past — in its place the S40 boasted a new sweeping profile that gave it a much more contemporary look.

The four-door range had the petrol-engined S and LE, turbo diesel D5 and hot T5.

Inside, the new cabin layout was also pleasing and comfortable, although rear passengers would have found it wasn't as roomy as some rivals.

The 2.5-litre five-cylinder petrol engine lacked a little in low-end torque but compensated with strong mid-range — it was both willing and flexible if revved.

The turbo diesel, also a 2.5-litre five-cylinder, not only gave you more torque for better pulling performance, but also cut your fuel bills.

In the performance T5 with all-wheel drive, the five-cylinder turbo delivered 162kW/320Nm.

Few owners have had issues with the S40, which should give potential buyers confidence

Most S40 buyers chose the five-speed auto transmission over the manual options.

Ever a leader in safety, Volvo ensured the S40's five-star rating with a comprehensive array of equipment including front, side and head airbags, anti-lock brakes, traction control and stability control.

Further, the exemplary dynamic safety came by virtue of precise steering, finely balanced handling and high levels of grip.


Owners are on the whole happy with their S40s and feel they have been rewarded with its performance and reliability.

Few have had issues with the car and nothing major has been reported, which should give potential buyers confidence when shopping.

Check for a service record, one that is from a mechanic familiar with the brand.

Regular oil changes are a key to keeping all cars in fine fettle, so it's crucial the recommended service schedule is maintained.

Most S40s will have reached the specified distance for a timing belt change, so check the service record to confirm that it has been done.

It's worth also talking to a Volvo specialist mechanic to get an opinion on the condition of any car you're considering buying. Such mechanics would likely be the best person to maintain your car after you've bought it — they charge less for their time than factory dealers and usually get hold of more affordable parts.

There have been minor recalls. In 2008 there was one to check the correct rear wheel studs were fitted; in 2010 it was recalled because the gearshift could loosen, and the power seat could travel beyond its maximum limit; and in 2011 there was an issue with the headlight cleaning pump.


Year Price From Price To
2011 $7,700 $18,040
2010 $6,490 $11,440
2009 $5,060 $9,680
2008 $4,730 $8,690
2007 $4,730 $8,470
2006 $4,510 $8,470

View all Volvo S40 pricing and specifications

Pricing guides

Based on third party pricing data
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Range and Specs

T5 2.5L, PULP, 5 SP AUTO $5,610 – 7,920 2006 Volvo S40 2006 T5 Pricing and Specs
T5 AWD 2.5L, PULP, 6 SP MAN $6,050 – 8,470 2006 Volvo S40 2006 T5 AWD Pricing and Specs
2.4 S 2.4L, ULP, 5 SP MAN $4,840 – 7,040 2006 Volvo S40 2006 2.4 S Pricing and Specs
2.4 LE 2.4L, ULP, 5 SP AUTO $4,730 – 6,930 2006 Volvo S40 2006 2.4 LE Pricing and Specs
Graham Smith
Contributing Journalist


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