2007 Volvo S40 S 1.6 petrol from UK and Ireland
Brilliant small executive saloon
Couldn't get the boot open - faulty motor - renewed. Leaky rocker cover gasket, repaired for a small amount at a service. Not much else other than general wear and tear, exhaust, brakes, oil changes and so on.
Didn't know what to expect with this one when I bought it 2 years ago - with already 90K on it I knew Volvos were reliable and took a chance on this one, it had patchy service history. When I drove it I was well impressed however, it drove like new, still felt tight and the driving position is great and everything is ergonomically perfect as if I had designed the interior myself, and the interior is the best thing about this car - very comfortable and stylish, and you get a lot of equipment on even this most basic "S" model. Go for an "R-design" if you want leather and more stuff though, however I find electric windows all round and climate control enough, and just as equipped as my basic old 1999 C-class Mercedes that was traded in for this car. The Mercedes was a good car; just getting old and time to move on.
The Volvo looks good in black, is very stylish, and gets good comments from friends - most small saloons are usually ugly, but this one is the exception.
The car is a bit small to compete with the compact exec sector some say (Audi A4, BMW 3 series, Merc C-class, etc), however I find it every bit as capable a car in that regard; apparently it's based on the Ford Focus chassis though, which is fine as that is a sharp car to drive and so is this. The downside however is the 1.6 petrol engine is weak, performance is no more than adequate. Do yourself a favour and get the 1.8 petrol - avoid the diesels, they are plagued with problems as most modern diesels are.
To sum up, this is a great little Volvo that I can't believe is nearly 9 years old; it feels very modern. They are at rock bottom prices now so grab a used bargain; make sure it's got history though. I suppose the real test will come in the next year or two as the mileage rises, but if this car is anything like Volvos of the past, it should handle it no problem. Family had a few 740 and 940 saloons back in the 80s and 90s and they lasted for many years and miles no problem - hope this one proves to be the same; will try to remember to update my review, but at 9 years old and 120K - so far so good.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 8th July, 2016
21st Jul 2016, 12:34
Quick update by original author: just to note as it turns out the S40 competes with the smaller upmarket cars (BMW 1 Series and so on) rather than the other cars I mentioned in my review. Still has interior space and quality to match bigger cars though. Put another 1000 miles on it this week, still loving the car. Only negative so far since my review is the air con isn't working as efficiently as I'd like, probably needs a "recharge"; annoying as the weather here in Scotland of all places has been real warm lately, but I can live with it, acceptable at the age and mileage; most air con systems need attention by then.
14th Oct 2016, 21:31
I have had a couple of S40 myself and I am a big Volvo enthusiast. I think this is an excellent review. However the 1.8 litre petrol you suggest, I would strongly advise against. This is a Ford engine and is notorious for valve stem seal issues, which causes the car to burn oil. It is a very labour intensive job and costly, and often not worth doing as the car gets old. I have had two 1.6d, which is a PSA engine and I have found them excellent, provided they're serviced on the dot and do frequent long runs as they were designed for; I have over 275,000 km on mine and the engine is still very healthy!
15th Oct 2016, 10:25
Original author here. Thanks for the comment, I was unaware about any issues on the 1.8 petrol, and any modern diesel I've had or heard about has turbo or injector issues. That's why I suggested the other petrol engine as an alternative.
Anyway glad you liked my review, and a further update - the car is still great, no problems, and after getting used to the 1.6 it's not actually that bad, you just have to put your foot down to get anywhere! But then I'm spoiled by larger 2.0 or V6 cars I've had in the past, that's probably why :) Mind you I am getting over 40 MPG out of this Volvo so can't complain.