A Buyer’s Guide to the 2011 Volvo S40

When you think of Volvo, safety undoubtedly comes to mind first, and that’s exactly what the 2011 Volvo S40 is all about. Of course, it’s also comfortable, refined and features a pretty high-performing engine, to boot. You might actually be surprised at just what this four-door sedan can offer.

Key Features

There are plenty of features available with the 2011 Volvo S40. In terms of safety features alone, it’s second to none in its segment. It also features a lot of innovative interior design elements, including a floating, waterfall center console and available two-tone interior. The engine is also peppy enough to handle most driving situations, without being overpowered.

Changes for This Model Year

A few minor features were added for the 2011 model year, but the most important news is that the 2.4i model and the all-wheel drive version of the T5 R-Design model have been completely eliminated from the lineup.

What We Like

We like the fact that the engine is small, but turbocharged for additional performance. We also love the fact that Volvo always goes above and beyond when it comes to implementing safety features. Those include things like four-wheel disc brakes, ABS and full length head curtain airbags to name just a few. The front seats are also very comfortable, and they support well even on long hauls.

What Concerns Us

While we’re overall happy with the car, there are a few places that Volvo could have improved it. For instance, the premium pricing is a little high considering the fact that this isn’t really a luxury sedan (it occupies that strange middle ground between premium and standard). The handling is also not as good as it could be (and not as good as many competitors). Finally, the navigation system is difficult to use, to say the least.

Available Models

You have your choice of two trim levels with the 2011 Volvo S40. The base model is the T5 and the upgraded trim is the T5 R-Design. There is only a single engine between the two trims, though. You’ll have a 2.5-liter inline 5-cylinder engine with 227 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque. It can offer 21/30 mpg.

Major Recalls

There have been two major recalls issued for the 2011 Volvo S40. The first involves a crack in the passenger side engine support structure that could affect how the vehicle performs in crashes. The second involves the seat rail detection system on the passenger side, which might allow the seat to slide too far forward.

Common Issues

There are very few complaints surrounding the 2011 Volvo S40, although the engine’s power is one (it’s peppy, but not truly powerful).


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