Volvo S40 (2004 – 2012) Review

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Volvo S40 (2004 – 2012) At A Glance

Comfortable, safe and enjoyable. Good looks, backed up by a decent drive.

Distracting reflections from dashboard and instruments. Floating dash panel doesn't suit everyone. Expensive problems with diesel more than three years old.

Insurance Groups are between 15–32
On average it achieves 87% of the official MPG figure

It's not often I get to test a new car and it turns out to exceed all expectations. Okay, just about anything would have been better than the old Mitsubishi Carisma based S40. And the Mazda 3 had already given a foretaste of what to expect in the chassis department. If the new S40 had been just a little bit better than the Mazda 3 it would have been fine.

Instead, it's close to sensational.

The signs for this particular launch were not good. Our plane suffered a bird in the engine while landing to pick us up, so we had to wait hours for a replacement plane. Then, on the main drive in Andalusia, it rained gatos y peros. And, even though we were in Spain, there was a shortage of Manuels, so we had no choice but to drive automatics. The rain didn't stop all day. So, sorry folks, apart from the headlight and the key picture I've had to use stock shots.

But the conditions were actually a better test of the car than bright sunlight and bone-dry roads. And both the 170bhp 2.4i and 220bhp T5 automatics behaved impeccably.

Volvo S40 2003 Road Test

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Real MPG average for a Volvo S40 (2004 – 2012)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

24–67 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.


I'm only getting 26mpg on my Volvo S40 - what should I be getting?
I've recently purchased a Volvo S40 2.4-litre petrol. What mpg should it get? I'm currently getting 26mpg and 30mpg on a run out.
That's about right. The Real MPG average is 31mpg: /
Answered by Honest John
What cars are still reliable over the 100,000 mile mark?
I'm looking for a cheap to run car which will be reliable, but over the magic 100,000 mark, as I do plenty of miles and don't want to crucify value. Ideally for about £2500. I do enough miles (12,000 plus) to warrant diesels, but naturally there may be big bills. I also need some thing with a decent boot, as I race model stockcars with friends, and punchy enough to overtake. Thoughts turn to a Volvo S40 2.0d, or a lower mileage Ford Mondeo. Any recommendations?
£2500 might buy you a peach but is far more likely to buy you a disaster. Worth looking at pre-DPF chain cam Kia Cee'd and Hyundai i30 1.6 CRDi SW, but no guarantees they're in this price bracket. Anything with a timing belt probably needs a new one and a new timing belt, tensioner, waterpump and alternator belt starts at £360, but could easily set you back £600.
Answered by Honest John
Is the Anti-skid service warning light on my Volvo S40 due to an EGR valve fault?
My Volvo S40 had a new DPF in 2014 and in December 2016 it needed a new ADM, EGR valve, and DPF cleaning. The engine system service costed £1250 and now an Anti-skid service required warning light has shown up. I've been told that the fault lies with EGR valve after fault codes analysis. Is this the case?
Ignore the EGR. Take the car to a Volvo dealership as this is a known fault on the car. Get them to do a check and, dependent on how old your car is, hopefully Volvo will carry out repairs without cost to you.
Answered by Alan Ross
What is the best diesel option - Volvo S40, Volkswagen Passat or Jetta?
I'm looking for the best diesel option out of an 07/08 Volvo S40, Volkswagen Passat or Jetta. Reliability and fuel economy are my most important considerations. What would you recommend?
The S40 has Ford 1.6 and 2.0 TDCi engines. The Passat and Jetta have the troublesome VAG EA189 1.6 and 2.0 TDI engines. None of these have great records, though the 2.0 TDCi in Ford is better than the 1.6 and the 2.0 TDI in the Jetta are better than the 1.6s, and in the Passat the old 1.9 TDI was the best. Really, your best bet is a KIA Cee'd or Hyundai i30 1.6 CRDi which are chain cam diesels and in your price range will be pre-DPF.
Answered by Honest John

What does a Volvo S40 (2004 – 2012) cost?