in 2011 Upscale Small Cars

Avg. Price Paid: $15,199 - $15,264
Original MSRP: $27,750 - $31,150
MPG: 21 City / 30 Hwy
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2011 Volvo S40 Interior

This interior review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

While some small cars sacrifice rear passenger room for cargo room and vice versa, reviewers note the 2011 Volvo S40 doesn't have much of either. Despite these drawbacks, front-row seating is spacious and comfortable, and Volvo’s trademark minimalist style creates the high-class cabin shoppers want.

  • "If you like to shop at Ikea -- or at least admire the company's uber-modern designs -- then the ... Volvo S40's interior should strike your fancy. The piece de resistance is the ultraslim 'floating' center stack, which is suspended between the console and the dash, but pretty much everything about the S40's interior design is a direct challenge to the relatively austere interiors found in some competing models." -- Edmunds


Front-seat passengers will be comfortable in the 2011 Volvo S40. There’s plenty of head and foot space for adults, the steering wheel tilts and telescopes and the seats are well-bolstered. The backseat, however, isn’t as comfortable.

Unlike the Audi A3, leather seats are not standard. In the S40, leather is available with the Preferred Package and includes power front seats and a sunroof. The sunroof is optional on the T5, but is standard on the R-Design. For additional comfort, Volvo offers a Climate Package that includes heated front seats.

  • "The interior is not that wide but furnishes adult-size headroom and legroom on supportive, well-shaped seats. A standard tilt and telescoping steering wheel and available power seat let most drivers get comfortable." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Occupants tend to sit on top of the seats rather than in them, but they still prove supportive and comfortable during long drives." -- Cars.com
  • "If you regularly need room for four adults, the S40's cramped rear seat and moderate headroom are a negative." -- Kelley Blue Book

Interior Features

While most reviewers appreciate Volvo’s minimalist Scandinavian style that shows off the S40’s fluid interior design and high-quality materials, a few say its fashion sometimes hampers a fully functional design.

Volvo's navigation and premium sound systems come with the Multimedia Package. Volvo also offers a number of optional features, such as satellite radio and a portable navigation system.

  • "Gone are the standard bits of gray plastic trim, and the result is a clean, monotone design." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "S40's ultra-thin center stack houses audio and climate buttons that some testers say take time to sort out and are too easily hit by accident while shifting. The windshield-wiper stalk impedes access to the dashboard-mounted ignition switch." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Some controls on the vertical console aren't quite as logical as they look, and glovebox space is meager." -- Kelley Blue Book


The 2011 Volvo S40 T5 and R-Design have the same amount of cargo room: 12.6 cubic feet. Reviewers complain about trunk size because it’s small and has a small opening. For more space, consider the Volkswagen GTI. This car has 15.3 cubic feet of cargo space, which is good for the class. Plus, its hatchback design makes loading and unloading easier. 

  • "Good trunk space for a compact sedan is abetted by standard folding rear seatbacks. Volume is meager by absolute standards and S40's aperture won't accept bulky cargo. Interior storage is subpar." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Though easy to load, the trunk's size is modest." -- Kelley Blue Book