2000 S40 New Car Test Drive
The wait is over for Volvo lovers who have wanted a small car -- and for small-car lovers who've wanted a Volvo. Europeans have been able to buy a small Volvo for many years. Finally, the company has begun to export its 40-series to the U.S. This means there is now a more affordable Volvo available.
Those who value Volvo's reputation for safety need look no further than this model for a compact car that is available as a four-door sedan or station wagon.
Volvo has priced the S40 aggressively such that it costs much the same as a Honda Accord or Toyota Camry with similar levels of equipment. The base price of $22,900 ($23,900 for the V40) includes all the safety items except traction control. Main options include leather seats ($1200), power driver's seat ($495), premium speakers ($400) and sunroof ($1200). There are several different packages available that combine options and lower the overall cost. For example, the DSA (Dynamic Stability Assistance) traction control system ($500) is available as part of an $850 weather package that also includes heated seats and a pair of headlamp washer/wipers.
The model we tested was fully loaded with most options contained in three packages (Sports Plus, Sunroof and Weather), which added about $5,000 to the base price. In reality, most of these items are superfluous to the car's performance and character unless you crave leather seats, a premium sound system and sunroof. Several dealer-installed accessories, such as a dog guard and cargo mats, are also available.