The new S40 and V50? They look pretty similar to me!
That’s true, there’s not a huge amount of difference. Don’t think of these as new cars – this is mild mid-life facelift territory. The S40 saloon and V50 estate are Volvo’s best sellers and the firm is keen to keep it that way. Both cars will be furnished with a number of design tweaks inside and out, plus a few more bits and bobs in the way of safety feature and cubby holes.
What are the differences then?
You’ll have to go over the S40 with a fine toothcomb to spot the differences, but they are there. One of the most prominent tweaks is the new grille, which is deeper and lavished with chrome. Equally, the badge is bigger than before, while the headlights appear slimmer. It’s pretty clear that Volvo is sharing the conservative S80’s styling around. The rear lights have also been subject to a bit of a restyle, with the reversing lights and indicators shifted to the centre of the light cluster, as opposed to the wide bar of the current car. The refreshed S40 also sports an attractive pair of chromed twin-exit tail pipes and a very BMW-esque beesting aerial.
And for the V50?
The V50 wagon is following suit – it looks reminiscent of the new V70 estate, with a similarly restyled rear bumper, new boot handle and chromed tailpipes.
What about inside?
Volvo has hung on to its quirky ‘floating’ centre console, and rightly so, as it still looks great. Just don’t believe the storage hype – it ain’t practical at all. The armrest is larger and closer to the driver, but the selling point is that it can flip 180 degrees and act as a handy table for rear passengers. Neat. Storage space has been increased as there is now more room in the door panels and under the armrest. Fresh interior and exterior paint schemes are new, too.
Any mechanical changes?
Nothing revolutionary but there are a few tweaks. The D5 diesel engine now gets a six-speed manual ‘box and the turbocharged T5 is blessed with a further 10bhp, which takes it up to a handy 230bhp. Production of the new S40 and V50 begins in May and the cars will appear in UK showrooms in July. Neither car is expected to cost any more than the current model when they hit the showrooms, but Volvo has declared that there could be a slight increase in price to several of their cars for the 2008 model year, which will be announced in the next month or so.