Training Car

Modern Driver Institute uses Volvo vehicles for training.  For us, the choice was obvious: Volvo is the brand most identified with safety (Volvos were the first cars to incorporate seat belts as standard equipment, all the way back in 1959), and Volvo itself has as its mission zero deaths in Volvos by 2025.  Volvos are also known for ruggedness and reliability, as well as superb craftsmanship and excellent handling – qualities which made many Volvos motor sports champions.  These same qualities also make Volvo a perfect choice for a training car.

Modern Driver Institute only uses sedans for training, and actively recommends sedans for all new drivers.  Because of the tendency of novice drivers to make mistakes when taking curves combined with the significantly higher rollover risk due to the higher center of gravity, Modern Driver Institute does not recommend the use of sport utility vehicles (SUV) or crossovers (CUV) for the training of novice teen drivers.  Such vehicles can increase the risk of serious injury by increasing the likelihood of a crash.

Our current trainer (Car 02) is a 2010 Volvo S40 2.4i sedan.  It began regular service as the primary training vehicle in May, 2015, when Car 01 was retired.  [Click here to read about Car 0].  The Volvo S40 was listed as a “good choice” for new drivers by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).  Click here to read the full crash ratings report.

This 4-door sedan was originally built in Ghent, Belgium and has the following features:


  • Engine: 2.4L inline 5-cylinder
  • Horsepower: 168 @ 6,000RPMs
  • Transmission: 5-speed automatic w/Manual Mode


  • Dual-Control Instructor-side Brake
  • Anti-lock disc brakes
  • Traction control
  • Electronic Stability control (ESC)
  • Steering wheel and dashboard airbags
  • Front seat-mounted torso airbags
  • Side curtain airbags
  • Whiplash-reducing head restraints (all positions)
  • Rain-Sensing Windshield Wipers
  • Front fog lights
  • Rear fog lights
  • Automatic Hazard Warning
  • Side mirror turn signal indicators
  • Headlight washer system
  • 4-Star Driver Crash Rating (NHTSA)
  • 5-Star Side Impact Crash Rating (NHTSA)
  • Overall “GOOD” crash rating (IIHS)


  • Leather seats
  • Heated front seats
  • 8-way power driver’s seat (including height adjustment and lumbar support)
  • 8-way power passenger’s seat (including height adjustment and lumbar support)
  • Telescoping & Tilt steering wheel
  • Dual-zone climate control
  • High performance sound system
  • 17″ alloy wheels

Supplemental Equipment

  • (2) ABC Fire extinguishers (passenger cabin)
  • First aid kit (trunk)
  • Road flares (trunk)
  • Jumper cables (trunk)
  • Hydraulic jack (trunk)
  • Reflective graphics (all sides)
  • (4) 36″ traffic cones (trunk)
  • Hi-definition video DashCam (front windshield)
  • Eye-check mirror (front windshield)
  • Adjustable blind spot mirrors
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