My S40 began life as a RENTAL CAR, and 30k miles later, I purchased it. Why this car? Initially because of its value, reputation, style, & service competency at the dealership. I haven't had a single problem with my car. I commute 50 comfortable miles r/t daily, and get 30+mpg. I've never struggled to merge into fast moving traffic. I keep it clean, change the oil myself, and monitor fluid levels and tire pressure/wear. Volvo has higher value over time, and is safer than most other cars on the road. When I want 'performance' acceleration/handling/braking, I'll put on my helmet and leathers, and head for a track day on my superbike. My car is more than competent at what I expect from a car.
Smooth comfortable ride; instrumentation(quick and easy to read, easy on the eyes); Volvo's trademark tight turning radius; turbo engine(no performance decrease at higher altitudes, for example- passing on an uphill grade); ease of owner maintenance- fluids, light bulb replacement, fuses, etc.
Console and controls are bland, and could have a bit more style(my'06 S40 shows that Volvo has since addressed this issue). While a heavy car may improve snow traction with all-wheel drive, it certainly hinders traction on a car with front drive on anything but level ground. Better console storage.
This care has had problem ever since day one. The braking system was replaced, the a/c system replaced (and starting to act up again), splash guard fell down and there was no damage (screws just fell out). Fuel economy gets worse and worse. When the car was new, got 29 MPG on highway, now 25 MPG on highway. Maintenance costs are very high from Volvo for routine maint.
my s40 has been through 3 sets of rear brake pads in 50,000 miles, and 1 set of rotors. Who ever heard of rear brake pads only lasting 12 to 15 thousand miles. Volvo claims this is normal wear for our pads and that there is no problems with the braking system. I have also replaced the front pads once they seem to hold better. I have also had other miscelanious problems i.e. bad fuel injectors replaced, gas gauge replaced, and several light bulbs. Overall this car has not been a very pleasant experience and I can't wait to get out of my lease.
car drives and handles great lots of fun to drive. very fast for a four cylinder turbo.
new braking system with pads that last longer than 12-15 thousand miles.
When I was shopping for a car back in 02, I chose the Volvo S40 after looking at the Acura RSX, Saab 93, and Audi A4. Ultimately, I picked the Volvo because it seemed luxurious, the dealer promised that this was a 'performance' car, and I had the Ford Aplan discount, which made it the cheapest of the bunch. Oops. What a disaster of a car. To be fair, I think that Volvo just has no idea how to make a small car. The 'performance' is a joke. The handling is ponderous and, at highway speeds, can be a little scary. When passing at high speeds, the car wobbles -- literally. The braking is AWFUL. The nose dips and the car takes too long to stop. Would not recommend this car.
Great leather, heated seats. Good cup holders. That's about it.
Handling, braking, power, sound system. This car was poorly designed, planned, and built. For a "safe" car built in a snowy area, I would've thought that this car would handle well in inclement weather. Nope. I was actually scared when driving in snow or heavy rain.
I have thoroughly enjoyed my S40. I
was hesitant to purchase after reading
several reviews of earlier versions of
this car. In my opinion, the 2003 S40
is one of the best values on the
road. I had previously decided to
replace my old Accord with a newer
version but was turned off by the
pricing on the EX model when I went in
to purchase. I found the S40 to be
far more luxurious and fun to drive
than the Accord for about the same
price (actually less for a certified
used vehicle). The car is zippy and
extremely comfortable, and I love the
fact that it is far less common on the
roadways than the old standbys Accord
and Camry. I would definitely
recommend this vehicle to anyone!
Heated seats are a must!!! Car
provides great visibility, esp. when
driving at night. Quick pick up, easy
steering. Love the solid build and
craftsmanship this car offers.
Have had to replace two headlights,
though they are very inexpensive and
easy to replace yourself.