Volvo S40 (2001)

Volvo S40

Just a year after they arrived in the USA, the compact Volvo S40 sedan and V40 wagon get more of what made them an instant hit in America: refinement, safety and value. From subtle changes in appearance (new front fenders, bumpers, tailights and wheels) to enhancements to ride and handling (slightly wider track and longer wheelbase with re-calibrated front suspension) and a satisfying quality feel to the interior, the stylish sedan and versatile wagon build on their first year reputation for offering Volvo virtues at an affordable price.

A marriage of practical and emotional, the Volvo S40 and V40 make it clear that versatility and fun-to-drive can happily co-exist in the same car. A new 5-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission showcases the refinements to the standard 1.9-liter engine with low pressure turbo to keep the fun levels high. Standard 4-channel anti-lock brakes, 15-inch alloy wheels and truly impressive available audio systems are just part of a long list of high-value standard features that are remarkable in a model line that starts at $23,500.

The Volvo S40 and V40 debuted with a best-in-class list of standard safety features, including SIPS side impact protection air bags and WHIPS whiplash protection seats. The addition of the Volvo-pioneered Inflatable Curtain side impact protection, ISO-FIX child safety seat attachments and 'smart' dual-stage front airbags as standard equipment promote Volvo S40 and V40 to class of their own.


Volvo engineers have made some subtle changes to an already attractive design for the 2001 S40 and V40.

Front Bumper

The front bumper of the Volvo S40 and V40 now has an integrated front spoiler, and new, refined fog lamps can be ordered as options.


In 2001, all S40 and V40's will have dual headlamps.


New fenders are wider to cover the new wider track of the cars.

Side Molding

There has been a reduction in length of the side molding in the 2001 cars.

Rear Lights

The rear lights will now use clear lens technology like the S80.

V40 Rear Panel

The rear panel between the rear lights has been restyled.

New Colors

The 2001 S40 and V40 will have more colors available than ever before. Five new colors will be added for MY 2001. Pacific Blue and Summer Green will no longer be available, but new colors Atlantic Blue, Desert Wind, and Peacock Green will be available as metallic colors. A new solid color, Panama Yellow, will be available by special order.

New Tires

The S/V40 MY01 will have three different tire brands: Michelin, Continental and Goodyear. Goodyear is new for MY 01:

  • Michelin MXV4 195/60 R15
  • Continental CV95 195/60 R15
  • Goodyear Eagle LS 195/60 R15

Interior Color Scheme

The 2001 Volvo S40 and V40 will have a new light color scheme, Taupe/Light Taupe. This scheme will replace the MY 2000 Silver Grey color. This makes the interior more appealing than the previous Silver Grey color, while adding a richer, more dynamic character. By combining two colors (Taupe and Light Taupe) in the interior, the color tones for the dashboard, seats and door panels function in a more harmonious and spirited way.

Enhanced Seating Styling

The 2001 Volvo S40 and V40 will incorporate a new seat foam design, which improves long-term durability and gives a more sporty appearance. The leather upholstery will have a new grain and will be more environmentally friendly by being chromium-free.

Center Stack Styling

The center stack is reconfigured in the 2001 S40 and V40 to be more comfortable and functional for the owner's enjoyment. The stack is now more anatomically and ergonomically designed, bearing a much stronger resemblance to the S80. The climate control unit is now easier to use and the radio controls have been made more stylish. A lower storage area is also added to the center stack console for owner convenience.

Door Panels and Switches

The driver's door panel will now have all window switches and power mirrors adjustment controls, rather than them being located on the center tunnel. The passenger door will have power window control added. Both the driver's and passenger's doors will have the remote central door-locking button fitted.

Interior Lighting

The rear reading lamps are moved into one interior lamp placed in the rear part of the headlining. This lamp eliminates the need for the V40 luggage compartment lamp.

Heated Front Seats (Component of Weather Package)

The heated front seats will still be available as part of the Weather Package, but the heating control has been refined. The heating control now features a more accurate thermostatically controlled two heat level function, as the S80 does now. If the heated seat button is pushed once, seat heating will be activated with maximum heating capacity. If the button is pushed once more, the heating is reduced to a lower level. This allows the owner to have a greater level of comfort in cold weather situations.

Sunroof (Component of Sunroof Package)

The sunroof control will now allow for simple one-touch opening.

5-Speed Automatic Transmission

The 2001 Volvo S40 and V40 will be equipped with a new 5-speed automatic transmission, replacing the MY 2000 4-speed automatic transmission. The new transmission will improve performance in three areas. First, fuel economy will be improved due to the "longer" ratio of the 5th gear, especially when driven on the highway. Next, slight acceleration, performance, and top speed improvements are achieved due to the smaller steps between the gears. The shorter first gear provides for better "take off" performance. Shift comfort is improved due to the smaller steps in-between gears and the latest generation transmission management. The new gearbox also provides noise level reductions especially while driving under highway conditions, again because of the "longer" ratio of the 5th gear compared with the MY 2000 4th gear. The "Neutral Control" feature now lowers idle vibrations when the Volvo S40 and V40 are standing still and in drive with the brakes applied. The transmission will also be automatically adaptive to customer's driving style, eliminating the need for the "E" and "S" buttons on the shift control console. The "W" button for wet and winter driving conditions will still remain to allow the Volvo S40 and V40 owner to maintain control in inclement weather conditions.