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Volvo S40

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Comments

  • avolvofanavolvofan Posts: 358
    The AWD edition comes with the re-valved shock absorbers and larger anti-sway bar that are included in the non-AWD Sport package.
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    from the Sport Package come w/ anything else such as firmer springs or bushings besides the re-valved shock absorbers and larger anti-sway bar(s)?

    From my experience, not slowing down over a speed bump will use up the FWD's std suspension's front spring travel. So by increasing the spring travel plus firmer sway bars alone should solve this problem!

    & exactly how much higher is the AWD S40/V50 over the FWD model? BMW's AWD 325xi is suppose to be about half an inch taller than the 2WD 325i.
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    Wow! Thanks! That's a ton of great info!

    I don't mind feeling dips and udualtions in the road; i like sporty rides, as my 328 has. My biggest pet peeve is wind and road noise. Engine growl is quite fine, and is if fact encouraged.

    I hope the lag isn't anything like my old saab's was. That drove me nuts.

    It's interesting that you compare it to the old s4 because that car severely tempted me as well.

    I don't expect the car to ride/handle quite as good as, perhaps, a new 330, but there are other ways i think the car is better.

    And, for the age datapoint, i'm 32.

    dave
  • I haven't been bothered at all by obtrusive wind noise or road noise. The T5 engine does growl on acceleration but settles in for cruising. I believe that one of the reviews, eihter in the mags of in Edmunds noted that as well. Turbo lag is minimal and only noted in first gear. I had a Saab 9000. I understand. Let me know if you decide to get the Volvo. beaunedoc
  • I believe that it is about 0.5 inch taller as well. beaunedoc
  • scott31scott31 Posts: 280
    Would you mind posting the #'s on your lease deal? Thanks!
  • I was fortunate to receive the Ford X plan through a friend, so I didn't have to haggle with the dealer. Your numbers will likely be different. They change frequently as the residual value of the car changes. But in Aug. I got a two year lease, less than $1500 out the door, and about $411/mo. beaunedoc
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    Drove a t5 AWD. Automatic, unfortunately.

    I like the interior design on the car a lot. I also like the t-tec seating surface. Generally, i liked the layout and the controls a great deal.

    Pulling out of the dealer, i was put off by the extremely low amount of power right off idle. I'd definitely need to get used to that. Underway, the lag was improved but not gone. It doesn't feel quite as quick as my bimmer, even though it has considerably more torque and HP.

    This may be because of the automatic.

    I took the car through some fast turns, and it had plenty of grip, and held the corners very well, not too much body roll. However, it definitely felt like A FWD car. Not bad, just not quite as "sporty" as i like. A caveat here is that i really like the RWD "feel" and was hoping AWD might deliver it but also, perhaps, not need snow tires quite as much as my RWD car does. On the other hand, it swallowed up bumps and broken pavement quite well.

    On the highway the open sunroof didn't lead to much wind noise ( good ) but i still felt that the power wasn't quite there. On reason, i suppose is the automatic again. It seemed to have 1/2 the revs my bimmer has at the same speed, and it took awhile to kick down. I was all alone on the exit ramp and nailed the brakes and it stopped quickly, with perhaps a bit more body movement than i am used to.

    After, i went through the car again, and i really like the interior design and scandanavian sensibility. I don't need leather and wood, i need functionality. It also has great environmental cred. And the seats are really fantastic.

    So, i don't know. If it were a bit sportier it'd be a sure thing. As is, i think i'll want to test a manual FWD with the sport package, perhaps, and wait to see the new 3-series. Perhaps the advance package with the 17's would have helped.

    dave
  • I did a 600+ mile road trip this past weekend and really thought about the S40. First gear acceleration isn't what I had with my S4 but I never expected it to be with the decreased HP and one less cylinder. On the highway passing acceleration is fine. The car was very comfortable and feels like it is made of granite..no squeaks or rattles or groans. I really recommend that you drive a 6 speed. beaunedoc
  • Hopefully some useful adds to the S40 discussion- I drove both the T5 and 168hp version this Sat, both automatics (I drive often in Boston traffic), also have driven all the up-scales (TS, TSX, G35x, ES330) no Germans as I had a 2000 Passat and it was a reliability nightmare (made in Mexico, I know, but regardless). I now have a '03 Accord EX Coupe being replaced soon, it has 30K, flawless reliability, and gets 33mpg hwy with the 4 cyl. The S40 has some nice driving attributes- rock solid, moderate body roll, minimal torque steer. However, the T5 tubo-lag is huge and the 168 hp should not be considered, way too sluggish. The growl of the T5 is also annoying until you reach cruise speed and it quiets down. I run a sales territory and frequently spend 4-5+ hour days in the saddle, much of it highway. The Edmunds and Car & Driver testers missed one crucial flaw for the highway driver that uses both door and center armrests: the S40's armrests are useless- the door armrest is too high and not cut back far enough, the center armrest is about 4" long and doesn't extend, using it puts the hard edge square into your forearm. There is also not near enough storage in the S40- the door bins won't even fit a roadmap, the glove box won't fit a flashlight, and the trunk opening is a weird shape that makes loading larger items tricky. I really wanted to like this car because of the safety element and was willing to overlook the so-so reliabilty of Volvo, but it has too many ergonomic flaws. As the TS and G35x are pricey and get lousy gas mileage (on premium), the best value I've seen is the Mazda 6s V6 5-Door loaded for about 23K ('04 models). And the tried/true Accord EX Sedan, though somewhat bland and not terribly pretty, is one of the best bests in a family car with a touch of performance.
  • If you like your Accord coupe so much why are you replacing it? Do you need a sedan for work?
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,695
    just FYI, but the TL (i'm assuming this is the car you are referring to because I don't know what a TS is) gets better highway mileage according to the EPA than the Mazda (and they both get same city rating). Yes, its premium gas, but its also much more powerful.

    Wow! 4-5 hours a day and you only have 30k miles on a 1.5-2 year old car? I only spend 2 hours a day in mine and average 25k a year. You sure you want to change cars so soon? And, if so, I don't think you want a volvo just for the depreciation aspect.

    '13 Stang GT; '15 Fit; '98 Volvo S70; '14 Town&Country

  • Might be your solution riceman.

    V6 Hybrid, 255 hp - 38 mpg - Honda Ergonomics.

    When this puppy comes out, the world goes "gulp!"

    As for me, I still haven't been able to drive an S40 - but they sure do look pretty.
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    "...no Germans as I had a 2000 Passat and it was a reliability nightmare (made in Mexico, I know, but regardless)."

    Mexico does not build Passat. China does, but only w/ extended wheelbase. Your unreliable Passat must be made in Germany -- pathetic!

    "However, the T5 tubo-lag is huge and the 168 hp should not be considered, way too sluggish. The growl of the T5 is also annoying until you reach cruise speed and it quiets down."

    Gosh, no turbo has a very short lag, maybe supercharged Kompressors do. & the T5 growls too much? the 168hp 2.4i's much worse!

    "...the door armrest is too high and not cut back far enough..."

    I don't know how you drive, but this high door armrest is the only one high enough for me, 'cause I need to relax by resting my elbow on it while holding on to the 9-o'clock-position steering-wheel spoke AND turn signal lever all at the same time.

    "There is also not near enough storage in the S40- the door bins won't even fit a roadmap..."

    Again, pathetic! Volvo proudly claimed that the sacrificed door-pocket space is due to the extra side protection. But the American "SUV T-bone" crash test shows that the Saab 9-3 took the top honor, the TL/Accord, ES330/Camry & Galant still getting the "good" rating, while the Saab 9-5 & the Focus-II-based new S40 only got the "acceptable" rating, which is still better than the bigger-brother Mondeo-based Jaguar X-Type's mediocre rating.

    The S40's passive safety does excel when comes to driver's leg protection -- better than S60's.

    I still think the new S40 T-5 is really cool 'cause the optional DSTC stability control is awesome when comes to accidence avoidance, & it doesn't really intrude into your aggressive performance driving like others' systems do.

    The Mazda6's wide rear window is rare these days. & to me, that's what really helps me to avoid accidents by not missing any passing/lane-change opportunity!
  • Yep- I often haul around samples and bought the Accord coupe becuase I loved the looks, should've got the sedan. I have a 13 yr old daughter that grew almost 4 inches in 1 1/2 yrs, has a hard timne getting in/out of the back. I don't do the 4-5 hour stint daily, only when out seeing customers but they are long days covering sometimes 400 miles. BTW, purchased the Mazda 6s hatch today, volcano red, $22,999 we'll see how it goes. Someone responded the Passat was made in China- were you joking or just mistaken- it's manufactured in Mexico.
  • Sorry, was the TL- my typing when tired leaves much to be desired! I really liked the TL- great interior & ergonomics but I think Acura needs to work on relieving some torque steer- 270 hp to the front is too much with their current setup. And while the drive is certainly nicer than the Mazda, $32K vs $23K, even if the mileage is the same (which I doubt, given the nature of most of us to slam the pedal with 270hp on tap) $9K sure buys a lot of gas (beer, pretzels, and dinners for the wife, too!) If Volvo put a silky V6 in the S40 and fixed some of the interior quirks, it probably would be the nicest of the bunch- but as of now I think it lags behind.
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    like the Skoda Superb twin, but ours don't get the long wheelbase. You sure yours was made in Mexico & not Germany?

    The old S40 was made in Holland, & the new S40 was made in Belgium.

    Our Mazda6 & the TL were made in U.S.A., while the Mazda "S40"(Mazda3) & the TSX were made in Japan. Most 4-cyl Accord sedans sold in California were assembled in Japan with American parts.

    The world's 1st production Ford "S40"(Focus II) sedan coming out in November is made in Taiwan, but we won't get it:
    creakid1 "Ford Focus 2005 release date" Oct 21, 2004 3:49pm

    http://tw.f2.page.bid.yahoo.com/tw/auction/b16418126

    Only the 1st-year Canadian-market Mercury Tracer hatch -- a Mazda 323 twin -- back in the '80's was made in Taiwan & took the top quality honor of all Ford-badged products around the world.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,695
    sorry, but I totally disagree. You are trying to make the Volvo into something its not. Volvo does not have a V6 in its stable. I've always been a fan of inline engines and I'm glad Volvo sticks with it. without quirks, the Volvo would be buried in a sea of similar autos from other manufacturers.

    Its quite a range of autos you've assembled. Comparing the Mazda to the TL is an amazing stretch. How about comparing the Hyundai Accel to the Mazda6 just to cover the other end of the equation? ;)

    '13 Stang GT; '15 Fit; '98 Volvo S70; '14 Town&Country

  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    while the TL costs more than the TSX. Both the 6 & the TL are a tad more cramped than the Accord/Camry but roomier than the TSX, & are available w/ V6(read rather heavy nose for a FWD sport sedan).

    The Mazda3 & Focus II also cost less than the TSX, while the S40, even in the 2.4i form, costs several thousands dollars more than a similarly equipped TSX.

    But the Mazda3, Focus II & S40 are basically the same car. Ditto the Caddilac Cimarron & the Chevy Cavalier.

    Watch out! There will be Lincoln, Mercury & Ford versions of the Mazda6 pretty soon.
  • By the same stretch TL is same as Accord.
    The only thing that is truly the same in S40, Mazda 3 and Focus II is some (not even all) of the framework sheet metal parts.
  • rroyce10rroyce10 Posts: 9,359
    ... **Its quite a range of autos you've assembled. Comparing the Mazda to the TL is an amazing stretch. How about comparing the Hyundai Accel to the Mazda6 just to cover the other end of the equation? ;)** ...... l..o..l...

                     great point ......... ;)

                              Terry.
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    I myself am comparing a kia to a ferarri, and i am tending toward the kia based on the pounds-per-dollar critera.
  • I have to think the Kia has a better warranty and better reliability stats through Consumer Reports as well...looks like the winner to me!

    As for disparate comparisons...I think it is valid to shop a car that might equate to the top of your budget, and compare it with a favorite that is well within your budget.

    The Mazda 6 is a heck of a car...but I think it is hard to compare the 6, or car's like it, to the Volvo S40. But maybe I am wrong. Thinking that the S40 is just a fancy 3 or Focus is definately a far cry from reality.

    Sharing platforms doesn't equal same car.
  • cotmccotmc Posts: 1,081
    I also compared the S40 to the Mazda 6. I took a Mazda 6s hatch (5-door) on an extended test drive. I was pleasantly surprised by its handling, steering, and road manners. It definitely doesn't have the low-end torque of the Accord or Altima V6's, but the numbers already reflect that.

    On the down side, I thought the 6s allowed a little too much road/tire noise into the cabin when cruising on the interstate. I was also turned off by some of the interior, particularly the cheap plastic boombox-like center panel for the audio and climate controls. I had read the V6 was developed by Ford, which may explain the subpar fuel economy when compared to other Japanese V6's? Overall, I still considered it a top consideration due to its fine drive and its sharp exterior.

    Instead, I leased the S40 2.4i. My payments are just a hair above $250/month -- which is why I am not driving the T5. Since I will turn it in at lease end, there'll be no worries about resale value! This car only includes the premium package. Although I thought the T-Tec seats offered a great value as the "standard" seats, my wife and I both came to the conclusion that the leather seats seemed to have a little more padding. The other features, such as the dual climate control, moonroof, power seat, etc., were also welcomed.

    After several months, I'm still pleased with it. It's not easy to replace my beloved BMW, but my S40 is one solid little car that handles well and provides excellent steering feel for a FWD vehicle. In this respect, I definitely like it more than the last gen Audi A4 FWD I previously owned. When the auto stick is placed into "manual" mode, the transmission is extremely quick at responding to my downshifts; not so much on the upshifts (which doesn't matter as much to me). I respectfully disagree with anyone's opinion that the 2.4i is terribly "sluggish". Yes, it is very noisy when revved up, but I don't think it is much slower than the Mazda 6s or the TSX in real world driving. And while highway cruising, the engine noise is nominal, at worst.

    I agree with creakid -- the armrest in the door is perfectly placed for me. Storage is not quite adequate. The glove box is narrow, but it is also deep. The space behind the floating center console works great for my sunglasses.

    After 5 months, I haven't had a single defect, concern, rattle, or squeek.

    By the way, another agreement with creakid: Although the smaller VW's shipped to the US are built in Mexico, I have read from several sources that the Passats arrived from Germany.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    ...are built in Mexico. All Passats for the North American market come from Europe.

    Jettas [except the wagon], and New Beetles are built in Puebla. Golfs are built in Brazil.

    The China Passat reference is strictly for the Asian, and most particularly, the Chinese market. Until recently, that car was based on the 10-year old previous-gen Passat design.

    Now, back to the S40.....
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    called the Santana, which is the exactly name used in Germany & is not called the Passat sedan. This old design VW is still in production & seen as typical taxi cabs there, also has been face lifted with a high trunk lid called the Santana 2000, like how the Volvo 740 was face lifted into the 940.

    The unique extra-long-wheelbase Passat built in China I was talking about is the current Audi A6/A4-derived version. It has extra long rear doors(shown in red):
    http://www.autoindex.org/maker.plt?no=2085
     

    By the way, China also builds the current A6/A4 as well as the current BMW 3 & 5 series:

    http://www.autoindex.org/maker.plt?no=2155

    http://www.autoindex.org/maker.plt?no=2469

    Since some of you "Volvo snobs" don't believe in comparing the expensive-&-high-depreciation S40 to the lower price Mazda3/Focus II/Jetta, the much-roomier-but-closer-in-price Passat is your direct competitor.
  • cotmccotmc Posts: 1,081
    Do you really consider the Passat as the "direct competitor"? I don't see many comparisons between the two. Compared to the S40, the Passat doesn't provide sporty handling (except for the W8). Its suspension and rim/tire set seem to be intended for cruising; not for cornering. The Passat takes roominess and comfort to a higher level, while the S40 has a firmer, tighter suspension with steering feel almost like my '99 Miata. The rear seat of the S40 doesn't provide enough room for adults or older teenagers.

    I personally don't discount the Mazda3 as a competitor to the S40, but the 3 isn't for me. I'm getting up in years, and the 3 has a distinct "youthful" appearance to it. When I look at the 3 sedan from the side, I see Saturn Ion. The interior lacks the upscale look and feel required to compete against the higher priced S40. This isn't intended to be a knock against the 3. I just know there is a large subset of car shoppers who would consider the S40, but not the 3. (Likewise, there will be many buyers who consider the 3 but not the S40, mostly due to price and/or image.)

    I think we discussed this many months ago, and I still believe the TSX and the Audi 1.8T (soon to be 2.0T?) FWD cars are the closest direct competition. The MB C230K and the Saab 9-3 Linear might be next in line. I don't think it is a far stretch to also add several others into the mix, such as the Saab 9-2X, Mazda 6, the Accord Coupe, and maybe a Subaru, Jetta 1.8T, or IS300?

    By the way, if you skimp on the options, the S40 is not necessarily that expensive. One dealer was recently advertising base models for around $21.5K. The premium package adds almost all the equipment included on the TSX, for about another $2K. Next, it is an argument as to whether the 2.4i performance comes close to that of the TSX. I say "yes", it comes close, as I didn't find the TSX all that quick until the rpms were halfway to the tall redline. But if not, then add the additional cost for the 2.5T upgrade. Considering you get free maintenance for 3yrs, along with some outstanding safety engineering (consider all the factors and tests -- not just one NHTSA side-impact test), I think this car can still be a good value.
  • fitguyfitguy Posts: 222
    Thanks for seeing the rationale of driving cars up the scale of category and price and comparing them to the leaders in your 'comfort zone' of cost. (I am formerly riceman- Edmunds made me change the name as they felt it derogitory- I was NOT trying to offend anyone!) There are sometimes alternatives that fit your needs/budget; other times you must move up to the next category. As far as the S40 goes, it wasn't enough car to justify the extra dough for me; Volvo fans will always defend their position and that's fine- come talk to me at 75K miles when you've been ripped off for expensive repairs. Volvo's are prone to electrical gremlins, so are BMW's ( my friend has a '04 5-Series that went in for it's 5th warranty repair Tue.- electrical system related, of course). You can talk luxury-car marque all day, but to some that is irrelevant, especially since in Metro areas creeps just steal or damage them on a regular basis anyway. As for the chucklehead with the Kia-Ferrari comment- you've probably never even driven a Ferrari, and since Kia is the car of the ignorant, you should probably get one. The 6K I saved by getting a Mazda will be my down payment on my Harley V-Rod this spring- who's laughing now?
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,695
    i'm here to talk to you right now with 96K happy miles on my Volvo. What would you like to know? Oh, wait, I haven't been ripped off for any expensive repairs. Do you still want to talk or would you rather wait for someone who fits the pigeonhole you've created?

    I can say that my Volvo has been in the shop far fewer times than all those poor Mazda 626 (4 cyl. automatic combo) drivers with failed transmissions.

    Of course, you'll probably say "that was the 626, this is the mazda 6." In which case, let me say now, in response to that, the electrical gremlins you speak of was also the last gen of volvos (the one that I own and have no problems with) and not this current gen.

    Hey, look, you saved money, that's great. good for you. Enjoy it. Some folks want to step up from the economy class, that's all. Should they be bashed for spending more? Of course not.

    '13 Stang GT; '15 Fit; '98 Volvo S70; '14 Town&Country

  • cotmccotmc Posts: 1,081
    Careful! If you truly don't wish to offend anyone, then you shouldn't type comments such as:

    "...and since Kia is the car of the ignorant, you should probably get one. ..."

    I have never driven a Kia, but I understand a few of their models have received reasonable reviews from automotive critics who are not so "ignorant".

    Who's laughing now? 6K savings is indeed nice, but everything is relative. No doubt, premium vehicles require more financial sacrifice. It's all a matter of priorities. Extending your final argument one step further, there are many other new car owners who just saved 14K (instead of 6K) by purchasing a Kia. Next, they paid cash (in full) and saved an additional 6K by purchasing a Honda instead of a Harley. No loan payments, and maybe an additional $2K into their bank accounts. I think I can hear them laughing now.

    In any case, it's time to move on. Hope you enjoy your 6. It's a good car.
This discussion has been closed.