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2011 Volvo S40 Comfort & Quality

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Comfort and quality are top-notch in the 2011 Volvo S40, along with the V50 wagon, but the cramped backseat could be a deal-breaker for family shoppers.

The Volvo S40 offers a level of comfort that near that of the brand's larger sedans in the front seats—though seat cushions don't seem quite as ample—however, in back legroom is tight and those around six feet or taller will have headroom issues. There's also only space for two adults in back; three won't have elbow or shoulder room.

But the interior is a little more useful than in most compact sedans. The 'floating' center stack is already a cool design, but a year or two ago Volvo made it even better, introducing a new center console and door panel design, along with improved air vents and a repositioned clock, in an effort to boost the number of storage compartments.

The 2011 Volvo S40 is very refined and upscale inside for a compact sedan, though the sometimes-hard ride and cramped backseat are limitations.

Compared to other small sedans, the S40 has levels of road noise that are well under control, though at lower speeds especially the ride can be rather hard and busy.

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