in 2010 Upscale Small Cars

Avg. Price Paid: $13,155 - $16,318
Original MSRP: $26,200 - $31,350
MPG: 21 City / 29 Hwy
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Used Car: 2010 Volvo S40 Review

Review Last Updated: 7/30/12

The 2010 Volvo S40 boasts a stylish exterior, tasteful interior and good reliability, but the base S40 lags behind its classmates with lackadaisical performance.

The 2010 Volvo S40 is ranked:

Reviewers said the 2010 Volvo S40 looks sharp and is well-equipped with interior features. The base model has cruise control, automatic climate control and an eight-speaker stereo with a CD player. It also comes with a USB port and Bluetooth, which many competitors don’t have standard. A power moonroof, satellite radio and navigation were optional when it was new. The S40 has standard safety features like electronic stability control, traction control and electronic brake-force distribution, while blind-spot monitoring was optional.

When it was new, car reviewers said that the S40 is luxurious inside, and there’s a lot of cargo space. It has comfortable front seats that have good leg- and headroom. However, most test drivers found the rear seats cramped, though that’s not uncommon for the class.

When it comes to performance, reviewers thought the base S40 lagged behind its classmates. Test drivers said that the base model’s five-cylinder engine isn’t anything to write home about, but that turbocharged T5 models are significantly more powerful. However, with an EPA-estimated 21/29 mpg city/highway, the base model’s fuel economy ratings are similar to its classmates’. Overall, the base S40 isn’t a bad choice if you want a snazzy sedan with good cargo space, plenty of features and above-average reliability.

See the full 2010 Volvo S40 specs »

Other Cars to Consider

Like the S40, the 2010 Acura TSX is a practical, well-equipped sedan that has above-average reliability and safety scores. Performance-wise, the base TSX isn’t as sprightly as its competitors, but it has good fuel economy ratings and can be equipped with a V6 engine that reviewers liked. The TSX was named our 2010 Best Upscale Small Car for the Money.

The 2010 Volvo C30 is a good choice if you want a small car that’s more stylish than the S40 and don’t need a lot of space for passengers or cargo. The C30 is known for its retro glass tailgate, but appearance aside, it also offers a list of standard features that’s very similar to the S40. The C30 also performs better in safety tests and offers a similar reliability score. You’ll give up some space with the C30, but reviewers were impressed with its quality interior and comfortable front seats.

Compare the S40 to the TSX and C30 »