USED 2001 V40 with 41580 miles to start. The looks are showroom quality. It has a loud deep bass hum the VOLVO tech said "that's how it sounds." I drove from TEXAS to NYC. 1800 miles in 2 days that's 30 hours not incld stops for food, the toilet and gas. No problem for me, but the car? The V40 great. Smooth ride on the freeway, sport like on the city interchanges and streets. Stopped 7 times, 55 gallons of gas and actually drove 1900.2 miles. I avg 70 mph and 34.6 mpg, not bad for any car. I am not the "a button for eveything" type. The interior is plain, many of the "buttons" are muti-functional. The trunk is spacious for a compact wagon.
After only four months of ownership my V40 started leaking oil. I got estimates ranging from $950 to $1,700 basically, to replace all seals because nobody was really certain as to where the oil was coming from. It was not a good situation because the oil was dangerously close to the timing belt. It wasn't a bad leak: probably a quart every 7,500 miles. I checked the belt periodically (it was changed around 90,000) and it always looked dry. After three years, the belt slipped. Luckily, it didn't damage the cylinders (it ran for only about three seconds while in my garage-----luckily, I wasn't doing 70 mph out on the highway!). Since then I've encountered a myriad of problems. Most recently, the #1 cylinder started missing and need a new ignition coil. Then, it would just refuse to start (had to be put into neutral----------'never did this before!!). I drive a lot. And I work sometimes over 100 miles from home. This was a great car, but I've lost my confidence in it.
My Corolla was totaled while parked on the street (who could have foreseen that?!), so in replacing it I was thinking safety, which the V40 has in droves (save for stability control, which was reserved for $40K cars in 2001). The V40 has turned out to be an ideal compromise between all the things I want in a car. While it doesn't excel in any one category (except for safety and comfort, Volvo's trademarks), the V40 does everything pretty darn well! You don't have to trade efficiency for performance, you get both at above average levels. Same for size vs. cargo space, handling vs. ride; all the places where you expect to give up one thing to get another. Handles everything you throw at it.
The V40 is not the station we have come to expect from Volvo. It's neither as masculin nor as bricky as a conventional Volvo (which made me think twice before buying it). Yet the design is slim, clean and as sexy as can be for a station wagon. Its seats embraces you, its steering is solid and secure, its engine sounds confident. Neither the sporthy whiiim, not the cheap sound of most commercial engines. On the road it easily glides through the traffic, easily reaches 200 km/h (even though the official max. speed is 195 for the 1.8).
Bought with 58,000, now at 74,000. Nothing beyond the 60K service and oil changes. Paint is worst feature. Added mud flaps and euro-rails for a little character and sport exhaust, K&N filter, Bilstein gas shocks and a heavier sway bar for fun. Very responsive, very quick, very nice. As noted on these, the brakes will need replacing after about 20K, but it still stops well (they were new at purchase). Overall, this is a great vehicle. Yakima box onto the rails and I can fit all I need to camp with my wife and two small children. Once they get a little older, the back seat will be too small; it's tight back there!