Driving the Volvo S40 isn't a hard thing to do. Shedding away all the other stuff we've been talking about, the driving experience has been left out. I do enjoy the solid handling that tracks well on the highway and around town. Acceleration leaves a lot to be desired in the 2.4i variant but that doesn't come into play that often. Braking is responsive and the pedal gives excellent feel.

Highway driving was solid and the S40 makes you feel very safe as it glides through traffic at high speeds. You won?t notice anything missing when hovering around the 80 mph range. This was the car at its best. Gunning the S40 from light to light won?t win anyone over, but a commute of any distance will be more welcoming.

The front bucket seats are beyond comfortable but it felt awkward finding the most practical sitting position. Once you do get settled in you?ll find rear passengers are left with little legroom at all. The tilt and telescoping steering wheel along with the seat that can be raised substantially makes me think shorter folks (I?m 5?10) would really appreciate the extremes in positioning.

Being the audiophile the stereo is adequate with in-dash CD player but I didn?t think the range was overwhelming. Heavy bass sounded as did Radiohead-type rock but there were lots of CDs that didn?t fair too well. But the buttons and dash layout are superb.

We?ll round up the rest tomorrow with lots more pictures.

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