4 January 2005

Two new S40 models have been introduced, priced to create entry-level options for those looking for a more affordable route into Volvo ownership. The 100bhp 1.6-litre petrol and 110bhp 1.6-litre diesel-powered S40 saloons are available now; from just £15,298, the models are Volvo's repost to Audi's A3 and BMW's new 116, offering a premium badge in a compact package for the price of a mainstream family car.

The 1.6-litre petrol S40 S represents the bottom rung of Volvo's ownership ladder. At £15,298, it returns 39.2 mpg on the combined cycle, has a top speed of 115mph, and accelerates to 62mph in 11.9sec. Ford's PSA-developed 1.6-litre turbodiesel-engined model comes in at £16,568, taking just a tenth of a second longer to hit 62mph, going on to 127mph, and returning a claimed 57.6mpg combined. In both cases SE specification, which buys you 17in alloy wheels, leather upholstery, cruise control and an upgraded sound system amongst other trim and equipment improvements, costs a £2250 premium.

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