Who said that commuting was no fun? Well, it wasn't, until Volvo put both a turbocharger and all-wheel-drive into its zippy compact sedan, the S40. With a list of standard equipment - for both safety and comfort - this incarnation, the S40 T5 AWD, makes the daily drive much more enjoyable.
The all-important safety features highlight the list of standards, ranging from air bags (including side-curtain ones) to Volvo's patented whiplash protection system (WHIPS) and Dynamic Stability & Traction Control (DSTC). There's also a collapsible steering column, energy-absorbing interior with passenger safety cage, and those famous Volvo side beams. And of course, with AWD you will have a bit more control, which makes any driver feel better, especially when it's electronically controlled to transfer more power to the rear wheels as needed.
The car's well thought-out array of exterior lights increases occupant safety by increasing visibility to other drivers. There are daytime running lights, illuminated turn signal indicators mounted on the side mirrors, front fog lights, and a rear fog light that somebody should have thought of ages ago but apparently didn't. But we're not surprised that it was the Swedes who finally thought of it.
While we're talking innovation, Volvo is helping the driver stay on the ball with its innovative Intelligent Driver Information System (IDIS), which is based on systems used in aeronautical piloting. The IDIS monitors driver activities associated with stressful driving situations (steering wheel angles, turn-signal frequency, rate of acceleration) and responds by reducing the amount of information displayed so as not to compromise the driver's attention. It doesn't take a techno-geek to appreciate a gadget like that.
Speaking of gadgets, you'll get a trip computer with your T5 AWD, along with cruise control, a cabin pollen filter, plush floor mats, and heated side-view mirrors. Even the exhaust pipes are beautiful with their polished ends.
Options packages are generally grouped by theme (for instance, the Climate Package gives you heated seats, headlamp washers, and Rainsensor windshield wipers) and let you fully deck out this already well-appointed sedan. You can also opt for stand-alone features such as 17-inch chrome wheels, or the popular Volvo Navigation System, which comes with a remote control so your whiz-kid can operate it from the backseat.
Speaking of the backseat, you probably won't be surprised to hear that it's rather cramped. After all, this is more a commuter car than a family car, despite the four doors.