It handles great, good quality, gas mileage superb--36mpg on a 1000 mile hilly trip through VA,WV,and OH with the cruise set at 70 and 3 adults. I love the turbo and the fact that the cruise never kicks out on long steep grades and provides good acceleration when needed. I don't understand the other reviewer's problems with brakes. Mine are still the original. I get 39 mpg driving a back and forth over an 80mi (160) stretch over the Blue Ridge Mts. I love the computer mpg meter giving instantaneous and avg mpg. The other features (heated seats, pockets in front of seat base) are nice. Overall a great little car. It could use a little more floor room for rear occupants.
Fuel economy!!!! Turn handling. Acceleration for a little engine---love that turbo. Interior extras and heated power seats Nice style. Braking excellent.
More back seat leg room. Changed angle windshield to cut dash reflection. Add weather band to radio. Higher clearance---have to angle in on steep driveways
I purchased my 2003 S40 in 07 with only 4600 miles on it. Ultimately a new car! I couldn't be happier with it. It's quick to get out the way & handles nicely, especially in the Florida rains. I do wish the back seat had more room for passengers, but it's a great excuse to get out of driving! I feel safe driving, especially at night. I've had no major issues, replaced a headlight & put on a new set of Michelins. I'll definitely replace it with another Volvo.
Handling, seat comfort, large trunk & excellent gas mileage!
Larger back seat & improved door stop design (both are cracked & need to be replaced).
What a super little car, I've owned other Volvos, but this is amazing built. Outstanding throttle response for such a prize machine. Imagine driving from Torrance, Ca to San Diego, Ca on ten dollars worth of gas in 2008! Wow! I love this car, my Cayanne S was fast, but nothing compared to this little speed demon. Thanks a lot Sweden.
Having owned this car for over 4 yrs, I remain quite satisfied. Changed brake pads and headlights at 36k miles. Still on original Michelin tires after 43k miles. Drives as well as it did in Nov 2002, smoothly yet with pep if needed. Recommended maintenance done by non-dealer Volvo-only shop for reasonable price. Even my BMW-3-series-owning friends enjoy riding in it with me.
Small size allows easy parking in urban environments. Short turning radius. Comfortable seats. Fast-functioning effective window defroster. Easy to use radio controls - the much maligned single knob for station pre-sets actually works well in practice without having to take eyes off road
Wish the 2003 model had AWD; front wheel drive doesn't work well on icy 40-degree slopes without tire chains