Which used Volvo S40 saloon should I buy?
You’re best off buying a late-model, post-2007 facelift car. Not only did that bring with it some interesting interior finishes (including an attractive ‘unfinished’ wood trim), it also tidied up the exterior styling and saw falls in CO2 emissions and fuel consumption.
Those buying with economy in mind should seek out a 1.6-litre D2 diesel in DRIVe trim, which added engine stop-start technology and some aerodynamic tweaks to score sub-120g/km emissions and the potential for 60mpg.
The best overall version, though, is the 147bhp 2.0-litre, five-cylinder D3 150hp diesel, which has impressive performance and still-reasonable emissions and consumption. On top of which, this Volvo-designed engine is generally more reliable than the Ford-sourced 1.6.
Our favourite used Volvo S40: 2.0 D3 SE Lux