Volvo S40 Saloon (96 - 04)

Used Volvo S40 Saloon 1996 - 2004 review

What is it like?

(1996 - 2004)
Review continues below...

What's the used Volvo S40 saloon like?

Perhaps great things should not have been expected from a saloon that began its development under the name 'Nedcar'. Nevertheless, the Volvo S40, part of a joint Volvo/Mitsubishi project - developed in the Netherlands, hence Ned - was designed to take the fight to the BMW 3 Series.

Although the interior looks good, build quality certainly wasn't on the first-generation cars. Ride and handling were also poor on launch cars and remained that way for the next four years until Volvo improved the chassis. Although there is a wide range of engines to choose from most aren't that refined.

Perhaps the S40's most attractive feature is its safety, because the S40 scored a (then) maximum four stars in the Euro NCAP crash test. But, on top of that, the cabin and boot are reasonably spacious and Volvo dished out plenty of equipment, even on entry-level models.