Volvo doesn’t build a small sedan any longer. Today’s Nice Price or No Dice S40 represents the last one they did build, and it’s the hottest edition of that model. Could that get you all hot and bothered?
The first rule of being popular is to always be attractive. The second rule is to never be unattractive. Obviously, attractiveness is purely subjective. Still, there was little debate to be had on the questionable aesthetics of yesterday’s 2014 Lexus IS350 F-Sport. The main visual offender on the model is an outlandish cow-catcher grille. That caps a nose that, arguably, hasn’t aged very well. Questionable attractiveness was one strike against the otherwise decent-looking Lexus. That, however, seemed to tip the scales against it, as its $17,500 asking price couldn’t find favor, dropping in a 65 percent No Dice loss to start out our week.
Volvos have never been considered ugly. Oh sure, for years they were boxy as hell, but that was a style that the brand wore well. Eventually, the Swedes grew tired of boxy and started making cars that featured French curves and softer edges. This 2010 Volvo S40 T5 R-Design has those curves but its strong shoulder line and the simple sash and badge in its grille make it immediately identifiable as a Volvo.
This is a second-generation S40. The first was built in partnership with Mitsubishi and was based on that company’s Carisma model, a car that had about as little charisma as you could imagine. This edition was built on Volvo’s P1 platform and was designed under Ford Motor Company’s ownership of the Swedish brand. That allowed Volvo access to a bigger parts bin, and so the S40 shares some bits here and there with the contemporary European-market Ford Focus and Mazda 3.
Featuring all-wheel drive, a six-speed stick, and the B254T7 T5 engine, this S40 is pretty much top of the game for the model. The 2.5-liter inline-five that makes the magic happen puts out a respectable 227 horsepower and 300 lb-ft of torque. That power is managed by the Haldex AWD system that splits the torque between the front and rear axles as needed all by its lonesome.
The car has a mere 78,500 miles to its name and presents well, albeit in a coat of white that doesn’t exactly shout about the mischief the chassis below it can be capable of. The factory five spokes show no sign of curbing, nor is there any clouding on the headlamp covers. A nice bit of kit on the R-design is the brushed aluminum color side mirror caps. Those and a subtle pinstripe counter the white paint a bit.
Inside things are a bit more swoopy than your traditional Volvo too. The center stack features a floating panel for the climate controls and a slew of buttons packaged into a narrow column that’s unlike Volvo’s typical solid ergonomics. There doesn’t seem to be any excess wear and tear in here either, although the small size of the pop-up navigation screen does belie the car’s age.
The ad touts a clean title and a life lived as a garage queen. Recent maintenance includes the timing belt and the 90K service despite the car being a few thou short of that milestone. New Michelins underpin as well.
The seller’s reason for the sale is the desire to get another Volvo, but one with an automatic transmission. They claim in the ad to fully have three more Volvos, but like this S40, those are all stick. What a rough life!
For this S40 to find a new home, someone is going to have to come up with the seller’s $15,000 asking price, or at least something close to that. What do you think about the seller’s pricing acumen? Does $15,000 seem like a fair price for this hottest S40 as it sits? Or, does that price just leave you cold?
H/T to RevUnlimiter for the hookup!
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