I drive alot. This car was rented for a trip to Palm Desert and when I finished I had to have it. I've had it now for over a month and it's been an amazingly fun car. It's agile, good fuel economy, and very responsive for it's class.
After 1 year I had taken my car in to repair the electrical 5 times, they couldn't do it. At one point the driver door wouldn't open and I had to enter my car through the passenger side. Volvo ended up settling for a good sized pay out. Here is a list of other problems I had with car, none of which were covered by warranty as they occurred just after the 50k warranty was up:
1) engine thermostat never worked
2) due to above, car overheated, replaced radiator reservoir & new thermostat
3) spark plugs replaced
4) door lock covers popped off
5) plastic peeling off control buttons
6) major water leak when rains, floor thoroughly soaked
7) radio shorted out
8) Trunk stuck in closed position
Our Volvo saved our life/limbs! We were recently hit at full speed from a guy who ran a red light! our car absorbed all the impact. None of us were severely injured (thank God!). I miss my 'Velvet' already :-(. We always got tons of remarks on the styling and the interior. Very sturdy, high quality equipment inside and out. Looked great with 18" rims on it. I bought it fresh from the Swedish factory in 2005, and had ZERO mechanical problems in 5 yrs of driving, including driving 2 yrs on the autobahn! My car was totaled in the accident but I plan to get another. I am Volvo for life. :-)
My S40 has nearly 150K miles on it and with regular maintenance, tire rotations/balancing and oil changes, I have had very few issues. I constantly receive compliments on how elegant the car is. Many acquaintances believe it newer and more expensive than it is. I am lucky to have Volvo-specialized mechanic with integrity in town. While parts are expensive, I plan on having the car until it dies because it is such good quality. Purchasing this vehicle is like purchasing a high-quality leather handbag. It is expensive but if you care for it regularly, the investment will bring you satisfaction and contentment for many years. You will be proud to own even if it is not the newest.
I got this S40 as a company car in 06 and liked it so much that when it went off lease I purchased it for personal use. Even with the normally aspired 5 cylinder it has great pickup. The road handing is head and shoulders above Camry, Sable, and Impalas that I have had for company cars. There is a nice road feel with responsive steering yet a not unacceptable ride or noise. After correcting an A/c blower motor that was faulty on delivery, it has been problem free. Now with 4 years and 64K miles, It has been to the shop for A/C compressor replacement and twice for electrical diagnostics which found not problems despite the high $ diagnostics.