Volvo S40 and V40: improving ambience and practicality in equal measure
The medium-range cars in the Volvo Cars line-up, the S40 and V40, have undergone improvements in a number of key areas: safety, fuel consumption and, not least, design – both inside and out.
In the area of safety, protection against side impacts has been in firm focus. The Volvo IC (Inflatable Curtain) has been further developed to improve protection in a collision with a narrow hard object such as a lamppost or tree.
The side-impact curtain’s inflatable cells are now bigger and deeper to offer protection for the car occupants’ heads. The inflatable curtain deploys more quickly, and it is fully inflated after just 30 thousandths of a second.
Another new feature is that the curtain is deployed further down along the inside of the car, thus offering better protection for shorter passengers.
With the help of optimised software in the engine control units, most of the 4-cylinder petrol engines now offer lower fuel consumption. One example is the 2.0 litre, 165 hp light-pressure turbo engine that has cut fuel consumption by 5 percent, to just 7.9 litres/100 km.
The exterior design of the Volvo S40 and V40 has undergone a few select but important changes. The new grille with its black eggcrate pattern lends a touch of added sportiness, while the colour-coordinated side and bumper mouldings (option) create a sense of heightened refinement. The headlamps have a black surround with rings in front of the reflectors.
At the rear is another new feature, a chrome-plated opener for the luggage compartment.
Slip behind the wheel and you will immediately notice the new instruments, designed along the lines of those found in Volvo’s larger cars – the S60, S80 and V70: two large, centrally positioned instruments flanked by two smaller dials.
This layout improves readability and the driver’s ability to quickly assimilate the information he or she needs.
The new instruments are supplemented with a new and sporty three-spoke steering wheel of the same type that is found in the Volvo S60.
For personal security the new Volvo S40 and V40 with a key remote control featuring an alarm button that activates the alarm lights and the siren to discourage pontential robberers. The remote controle has a foldable key blade.
The seats in the Volvo S40 and V40 are even more comfortable than before, owing to an entirely new backrest design along the same lines as that found in Volvo’s larger models – these are seats that are renowned as being among the very best in the automobile world.