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Volvo S40, Volvo V50, Sedan
#988 of 1117 2004.5 Volvo S40 T5 Pricing
May 21, 2004 (11:34 am)
Since there is no S40 on the Prices Paid Message Board, I thought I would ask this question here. I'm looking at getting a 2004.5 (or maybe ordering a 2005) Volvo S40. The MSRP is $33,750 with everything that I want in it. The invoice price is $31,386 (according to MSN Auto; edmunds.com doesn't list the complete invoice price) and Edmund's TMV is $33,399. For anyone who's bought a 2004.5 Volvo S40 did you get a better deal than the TMV for your configured vehicle? Did you pay close to MSRP or close to invoice?
May 21, 2004 (1:54 pm)
The AWD will be automatic only.
T5 manuals will be available fwd.
#990 of 1117 Re: V50 update [volvomax #989]
May 21, 2004 (9:02 pm)
Do you know when the 2004.5 S40/V50 will be available for the OSD, and will it get the same kind of discount as the rest of the cars?
May 22, 2004 (7:51 am)
2004.5 cars will not be available.
2005's can be ordered now, although we have no prices yet.
Delivery in Europe starting in July.
#992 of 1117 Re: s40 sporty? ride? [creakid1 #983]
May 22, 2004 (11:31 am)
"The S60 rode better than the 3-series sedan in that Brit's CAR comparison because the lowered sport suspension has just become std equipment on all European 3-series sedans."
It seems they were even. European Automobile magazine had a different take. They thought the s60 had too little compression damping and that the damping relied on too much secondary damping resulting in "abruptness". They thought the sports suspension had the ideal damping. The writer stated his bias of not minding impact harshness and thought the s60 with sports suspension, although having impact harshness from tires, was the more fluid car in both ride and handling. It's interesting the differences that the professional reviewers have about cars.
"CR bashed Volvo's ride again in the June '04 issue. First, it was the S60 not being able to match the C-class & non-sport 3-series. Ride wise, this time even the new 5-series &, more so, the S-Type are being ranked 2nd-best behind the E-class. While the S80 is way behind, especially at lower speeds."
I expect CR to bash Volvos (and Saabs for that matter). They even bashed the xc90, a vehicle that receives a lot of praise from many publications. I take what they say with a grain of salt. Perhaps the s80's tires were overinflated, that's the only thing that can explain their coming to this conclusion. The s80 is definitely softer sprung and damped than the German cars, unless the new E is softer than the old (did they test the one with air suspension?). The s80's low speed ride suffers from some lumpiness but that's erased at moderate speeds. The s80 has very slow rebound and close to seemlessly checked motions, it doesn't handle great, handles OK, but it is a car that should not be criticized for ride comfort, IMO. Even Edmunds praises the ride comfort of the latest s80s. I also wonder why CR didn't test an s80 with 4C. Comfort mode is espressly for low speed driving. Sports for everything else. My compaints about the s80 is some more road noise on some roads than should be, sometimes flakiness in the cabins and electrics, terrible turning circle, steering feedback.
"It's no big deal if you're only trying to find a better ride comfort than the 3-series coupe or sedan w/ sport suspension, 'cause the S40 T-5 w/o sport suspension can do it. The question is will Volvo's have hard time just to beat the much-lower-price Honda Accord's ride/handling/steering compromise? I suspect that Accord's somewhat firm ride has got deeper absorption, as C&D pointed out that even the firmer Mazda6 uses up the spring travel sooner than the Accord!"
Hmmm. I think we should match sports suspension with sports suspension as the 3 series w/o sports suspension is mighty comfortable and calm, with a trace of a firm edge. It uses nicer materials inside than the Volvo, although the Volvo is certainly the most contemporary and bold of the two designs. If Volvo is in the same park as BMW, that's fine, but if it lacks suspension travel as you state, then certain roads will reveal this.
The Accord is a different beast. It's a poor man's Acura RL. It isn't as sporty as the Volvo even with the firmish ride it has. It is bigger. It may be quieter, especially the 6. If someone is looking for a family car then the Accord makes more sense than the Volvo but the Volvo is perceived as much safer. The Volvo's usual seat advantage doesn't come into play as much in the two cars. Maybe Volvo is more stylish, the 4 door Accord looks strange from the back and front, and OK from the side. The last generation Accord certainly didn't have a deep ride, for me it didn't ride as well as the Passat, big bumps and deep ruts upset it more than they did the Passat (which is also upset by these types of roads). Interestingly, the old s40 did OK, but sudden humps and potholes and deep manhole covers were met with pretty juddery reactions, much moreso than Accord or Passat. I think the Volvo is in a somewhat different category than Accord, the Volvo is with Jetta and TSX and other cars that sacrifice some practicality for style and performance.
May 22, 2004 (5:54 pm)
"They thought the s60 had too little compression damping and that the damping relied on too much secondary damping resulting in "abruptness"."
Secondary damping -- that's what I've been suspecting all along about my aunt's AWD S70's uncomfortable abrupt ride.
So I wonder if the S60 w/ relatively highly-rated ride comfort compare to the 3-series sport in CAR was w/ the consistently fluid sport suspension?
I also suspect progressive-rate spring doesn't ride as well as linear-rate spring. The idea of progressive-rate is when a flat-riding sport spring is too firm for comfort, they change the first-inch(or so) compression to soft just to keep the superficial harshness away. But a bad result is when more people/cargo are loaded, the ride height drops immediately compare to a linear-rate spring w/ the same average firmness. That ruins the ride comfort 'cause the remaining spring travel is lessened.
#994 of 1117 Re: [creakid1 #993]
May 22, 2004 (8:22 pm)
"I also suspect progressive-rate spring doesn't ride as well as linear-rate spring. The idea of progressive-rate is when a flat-riding sport spring is too firm for comfort, they change the first-inch(or so) compression to soft just to keep the superficial harshness away. But a bad result is when more people/cargo are loaded, the ride height drops immediately compare to a linear-rate spring w/ the same average firmness. That ruins the ride comfort 'cause the remaining spring travel is lessened. "
I agree. Volvo tried progressive-rate springs and then put Nivomats on the back of the cars in the 760s. The early 760s suffered from feeling too soft on humps yet too stiff at the same time. But too stiff when it should be compliant and too soft where it should be controlled. The IRS helped the 760, but still the 88 and later 760s had this characteristic. The s70's/v70 has abrupt rebound, at any tuning it is pronounced. The s70s with 17 inch tires are quite uncomfortable and unsettled. Nice on smooth roads, falls apart on poor roads. 960s, though too soft in springing and too much vertical motion, rode better. More fluid. The funny thing with the s70 is that with Bilsteins, the abruptness rarely reveals itself. The ride is then kind of rigid, but at least controlled. More comfortable compromise.
Saab has gone to tuning bushings to soft vertical and firm horizontal with mixed results. There's still some degree of progressive spring rates for the 9-3. Ride suffers. Volvo thankfully has slowed the rebound but still seems to be dealing with progressive rates but with less of a range. Seems like they also payed close attention to bushings and connections, but ride can seem "rubbery" at times.
May 22, 2004 (9:30 pm)
"The early 760s suffered from feeling too soft on humps yet too stiff at the same time. But too stiff when it should be compliant and too soft where it should be controlled."
Right on! I was wondering what the hell happened to the $25k we spent on the '86 760 Turbo? I couldn't believe the ride. It still rode uncomfortably over bumps when more people/cargo was added, or travel at higher speed. While I was whining that my parents should have invested in a 300E instead, people think I'm crazy. So I went to the junk yard, got a set of 740 rear springs & replace all shocks w/ Gabriel GasRyder. The ride became not as ridiculous, but still uncomfortable. & I'm pretty sure the already-relatively-long spring's progressive-rate might be the only culprit.
"The IRS helped the 760, but still the 88 and later 760s had this characteristic."
CAR pointed out that the '88 760 sedan w/ IRS rode less comfortably than the wagon w/ solid rear axle.
"There's still some degree of progressive spring rates for the 9-3. Ride suffers."
Right before choosing the '86 760 Turbo, we test drove the Saab 9000 turbo. The only bump we encountered was a one-time horizontal dip, & the car moved quickly down & up w/o much absorption although the spring travel didn't get used up. But this limited data was enough to get me suspicious that I asked my dorm mates to let me carpool in their 900 turbo for a long trip but got refused 'cause they don't want to squeeze more than 4 people in the car. So later we test drove the 740 turbo but the stubborn old-man salesman didn't bother to let us test on bumpy roads & only persuaded my parents that Mercedes is too expensive. So we ended up buying a 760 turbo from another dealer for under $23k plus tax. It's the most expensive & pointless car we've ever purchased.
& then when I discovered that my Indiana aunt's 240 never rode uncomfortably, I was wondering why.
Anyway, today's new S40 w/o sport suspension is tuned pretty comfortably although not so deep.
#996 of 1117 $31k 325i auto w/ moonroof vs. T5
May 24, 2004 (12:02 am)
I just test drove the non-sport 325i again today.
Especially w/ the 6-way-only std manual seat, the driving position is stressful! Even w/ the seat raised until I ran out of headroom under the moonroof & had to recline to an awkward arm-stretching driving position, the non-adjustable thigh angle just couldn't support my thighs.
Like the Mazda3, as I provoked the abrupt lane change at low speed, the rear end twitched out some, even w/ the presence of DSC. The S40 sure feels more secure as far as having the tail to stay put, w/ or w/o the sport suspension.
Despite less suspension travel than the non-sport 325i, the non-sport T5 has a calmer slower-motion ride over bumps. The Beemer moves quickly back to the baseline after each bump in no time to get ready for the next one. So unless the bumps are pretty deep, the Volvo has a more relaxing ride.
So, more relaxing driving position, more relaxing handling to toss around along w/ more relaxing ride, the Volvo is more enjoyable, & therefore wins, in a way.
The Focus platform kept spawning as if it's becoming the best selling design in the world. Lately, besides the long-wheel-base future Mondeo & Galaxy minivan from Europe, there are the C50 convertible & C30 3-dr hatch.
May 24, 2004 (8:20 am)
Actually it will be called the C70, not C50.
Launch is in one year.
C30 still on the drawing board.