2009 Volvo S40 Photo
/ 10
On Performance
On Performance
The 2009 Volvo S40 isn’t at the head of the sport-sedan pack, but most will appreciate its poise and composure.
7.0 out of 10
Browse Volvo S40 inventory in your area.

Browse Volvo S40 inventory in your area.


PERFORMANCE | 7 out of 10

Expert Quotes:

“makes for an uncomfortably stiff ride”

“turbocharged engine brings the little S40 to life”
Kelley Blue Book

“Don't confuse quickness with satisfaction”

“at 3,126 pounds…a relative lightweight.”

Among the different versions of the 2009 Volvo S40, reviewers most like the performance of the T5 minus the sport package and all-wheel drive.

The optional 2.5-liter turbo in the T5 brings 227 horses to the table, but perhaps even more significantly, its 236 pound-feet of torque is available from 1,500 to 4,800 rpm, allowing, says Car and Driver, “launches off the line” and great highway passing, all with “no noticeable turbo lag.” Kelley Blue Book feels the “turbocharged engine brings the little S40 to life.” Comments on the S40’s standard 2.4-liter inline-five, which registers 168 horsepower and 170 pound-feet, range from “perfectly adequate” (Edmunds) to “unimpressive, especially up long grades” (ConsumerGuide).

The base engine still has a choice of five-speed manual or five-speed automatic. “Go easy on it and the stick can be slid from gear to gear with barely two fingers,” remarks Kelley Blue Book, reflecting general praise for the manual transmission. Of the automatic, they feel it “seemed to work quite well.” Some bemoan the cancellation of the T5’s manual transmission option, leaving a five-speed automatic the lone choice for the turbo engine in 2009: “the Geartronic manual shift mode is not as quick nor as fun to drive as the discontinued six-speed manual,” finds Edmunds.

In regard to suspension, Edmunds reports “most drivers would be more content with the standard setup as it offers a more livable compromise between performance and comfort.” The stiffly sprung sports suspension, standard with AWD models and included with the Sports Package, “makes for an uncomfortably stiff ride,” observes ConsumerGuide. Car and Driver hails the base suspension’s “firm ride that manages to be both comfortable and compliant.” Cars.com agrees: “curves produce only modest body lean, and the sedan corners crisply.”

According to Edmunds, the electro-hydraulically assisted power steering deserves a little praise. It's a willing ally with the S40’s responsive chassis, one that exhibits “high-speed confidence and low-speed ease.” “Just the right amount of effort,” agrees Road & Track.

All-wheel drive, even when you don’t need it, saps fuel economy; it drops mileage figures by 2 mpg on the 2009 S40. But remarkably, the extra performance of the turbo engine is just as efficient; both base and turbo engines achieve identical city/highway fuel-economy ratings of 20/28 mpg with the five-speed automatic.


The 2009 Volvo S40 isn’t at the head of the sport-sedan pack, but most will appreciate its poise and composure.

« Prev: Interior / Exterior Next: Comfort and Quality »
Other Choices Read More
/ 10
TCC Rating
/ 10
TCC Rating
Used Cars
Related Used Listings
Browse used listings in your area

How does the
TCC Rating work?
The TCC Rating is a clear numeric rating value based on a 10-point scale that reflects the overall opinion of our automotive experts on any vehicle and rolls up ratings we give each vehicle across sub-categories you care about like performance, safety, styling and more.

Our rating also has simple color-coded “Stop” (red), “Caution” (orange),
or “Go” (green) messages along with the numerical score so you can easily understand where we stand at a glance.

Our automotive experts then also collect and show you what other websites say about these different aspects of any vehicle. We do this leg work for you to simplify your research process.

Learn more about how we rate and review cars here.

© 2015 The Car Connection. All Rights Reserved. The Car Connection is published by High Gear Media. Stock photography by izmo, Inc. Read Our Cookie Policy.