I traded my 2001 Saab Viggen (awesome car, but costly repairs) on the T5 Automatic. While I don't feel the THRUST of the turbo Viggen, my Volvo S40 is more luxery and still packs a lot of power. I hear the 6speed manual is much faster - oh well. My experience so far is, this is a great car. I commute 30 miles daily, and the premium sound system (12-speakers) makes my ride very enjoyable. My wife and I bought this car because of Volvo's safety track record, and we want to start a family soon. This car is sporty enough for people in their late 20s, and sophisticated in a grown up kind of way at the same time. Other cars we considered were the 2006 VW Jetta (too big), Audi A4 (too much).
Slim center console, handling, manual geartronic shifting option, bi-xenon headlamps, sleek exterior design. There's not a lot of these on the road yet, and with the dynamic (sport) package you definitely turn some heads.
Not much suggested for improvements. Foot room is minimal between gas pedal and brake pedal. The car sucks down washer fluid like its gasoline. A bigger fuel tank would be nice. Also if you get the dynamic package you have to buy the longer exhaust pipes or they hide out under the rear bumper.