I bought my 2008 S40 Volvo used in 2009. I love this car. It has a few quirks. First, the radio was super stylish in 2009, but now I wish it was easier to upgrade. Second, it goes through batteries. I haven't had the tire issues others complain of. The REALLY good news is that I've been in two accidents and just shook them off. Someone plowed into me and you can barely tell. It's got that Volvo strength. Second, I haven't had any mechanical issues. I get it looked at by the dealer once a year, but outside of tire and battery replacements, I haven't had to deal with anything beyond regular upkeep. I love this car and I want to keep it forever, assuming I can figure out a way to upgrade the radio. It's so reliable. It still runs great at 10 years old.
I purchased this car in 2011 with only 16,000 miles and had it back in the shop within 3 weeks to fix the driver side door which wouldn't latch. Subsequently have had it in the shop twice (wouldn't start due to programming issue and grinding noise while cornering). Now have to replace all tires @ 30k miles which the shop told me is common for this model.
Recently picked up my 08 S40 T5 AWD. Compared to competition the value is great; higher rate of depreciation means this is a good used car to pick up (if you're planning on keeping it for a while). You would have to pay much more for similar Legacy GT or Audi A4. Handling is better than most sedans, but not as tight as an A4 in the steering or suspension. Good enough for spirited driving. While climbing mtn passes turbo seems to make more than ample power on my way to Tahoe. Acceleration isn't great either at low or midrange. (Tranny on auto keeps revs low, so using the tiptronic helps) On snow and ice the Haldex type awd system performs almost invisibly. Overall a very good buy. 24mpg avg
Quiet at speed. Interior is gorgeous and seats are best I've ever owned. Storage space is sufficient. Trunk is a bit shallow but rear seats drop down. Sirius radio is great. Controls are logical well placed, and pretty. the lights are confusing; they're always on! Can't turn off daytime lights. Love the interior fabric.
Haldex part time awd system doesn't seem to be an issue for an avg driver; if I were looking for a racer this wouldn't be it; the slip angles would reduce cornering efficiency. But, the auto engagement of awd suits most normal use needs. I read somewhere system will even go to full diff lockout as needed; pretty impressive.
If I were to change anything it'd be wider tires or stiffer sway bars; car could corner a bit tighter.
I have stock 16" rims so that could be the problem. Acceleration isn't great which is why the newer models have 6 spd auto's. A sport mode would help to keep the revs up closer to the peak powerband.
More compartments to store stuff up front would be nice; but the 08's aren't bad. I heard pre-08's have very little storage options.