Last post on Jul 01, 2011 at 7:51 AM
You are in the Volvo S40
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Volvo S40, Sedan
#211 of 1807 general comments
Mar 09, 2000 (1:12 am)
A couple comments on the above:
1. When I said the cold weather performance was slow I meant just the first few minutes after start up. After a couple minutes at moderate speeds it's fine.
2. It's difficult for me to comment on the ride or handling too much since the roads hear in SE Michigan are such shit. I do think in general that Volvos are undertired. Some say the chassis can't handle more aggressive tires.
3. I believe the comment about a new S40 coming this year is completely inaccurate. The latest word in Automotive News this week is that the next S40 will likely come in 2003 on a platform shared with the Focus and Mazda. Not as scary as it sounds though since I think it's basically going to be the same small car platform that Volvo designed themselves before being bought out.
4. I haven't heard any definite word about a manual for 2001. I would think Volvo would try to keep this somewhat secret in order to prevent potential buyers from waiting for next year.
5. I believe there is at least load bars available to use with the S40. The dealer should be able to show you Volvo's large catalog full of accessories.
6. I basically dumped my SUV by virtue of totalling it in an accident. Lost control on the freeway, went across the median, and hit traffic that was stopped on the other side. Liked the fact that I had a lot of steel protecting me, but didn't like the feeling of being afraid to brake hard for fear of rolling while going across the median.
Mar 09, 2000 (3:16 am)
My wife and I are on our third Volvo. I've never had anything but courtesy and great customer service from any of the three Volvo dealerships I've used.
Unfortunately, there have been a number of times when I needed to resort to using those service departments. :?
Well, to be fair, my wife's current car is a V70, and that model is pretty well known at this point for unreliability. Mostly electrical problems. From what I understand, it's a phenomenon that's limited to the V70. That would be consistent with my experience. My other two Volvos had a few problems here or there, but no more than any other car I've owned.
The one thing about the service I've received at the dealerships is that, although they have exactly the right attitude, the actual quality of their repairs is sometimes off. I get the feeling that a few of their mechanics are ninnies. Like the first electrical problem we had with the V70 was that the ignition switch failed. Not the starter, I mean the actual switch you stick the key into. Dealership replaced it right away, but they installed it wrong, and in order to start the car you had to twist the key so hard that we broke the replacement switch! (Sigh.) They replaced that one too, in no time.
Stuff like that. I love Volvos, their dealerships (3 for 3 at this point) are wonderful, but I'd stay away from the V70. I hear the S40 has great reliability in Europe, so you shouldn't have a problem.
Hey, as a matter of fact, I'm getting ready to buy, and the two contenders left on my list are the S40 and the 3-Series. What are your reactions to the differences, being in a 3-Series now and having (presumably) test-driven an S40 and liked it?
#213 of 1807 The Volvo vs. BMW comp.
Mar 09, 2000 (10:17 pm)
If you are placing an auto on the 323, it might be a fair fight between the Volvo and BMW...well, maybe not fair...but comparable. The five speed 323 is a very fun car. It may not be as fun in heavy stop and go traffic every day...but on an open road, forget about it.
The BMW had superior feel in the steering, braking and acceleration (I drove the 5sp only). I don't care for the dash layout, it seemed cheap and outdated on a car so beautifully built. The car I drove had the Harmon Kardon upgraded stereo and it played my test CD very nicely, nice bass, good treble and overall sound. The seat was firm and comfortable. I wasn't crazy about the seat position however (always difficult to get the seating position dialed in on a test drive) and thought the shifter was a bit high for a comfortable reach.
The Volvo felt like a solid car, and maybe even a bit too solid (read heavy). The seats were difficult to adjust into a comfortable seating position (once again) but once that was accomplished, I did enjoy the drive. The auto is a decent tranny, after the first 2 miles of city driving, I had the tranny dialed in to respond with power at will. It is a bit tricky to feel when you should apply the power or let off the gas. The stereo seemed fine, not amazing, but not as bad as my little Honda Civic standard radio was (my litmus test needs to improve, I know). The fit and finish was fine and I liked the dash better in the Volvo. The leather seats were comfortable and firm.
Overall, I liked the Volvo, but have read a few negative reviews here at the Town Hall. I liked the BMW more, but it takes a few thousand more to get the keys to the BMW. In a lease, it may add up to only a $50-70 difference in monthly payments, but you would still have to pony up more money at the end to buy it.
I am going this weekend to drive the 323 again, and a 318ti from last year's line-up. I also intend to drive past Volvo and revisit the S40 for the third time. Monday I am scheduled to drive the Saab and may drive a Subaru Legacy one more time (they are on the same lot). My biggest hesitancy on the Saab is reliability. My old 900S was a real pain, with large repair bills that crushed my love for the car. I really did love that car too. The dash, the seats, the stereo (my after-market stereo), the engine, the extremely useful hatchback. I could load my bike inside the car and not think about it. I want to believe in Saab...but I am just not sure. Volvo might be the better choice for reliability and resale.
Good luck with whatever you buy.
#214 of 1807 BMW vs Volvo
Mar 09, 2000 (10:34 pm)
Having driven the 328 for three years now, the nicest thing I can say about the car is that it is FAST! The comfort is so-so. The leather seats are hard, and you will really notice that on long trips. A huge factor besides the cost difference between the volvo and BMW is insurance cost. I have a perfect driving record, no accidents... and to insure that beast was $1800/year. The volvo should run about $1200/year. It was a very expensive little car between the lease payments, insurance, middle octane gas... Would I lease it again knowing what I know now? NO! It was a fun car to drive, but way over-rated.
#215 of 1807 BMW vs Volvo
Mar 10, 2000 (11:55 pm)
I just bought a S70 SE.. so far so good.. comfortable..smooth..real nice car.. I originally looked at a S40.. (coming off a 318i lease - love the car, loaded with everything.. new ones are way too expensive).. anyway.. my impressions of the S40 was that the base model looked like a Corolla ..nice but no excitment at all.. I drove it and it in no way came even close to my BMW... was just a regular car with nice pickup and way too much torque steer ..havent been in a FWD car for some time I was real surprised by this...real low end feel.. I drove the S80.. nice car but too ponderous.. finally setteled on the S70 .. nice feel and real comfortable .. the down side to the BMW in my mind is price and rock hard seats.. for a car the same price as my S70 the monthly payments were about $90/ month more.. for my money the Volvo S70 was a better deal.. the S40 isn't even in the same class as the BMW... just giving my opinion after living ith the BMw and test driving the S40. As someone here said in a post.. , the S40 has no excitment to it!
#216 of 1807 Re: New S40
Mar 11, 2000 (5:08 am)
I recently read an article, don't recall precisely which rag, that said the 2001 S40 would be an upgrade of the current model. Changes to the sheetmetal, interior improvements and the like. It also stated that a complete, from-the-ground-up redesign would be in 2003.
So, I think there will be some changes. It's just that now that the S40's been brought into the States, we'll get the freshened design at the same time as Europe does.
#217 of 1807 Need a Little Advice
Mar 11, 2000 (7:27 pm)
Seriously thinking about buying an S40. Still have a hard time justifying $27000+ for an automobile still new to this country, relatively small and,I guess, a cross between a "real" Volvo and a Mitsubishi. I love the lines, the handling, suspension and response from the 1.9 Turbo and the interior appointments. I've read some negative comments about overall size, premium fuel usage, paint finish and overall fit. However, from someone who has compared this model with others in its class, what don't you like about it and why would you choose another similarly-priced/sized, equal in quality automobile. I really want it but am still torn (unable to make a decision) and feel that I made the right one without feeling that I let my emotions make the choice rather than what the best choice really is. I have never owned a Volvo before and am a little "gun-shy"
Mar 11, 2000 (8:35 pm)
As an S40 owner, I'll toss in my $.02.
Regarding price, I recommend checking out carOrder.com. My car, which has Sunroof & Touring pkgs, Metallic paint & CD prewiring, is listed under $26k at this time.
Regarding "negatives", I'm 6'1", 265 and while I would not call the interior spacious, I do find the car extremely comfortable. Also, my wife, who is 5'1", does not find it too big for her. I did have the "paint blemish" problem with the driver's door, but the dealer repainted it so looks great now. Yes, you will have to shell out for premium which does hurt right now. But the amount of enjoyment I get driving it makes it worthwhile. The more I drive this car, the more I like it.
#219 of 1807 Need a Little Advice
Mar 11, 2000 (10:23 pm)
I never owned a Volvo before either but can tell you in the week I've had my S70, I like it more each day.. A very different car from the BMW I had but better in many different ways.. I'd highly recommend a Volvo.. As for the S40, it depends on what you want... but for 27,000 the alternative's are Audi A4.. a great car but needs a back seat, cant touch a 323i for that .. only other possible car is an Infinity G20.. I'd take the Volvo or Audi..depends on your space requirements
#220 of 1807 Premium fuel usage...
Mar 11, 2000 (11:32 pm)
I read a report in Consumer Reports on an S40 a month or two ago. The report said the car averaged something like 23 mpg and DID NOT require premium fuel. Are you all putting premium in just because you think it needs it, or because the owner's manual or something else says so? Just checking. Also heard that putting gas in any car with an octane rating too high will cause excess carbon to build up in it. Plus, it is a waste of money to buy mid-grade or premium when the car requires premium. Check into it and you may be able to save yourselves some money.