There have been many "negative" remarks for this vehicle and model year, but maybe, as my vehicle was an OSD [oversears delivery], somewhat better build quality was initiated into it, I do not know. I never found any problems with my motor mounts. There were the electrical headlight "burnouts", but the TSB[tech servive bulletin] for this problem solved it. An A/C problem was fixed via another TSB. Converting the brake pads and rotors to semimetallic Mintex pads, and Power Slot rotors, reduced significantly the front dust, and greatly added to the OE fantastic stopping power of the EBD/ABS system. My S40 has been exceptionally reliable and dependable! Changed wipers to PIAA brand.
The fold-down seats are great for hauling bulk items, and for driving long distances, are very comfortable. Adjustable center arm rest adds to long-drive comfort. My sport steering wheel option in addition to the Dynamic Stability Assistance are fantastic. Driver seat is fully adjustable!
For the ultimate "driver's vehicle", I added the IPD rear sway bar kit, their strut tower brace, a set of Koni yellow Sport struts and shocks, and a high performance exhaust and Cat. I also changed the OE tires and wheels to 205/55/15 Bridgestone Potenza S03 tires as mounted on 15X7" alloys.
I have owned four Volvos, ranging from 240DL to a 960 wagon. This 2000 S40 has had so many problems that this is my last Volvo. The red paint comes off on a drying towel after washing. The stereo speakers stopped working. The cabin climate fan just stopped working. What else?: Rattles, check engine light, headlight bulbs, rust forming under hood seam, turn signal malfunctioning, etc. Never again Volvo. Honda, here I come.
Fun to drive in Sport mode when turbo is spooled up.
I bought mine as a certified car in 2002 with only 18,000 miles on it for $14,000. I'd always wanted a Volvo, and for being a junior in college, I was lucky to purchase one at a young age. It now has 60,000 miles. The cup holder above the cd player was an annoyance. I had to remove my drink to put in a cd and couldn't really see any buttons when the cup was there. But now I don't have to worry about it because I pushed in in one time and it's completely stuck. Completely stuck as in, I'm not paying $80 for them to unstick it. You all know of the headlight situation. Luckily if the dealership replaces the bulb, there is a one year warranty on it. Makes the $15 labor charge worth it apparently
Turbo is great on the highway for passing people. Very comfortable and I feel very safe.
The electrical system. The bulbs keep going out and part of the cd player lighs don't work; although sometimes they do depending on the day. Go figure. Oh yeah, $80 fee if I want them to work all of the time. Better design for the dash. The arm rest seems cheap.
My wife wanted it for "safey," but she quickly was sorry we bought it. Of course, I ended up with it. Many problems with electrical systems during the first two years. The interior is smallish in the front. I would never think of sitting in back...my two kids in car seats barely fit back there. The dash design is poor--the cup holder hangs in front of CD player so you can't change disks without risking a major spill. As another reviewer noted, the cup holder is a junky design, and the hardware doesn't work properly. Same goes for rear holder. Ashtray poorly placed--hits gear shift when taking it out, so you have to put into gear to empty trash. Pain chips easy. Rubber door trim is disaster
...But, I also like the kick when it's in "sport" transmition mode. Fun to drive fast on the highway. With all the little minor problems, after a while, you feel like you're back in high school driving a dumpy car...so you don't mind the fact it's a mess, spill drinks, and don't wash it much.
Interior dash design needs improvement. Basic hardware on interior cabin needs serious help. Fix door trim. Paint needs improvement.
I have been very pleased with the Volvo S40. It has been quite reliable, and I feel very safe with it. I get about 28 mpg on the interstate (which is most of my driving). I've had little in the way of any problems. If asked to present constructive critism for the company I would say the armrest between the front seats. I would consider it pretty flimsy, it has broken three times. Other than that, I really wouldn't complain, it's truly been a good car.