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