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.