Volvo launched the new S40 range some time ago. Recently though, Volvo has snuck another model into the line-up, the new model being the S40 D5 – or in layman’s terms, the S40 Diesel. Keen to counter its main Swedish competitor – Saab – the S40 D5 uses the same Diesel motor that is featured in the Volvo XC90 D5.
The S40 D5 goes one step better than the Saab 9-3 Diesel. The S40’s engine has one extra cylinder and also displaces just over half a litre more. Naturally, you would expect a higher fuel consumption figure – right? Wrong. Although the Volvo produces more power and torque than the Saab, it uses less fuel.
One of the first evident traits of the Volvo D5 is the noise. It’s slightly noisier than the Saab Diesel motor, both at idle and during operation, but on that same token, it’s not that much louder than an equivalent petrol engine vehicle. The engine under the bonnet is truly phenomenal. The 2.4-litre, 5-cylinder motor produces 132kW and a staggering 350Nm of torque, all this power is sent through a five-speed Geartronic automatic transmission. Fuel consumption is officially rated at 7-litres/100km – this figure was easily achieved on test.
“Diesel...pfft, Diesel cars are dirty and slow” I hear you say. That statement couldn’t be any further from the truth. Fitted as standard equipment, the Volvo uses a particulate filter to trap and expel the soot that some Diesel motors generate. It also reduces particulate emissions by up to 90 percent.
On top of that, this Volvo is anything but slow. Bank up a few revs, then nail the throttle and the traction control will battle with the wheels to contain the loss of traction. From the get go, the D5 engine offers an immense amount of torque and makes it available throughout the rev range. In fact, this Volvo is so quick that the stated 0-100 time is 8.5-seconds! That’s about on par with Holden’s Commodore Omega.
Interior room is adequate for a small family, while the rear seats feature boosters for young children. Along with a 5-star EuroNCAP safety rating, the S40 D5 is equipped with: driver and passenger dual-stage airbags; inflatable curtain (IC), front and rear seats; side impact protection system (SIPS); head and chest front airbags; whiplash protection system (WHIPS); stability traction control and collapsible pedals.
Standard features include: 16” alloy wheels; dual zone climate controlled air conditioning; pollen filter; electric windows; electric wing mirrors; 6-speaker sound system with CD player; cruise control; engine immobiliser; fog lights and Dala T-Tec upholstery.
The test vehicle was optioned with the Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) which uses cameras on the wing mirrors which detect vehicles in your blind spot. Once an object is detected, a small orange light is lit up on the door frame to alert the driver. It’s an effective system and after some getting used to, became quite a valuable driving asset.
The Volvo S40 D5 retails for $44,950 and is also available in station wagon form (V50) for $47,950.
Undercutting the equivalent Saab Diesel by several thousand dollars, the Volvo S40 D5 is a wise purchasing option, especially considering the overall package received for the price. With remarkable fuel economy and strong torque delivery, the D5 engine’s unison with the S40 chassis makes it an involving and enjoyable drive.
If you’re still a Diesel doubter, you really have to test drive the Volvo D5 range, it’s bound to impress.
CarAdvice rating (out of 5):
- by Paul Maric