New Car Review of the 2005 Volvo S40 and V50 Near-Luxury Compact Sedan and Wagon
Description: Near-Luxury Compact Sedan and Wagon
Base MSRP Range: $23,260 - $28,910
Invoice Price Range: $21,900 - $27,200
Where built: Belgium
Volvo's compact-class cars -- S40 for the four-door sports sedan and V50 for a five-door wagon version -- show up on a larger platform for a new generation as the concept expands to create larger vehicles with sport-tinged handling traits.
The body shape looks unmistakably like other Volvo sedans but the package is briefer but broader and taller than before. Despite the small-car classification, cabins do not seem miniature -- they're airy inside with comfort touches and two comfortable front bucket seats. A clean and uncluttered layout orients toward the driver with analog instruments and a center stack section that's narrow and, in one of several trim options, faced in shiny metal.
Volvo outfits the compacts with two different treatments of an in-line 5-cylinder powertrain. For the sedan, entry edition is the S40 2.4i toting a new version of the naturally-aspirated 2.4-liter five for 168-hp. Transmission is a 5-speed manual or 5-speed automatic with Geartronic shift mode. S40 T5 gets Volvo's 2.5-liter low-pressure turbo five-pack with 218-hp and optional 6-speed manual or 5-speed Geartronic automatic. S40 T5 also scores an optional all-wheel-drive (AWD) system. V50 wagons use the same powertrains with AWD available.