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Volvo S40 and V50 diesel 

Broadcast dates : 29th May 2005
4th June 2005


The 2,4-litre petrol S40 is the reigning Car of the Year, and Volvo felt the time was right to add to the range.

Volvo nomenclature is a bit confusing. The V50 is in fact the wagon version of the S40, and apart from an extended roofline, the cars are otherwise identical.

Car magazine lists the wagon’s load area at 1056 litres. The sedan offers 404 litres with a space saver spare.

The launch of the new diesel versions enabled us to re-acquaint ourselves with the S40 and V50.

Nearly a year after launch, the interior remains fresh and crisp with a no-nonsense approach, reminiscent of Mercedes-Benzs from a generation or two ago.
The leather upholstery is particularly durable and rear passenger space is good for a medium-sized sedan. But the cabin does have some shortcomings.

The four-cylinder diesel has serious grunt and it’s easy to spin the wheels on pull-away, even with traction control selected. The engine is more punchy than the power figures suggest.

Re-visiting the S40, we realized once again that Volvo has addressed the shortcomings of previous generations – vague handling, mushy steering and indifferent styling.

At R240 000, the diesel S40 is again well-priced. The diesel engine also adds gravitas to an already-solid package.

The four-cylinder oil-burner has the ability to rev well past 4000 rpm, and this makes for a smooth power-delivery by diesel standards. Service intervals are 20 000 kilometres, but with oil and filter changes every 10 000.

Here are the specs:

Volvo S40/V50 2.0D
  • Engine: Four-cylinder turbodiesel, 1 997 cc
  • Power: 100 kW @ 4 000 rpm
  • Torque: 320 Nm @ 2 000 rpm
  • Transmission: Six-speed manual, front-wheel-drive
  • Acceleration: 0-100 km/h: 9,5 seconds (9,6 seconds V50)
  • Top speed: 210 km/h
  • Fuel consumption: 5,7 litres/100 km (manufacturer’s claimed figures)
  • Price: S40 2.0 D: R240 000    V50 2.0D R250 000
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