First: This is my first Volvo. I (mostly) do my own work and I bought the car with 90,000 miles on it. Its a Volvo, it has it's demons, the dealership is the greatest of those demons, avoid going there at all costs. Find a good independent Volvo garage. I love this car, for the price I paid, and the miles put on it. That would not be the case if I had to bring it to a garage. Over the 5 years I have owned it I have replaced the brake pads, rotors, plugs, battery, front and rear struts, tie rods, tires, transmission, front speakers, various dashboard lights (now it's like new!). The check engine light is always on (catylitic converter). I live with it. This car is great on the highway (29 mpg). It prefers Premium gasoline. Leather seats and interior is very comfy (for a single guy) if you drive a lot... and you can fit 5 2x4x10's inside with practice. This model year (2001-2004) is known for weak transmissions (2001-2002 especially) (I blew my transmission towing a heavy load - not the cars falt), a poor steering rack (you have to remove the engine to replace it) and vacuum leaks that can drive you nuts. I live in new England and this is the first car I have owned with this many miles with NO RUST. I think the poor transmission is why there are so few of these on the road in the states - the cost to replace is the replacement cost at this point. I am looking for another used one, 2004 if possible with low miles-at 1.8 cents per mile for my purchase price its a great value.
This was our first Volvo purchase. We wanted a car that was safe, but fuel efficient. We also wanted a car that was flexible enough to be both our family car, but also a respectable car to be driven for my consulting work. The V40 fit the bill. I have to drive both short distances in city traffic as well as long distances on highways and the V40 handles both nicely. Four years later I still love my car. I would buy another.
Handling, seat comfort, available options, storage capacity, fuel efficiency, general style and safety.
Next model year changed the exterior features that I wasn't so pleased with, better brakes (they work well, but pads need to be replaced too frequently).
On the first long trip, the engine light came up. Then again, and again. For the first 2000 miles drive, the car was 15 days in the dealership service bay. Then, the best feature of its turbo was not set right. The dash lights keep coming up every now and then without any pattern. Still not fully 'exorcised' and the warranty is over. I will probably never buy a Volvo again, safety or no safety! If your car transmission dies suddenly on a freeway, I don't know how you call it safe or reliable. But only one thing I like about it, the peppy turbo charged engine. Muscle car drivers hate its guts!
Definitely the turbocharged engine. The premium sound is enthralling. Headlight wipers do attract nice comments from drive-thru window attendants. Compared to my Camry's soft suspension, I like V40 sportier suspension.
I would have said to Volvo company to discontinue this car but they already did it and nothing compares V40 styling other than their SUV.
I have 37,000 miles on mine, and it has been a great car for highway travel. I too have had the transmission hangup issue, which the dealer was able to diagnose and replace the shift control unit under warranty. I drive on the highway quite a bit, and like the solid, heavy feel of the car without it driving like a tank.
I don't understand why Volvo replaced
this pure winner in 2005. We went
shopping for a Mini or something similar
to offset the gas guzzling mileage of
our SUVs and found this V40 wagon small
enough, wonderfully fuel efficient
(occasionally averaging 30 mpgs for a
tankful), with quality fit and finish
and ever so much more practical than
compact sedans. It is responsive in
every way, has been great in the snow,
and is fun to drive. It is the perfect
car for an empty nest couple who still
need to move things from place to place
and are still young enough to want a
great driving drive vehicle.