Last post on Jul 19, 2004 at 10:10 AM
You are in the Future Vehicles - Archived Discussions
This discussion is ARCHIVED. To reactivate the discussion, post a request in the Lost? Ask the Future Vehicles Host for Directions! discussion.
What is this discussion about?
Volvo S40, Volvo V50, Sedan
#87 of 1117 I got high hope in this new S40/V50 I'm comparing it to the BMW
Aug 28, 2003 (1:43 am)
"Have you spent a lot of time in 3 series BMWs? I have and while the steering is very precise and crisp the feedback is NON EXISTENT."
This is an interesting quote. Was it the early 2001 3-series? I drove that one once, too, & totally agree. BMW admitted they made that mistake & recalled the owners to have their car modified back to the normal 3-series set up free of charge. BMW even slightly further improved the steering starting the 2nd half of 2001.
Anyway, the present E46 3-series only has a decent steering feedback compare to the previous E36 3-series's excellent one.
"Heck you can spend another $1k and add a 355 hp chip and you have M3 acceleration with grip superior to the M3 and S4. I don't see your point - how are Volvo's cars bad? I see them as performance bargains"
I grew up around up & down hill hairpin roads. Turbo or Kompressor really delays the mid-corner acceleration too much & making metering the power precisely at the exact time impossible, & that ruins the fun. So BMW wouldn't dare to force feed their gas engines.
That's no big deal, as the light-weight S40/V50 w/ non-turbo 5-cyl should be plenty powerful, more so than any of its twin FocusII/Mazda3 w/o turbo.
However, at high altitude w/ thin air, it's fun to see the turbo/kompressor cars kept shooting up hill while all the other cars ran out of breath.
"Also, why are you discounting Volvo's growth due to their SUV?"
I'm just wondering if that's the case. We're no average drivers, so I don't really care about sales number 'cause that's mainly due to what the average drivers bought. Besides, I never criticized Volvo's sales number.
& I hate those high-center-of-gravity SUVs that are never used off road, by the way.
Aug 28, 2003 (1:48 am)
"the volvo s80T6 is the marginal winner here. It's the most stable, has the best ride and seats and comes with a staggering range of options."
I don't know if the 530d has rack-&-pinion steering but...
May 2003 C&D -
pp56-58(BMW M5)"...the recirculating-ball steering had a bit too much power assist for optimal feel." "Lows: Numb steering..."
Interesting, when BMW's not trying hard enough... They did promise bringing back the more driver-oriented 1-series & the next E90 3-series, both from the same platform.
& the Volvo S80 is still not as crisp or fun as the possibly-so-so 5-series? It's the steering/handling/ride compromise that really counts. Otherwise, the Lexus LS wins pretty well, too, if only counting the ride comfort alone.
While in the very same issue of C&D:
p84(Focus SVT) "The thick steering wheel is tight, telegraphic link with the front wheels. Pick the pebble you want to fling from the white line, and the Focus will point you there."
April '03 Automobile also pointed out that the Focus SVT is "almost M3-like" in important/expensive areas and absorbs road bumps "like a 3-series", although I believe that's only the comfort level of the 3-series w/ the less-comfortable sport-suspension, which is lowered w/ less travel.
I read that CAR comparison, too. In fact, I have that issue right in front of me. It's amazing how the BMW beats the Mazda in ride comfort/refinement w/ no less competence in handling. Please take a note. The less-comfy sport suspension became std across the board in all Euro-spec 2WD 3-series since 2002, while the comfier non-sport suspension is still std in the N.A. 325i & is available as Comfort package option at least in Britain, & that S60 only rode slightly comfier than this sport-suspension BMW. Although this Beemer rode on 16" instead of 17" like most other cars in this comparison, it still excelled in handling & steering communication.
When our Consumer Report magazine compared the S60's ride comfort w/ Mercedes C-Class & BMW 3-series w/o the sport suspension, the Volvo simply lags behind.
"...very comfortable seats, a Swedish type cabin that I find more relaxing than German cars, all-day Grand touring like cruising with *very* comfortable ride quality characteristics in their newest cars. I respect German cars but they just don't do it for me, somethings hard and a bit cold about them."
When the FWD roomy Volvo - the 850 - was first introduced, I was impressed how much Volvo have perfected the car compared to my primitive '86 760 Turbo - Everything from the existence of steering feedbacks, no fishtail problem, brake that's not touchy, more cylinder w/o turbo, driving position(arm rest placement & adjustable steering), outside-mirror area coverage, stereo location & button size, climate control air-outlet distribution selection, & stretch-able rear toe room.
& w/ that impressive interior ambience of these furnitures, I dreamed of owning one, only to discover a ridiculously-bad choppy ride on the bumpy concrete section of I-10 in Covina CA. So as I mentioned about it to my cousin who was a Mercedes sales man locally, he soon received an 850 trade in. He, too, was impressed by the Volvo's interior & started to disagree w/ my "over-critical" comment. The funny thing is when he drove that car on that same section of I-10, he couldn't disagree w/ me more! "Gosh, that beautiful comfortable interior can be deceiving!", he felt.
Anyway, that was then. In the '02 LA Auto Show, I was very impressed by the comfortable front seating & driving position of the Mercedes new C-Class, Jaguar S-type & the Volvo S60. In '03, the Mazda6's driving position is also amazingly comfortable & relaxing yet also feels serious as a fighterjet cockpit. That Japanese cushion length was disappointingly short compare to Volvo's, however.
#90 of 1117 confusing posts, i think
Aug 28, 2003 (4:46 am)
creakid, it wasn't you who criticized the sales numbers, it was wsag26. So that's where all the talk of sales numbers originated (when wsag26 said Volvo is not in good shape).
anyway, concerning the SUV numbers, I looked for the same thing, but if you look at the numbers I posted, you will see that SUV sales counted for just 29% of sales while total sales were up 64% from the previous year. So, as you can see, of the 13 thousand units sold in May, only about 3800 were SUVs. If you do the math, you'll see that Volvo sold roughly 50% more cars in May of '03 vs. May of '02.
And, on this same point, I saw another article where Volvo claimed their strongest quarter of their history recently (i believe it was the 2nd quarter of this year).
#91 of 1117 articles
Aug 28, 2003 (4:47 am)
I can't get to those articles? Am I the only one? It comes up with a subscription page.
#92 of 1117 Driver oriented cars
Aug 28, 2003 (5:09 am)
I think Volvo makes cars that aren't as driver oriented as Audi, some Mazdas, BMWs, some Mercedes, etc. So, the ride/handling compromise is biased towards ride and safe handling at the extreme. That's the way most Volvos are set up. Regarding what Consumer Reports says, I don't.
I've driven or been driven in scores of Mercedes, BMWs, Audis, Volvos. There are variations. Some of the Mercedes have been very rough riding, ditto BMW, Audi and Volvo. It all depends on the state of the car, tire pressure, etc., and the type of suspensions. I don't the find the sports suspensions on BMWs and Audis supple as the car rags do. I find them borderline harsh and can be punishing on certain types of rough surfaces. The Volvo R were horrible in the past, the s70 with 17 inch tires were very rough riding, but the standard 850 and s70 with 16 inch tires and softer springs rode well on almost every surface I could find while offering respectable handling. Regarding the C class vs. 3 series BMW vs s60 ride comfort a variety of tests have been done with a variety of conclusions. I've seen the 3 series finised first most of the time, but the Volvo has as well, and Mercedes not as much. Car magazine did a long term review of an s60 and concluded that it had an amazingly fine ride, bumps felt in a long term 3 series BMW were all but ignored in their s60.
All 3 cars ride very well, IMO. But I think Volvo has the most comfortable damping, the springs are just a bit softer, and what I like about it is it has more "glide" to it where Mercedes and BMW are typical German "glued to the ground". Mercedes and BMW do better on bumpy curves, I'll give them that. But there's a harder edge to the way BMW and Mercedes take bumps compared to Jag, Volvo, Lexus. It may boil down to preferences, and car rags love driving cars and may not, I think, notice the harder edge to some cars or fine more impact harshness acceptable than many car buyers.
I think those looking for BMW, Mazda, Ford Focus handling with Volvo aren't going to find it, and I think the new s40 will probably have softened handling compared to the Mazda and Ford versions of the platform. Where the Volvo will excel is in all day comfort, highway stability, and other Volvo strengths. So, I'm not so much into the constant BMW is the standard, or the car that does best around twisties is the standard, that's just a small part of driving. For most drivers, especially in the U.S., their driving consists of crowded highways, bumpy surfaces (esp. in the Northeast), driving behind slow moving traffic (I see people slow down for corners in BMWs, Mazdas, and all sorts of cars that could take the corners all of the time). Most drivers can't tell the difference between the sharp handling cars and the less sharp handling ones. Therefore I understand Volvo's pragmatic approach to handling/ride compromise and bias towards ride (and I think, despite nonsense from CR, that Volvo's new cars ride superbly over most surfaces and prefer its damping to German cars). I would like to see Volvo build a car that competes in handling/ride with BMW to show that they can. They should have with the s60 R. I'd also like to see Volvo strengthen their bushings and suspension components so that they don't feel "baggy" after 25,000 miles. But, I don't feel that the automotive world has to think BMW every time they get in to a car and feel that other lines do overall practical, day to day living in a style that fits most drivers needs, well.
#93 of 1117 S40 History
Aug 28, 2003 (8:50 am)
The current S40 debuted in 1995.
It was the replacement for the 340 and 440 models.
These were Europe only cars that were deemed too small for the US.
The current S40 IS NOT a Mitsubishi Carisma.
While it shares components w/ Mitsu the sharing is only about 10% of the car.
The chassis is related to the 850 platform.
The current S40 was also never intended for the US either. Only a long and heated campaign by Volvo's US dealers made it a reality.
#94 of 1117 s40 shared bits
Aug 28, 2003 (11:25 am)
How much of the current s40 is shared with Focus and Mazda?
You say the chassis of the old s40 is related to the 850 platform but I believe it uses a multi-link rear and not the Delta link of the 850/s70.
#95 of 1117 That "S40 w/ 850-like chassis" was probably a misleading rumour from some Volvo personnel
Aug 28, 2003 (11:53 am)
Maybe he was talking about the structural technology related to the 850.
From the AutoExpress article I listed above in #89:
"The Japanese firm is involved because its Carisma is built on the same platform as the S40, and both cars are produced at the same Dutch factory."
#96 of 1117 Mitsubishi Carisma
Aug 28, 2003 (1:22 pm)
can anyone tell me what a Mitsubishi carisma is? Photos, a platform, something to make me find out what the Carisma really is besides a twin of the Volvo S40.