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Volvo S40



  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    The XC90 was a special case, and alot of dealers and customers were very unhappy w/ Volvo Sweden's stand on the subject.
    We should have S40 order and pricing info next month(hopefully), I believe we will see the standard discount being applied.
  • newownernewowner Posts: 18
    I know these cars are slowly hitting dealership lots. I found a dealership that will sell the T-5 $499 over invoice. It's the only one in WA willing to do that. Every other dealership is going by MSRP and telling me that they can't / won't beat the $499 over invoice. I placed an order and shoudl be getting my new car mid June '04. I feel like I am getting a great deal. Any thoughts on the $499 over invoice on a new model year car?
  • I come from a family of Volvo owners and am quite impartial. I love the look of the S40 and it seemed to handle well on my test drive. I feel like the Volvo is a reliable car (or at least it used to be). However, it is more expensive than the Camry that I test drove. Maybe it was just my imagination, but the Camry seemed so big compared to what I am used to (I currently drive a Volvo 740 GLE). Although this means more room in the rear seat, I still can't make a decision. The Camry is really making me rethink my loyalty to Volvo. Any comments about the reputation, safety, maintenance, and reliability of these two cars will help. Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    Your title should read:
    2004 disguised Mitsubishi Carisma or Camry LE

    "(I currently drive a Volvo 740 GLE)."

    That's 32.2-ft turning circle. No one can satisfy you these days! ;-)

    One of the closest roomy sedans that still does w/o transversely-mounted engine just like your RWD 740 is the Audi-derived Passat, & hence has a decent turning circle. Per Consumer Reports, it is at least as comfortable as the Camry while superbly more nimble at accident-avoidance speed even more than the Accord. We leased one, & I find it surprisingly agile like a little car in the parking lot.

    The old '04 S40 is just a disguised Mitsubishi Carisma. Why not get a disguised Audi A6 -- the Passat. People are getting it at $2k below invoice during March & April(one advertised at $17988 w/ std height-&-lumbar adjustment for BOTH front seats), so you might even be able to afford the 2.8 V6 w/ leather, wood, stability control(only $280 more on the base model), etc. The Audi(not VW) 2.8 engine on the Passat has none of the ignition-coil recall, but even the other engine -- the 1.8 turbo -- should run fine after the recall work's being done, if the late '04's still has the recall.

    This plush-riding German(not Mexican or Brazilian)-built '04 VW is definitely CLASSES above the Japanese-derived crude-riding & not-so-reliable Dutch(not Deutsche)-built '04 S40.
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    "Any comments about the reputation, SAFETY, maintenance, and reliability of these two cars will help."

    The Passat has safety features like side curtain airbags, ABS & traction control all standard. Even the standard stability control on the upper models is only a $280 option on the base model, as the '04.5 new S40 charges $695 for all models!

    The April '04 Consumer Reports(page 29-31) rated the Passat's overall safety score even higher than the Volvo S60 due to better "Accident avoidance" performance, let alone the old S40. The Camry has high safety rating only if you get the heavily loaded model, as the standard Camry LE trails behind the Volvo S60.
  • twilliatwillia Posts: 29
    I've been looking at the Volvo web site's information on the new S40. The specs state that for the S40 T5, the Aluminum Inlays are only available as part of the Sports Package and that the Simulated Wood Inlays are standard. However, the S40 brochure states the Aluminum Trim is standard on the T5. Is there a difference between "Inlays" and "Trim"? I like the aluminum on the center console, but can't tell if that is standard on the T5 or only available with the Sports Package.
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    The salesman told me that the std T-5 can be equipped either way. Since I will only order one 'cause I want a stick, so I can have it anyway I want, even w/o the sport package. But I'd really prefer something like glossy black, which makes the whole thing classier. So I'll take the wood over the shiny aluminum, which also looks similar to the 2.4i's std silver plastic.
  • newownernewowner Posts: 18
    I disagree that a 10% disocunt is unrealistic. You should pay no more than $499 over invoice. Speak to the sales manager or internet manager and tell them you want it for the same price as their "fleet" program. I know from buying several cars that even new models still have some dealer hold-back. For example, you special order your car, it arrives, and you take possession. VOLVO will pay the dealership approx. 3% of invoice. Plus you are saving the dealership money because they do not have to pay the insurance or tax for it to sit on their lot. The more cars they sell, the more cash awards and allotments Volvo will give that dealership. Regardless of what car you chose, a dealership that cares about their customers will do anything to sell a car, even a new model. It takes a little work but you can literally save thousands. I looked into the OSD program and honestly think the "fleet" program is much better.
  • newownernewowner Posts: 18
    Please read my reply. Never ever buy at MSRP. It's a car, not a house. You will lose money every year as it depreciates. So if you get it for the lowest price to begin with, you won't feel that loss as much. Also, there is so much competition these days, you can buy near dealer invoice.
  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    Comes from the factory only with the Sport pkg.

    It is available separately as a dealer installed item.
    Base T5's get the wood trim.
  • twilliatwillia Posts: 29
    I was at the Volvo dealership this morning looking at the 2004.5 S40 and as I was sitting in the driver's seat I noticed that the gas peddle seemed tucked in the corner and the brake peddle seemed really close to the gas peddle. I haven't test drove the car yet, but has anyone who has driven the automatic had any issues with your foot movement and the peddles?


  • benjaminsbenjamins Posts: 56
    Finally, it came to New York. Can't really come to any great conclusions about the car. Can it oversteer? Maybe, I don't know, the 2.4 seemed to understeer a bit. The T5 a bit more neutral. Steering feel is fine, nothing razor sharp, feel is there, effort and feedback are very good. Changes direction well. Can't tell about ride, the t5 seemed to jiggle somewhat on somewhat uneven pavement in the parking lot, but I could'nt really tell to what degree.

    The interior is better in light colors that show contrast, like the light gray. I didn't love the volvo t tech but it seemed to be grippy. At this point I'm not used to the lower visibility and lower driving position that the car offers, I'm used to the 700/900, s70 driving position, so I felt like I never sat in a commanding position. It felt similar to driving a Passat in position, but with smaller windows. Seats are firmer than s60 and bigger Volvos, but supportive enough. They just don't have the plushness of the bigger Volvos. Car looks nice enough, I still find it truncated at the back. I like the red car with black base, as opposed to all red. For me, the s60 is still the best looking Volvo sedan and the s80 the most balanced, though aging. I'll say the s40 may look sportier in some ways than s60.

    I didn't test acceleration and brakes. The cars run smoothly and have a different exhaust note than s60. There's not enough room to test these things though some drivers tried and got warning by Volvo personnel to slow it down.

    I would need a more extensive drive, over bumps, over various types of roads, accelerating and merging, to get more of an idea. Still feels like a Volvo cruiser to me, not as tightly sprung as most German cars, but I'm not sure. I'd be able to tell over crests and bumps and such. I'm a little warmer on the interior but don't like the plastic molding on top of the doors. I don't feel the high arm rest that Creak is talking about and think the doors panels could be more organic. They feel a bit boxy. Center console looks good, though not necessarily revolutionary, even if it is. I'm more interested in the controls and placement on them and their layout. Interior is simple, maybe a bit too simple. I don't feel this car is a BMW 3 series competitor in how it feels. It may handle and perform well, but the overall feel isn't in that league. I'll go along with Acura TSX as competitor, not sure it matches Audi A4 feel either. The BMW competitor is the softer handling s60, that feels like a higher quality car, especially after going to it from sitting in an s40 that was right next to it.

    s40 is nice car, but maybe still feels like an entry level Volvo and lower rung than the s60, v70, s80, xc90, which all feel fairly close to each other in quality. I'd have to think about the s40 and test and retest it. But I'd probably end up with the s60, I don't value handling that much over overall feel, here's where the s60 is superior and worth a little more money to me even if the back seat room is poor. The new s40 is a big improvement over the old, in solidity, handling, engine, tightness of chassis, and is an up-to-date car, complete with the silly integrated grill in bumper that would have to be replaced if bumper is damaged. What happened to the European form follows function? There are many concessions to style in most of the new European cars.
  • aobaraobar Posts: 1
    My parents and I have been looking at cars lately (I'm a teen), and we have looked at a 2001 S40 (base) and a 2000 S80 (base). The S40 has about 43k miles, and is listed on a Volvo dealership's website for $12,200, and for a Volvo, it is bare-bones - no options. The S80 has about 44k miles, and is listed on Autotrader for $13,990 and is well-equipped. I would assume that there would be no warranty left on the S80, and I cannot get a warranty from the dealer (a large used car lot). However, there would be about 6 months worth of a warranty left on the S40. I am considering the S80 only because it has more features at a reasonable price and because I think my father would prefer it if he had to drive it. I love the S80, but would I be right in assuming that the S80 would not be a wise purchase? I know you've probably noticed that the price for the S80 is rather low, so is there a reason for this that a mechanic may not find if we were to get the car inspected?
  • mgpark103mgpark103 Posts: 5
    Hey Sherryberry - if you are still in the market for a T5, the $3k lease incentive is still out there - i went to 2 of the volvo dealerships here in ATL and they both offered/mentioned it. BOTH however would have had to ship a T5 in from another state. Lucky for me, mine should be heading up I-75 from the Sunshine State in about 2 more hours! Good luck, Sherry! I posted elsewhere on these boards my lease terms & which volvo shop I ended up leasing from (again).
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    we leased at about $248 down(about $1k drive off) & $248/mo @ 12k mi/yr on a stripped $23k Passat auto w/ std passenger seat height & lumbar(wow!) & the no-cost metallic paint. The ride is great & roomy too, but the turbo lag sucks. The recall for the 4-cyl's ignition coil is a thing of the past. The Audi 2.8 V6 engine is now only available w/ the loaded GLX model.

    By the way, the current Passat is an old Passat based on the Audi's from the '90's. The new one coming next year has nothing to do w/ Audi, not even the V6, & like the new S40, the rear suspension is Focus-engineer engineered.

    The current European minivan from VW/Ford, the Sharan/Galaxy, are based on the previous non-Audi-design VW Passat platform. The new ones are unrelated but share the new Focus-suspension-type of design in the rear. The next VW Sharan will be based on the next Passat, while the next Ford Galaxy will be based on a stretched S40(Focus II) platform.

    If you don't mind 1st-yr European car's reliability & are considering the new S40, you can also wait another year & get the super-roomy new Passat, which looks like a cuter version of the $100k VW Phaeton & will be available w/ 3.2 VR6 engine.

    I personally love the new S40's driving position especially w/ that high door armrest for my elbow, but will consider the T5 only when their charcoal filter becomes available in this country. Unlike the Audi-badged ones, current Passat also lacks the charcoal filter.
  • cotmccotmc Posts: 1,081
    If considering a 2004 Passat with the 1.8T engine, please make sure you test drive it thoroughly so that you are certain the turbo lag will not bother you in the long run. I previously owned a 2001 Audi A4 1.8T 5-spd, which has the same engine as the Passat 1.8T. I enjoyed the test drive, but after driving it every day for a few weeks, the turbo lag started to bother me.

    Also, as creakid1 pointed out, the Passat is based on an aged platform. A completely redesigned version is going to be introduced soon. If you go with the '04 Passat, make sure you are getting a very good price, because there will be additional depreciation once the new models arrive at the showrooms.

    No doubt the Passat is a better driver than any Camry or Accord sedan, but it doesn't have the suspension tuning to be a sport sedan (except for possibly the very expensive W8 model). However, it is roomy, and it serves well as a fun-to-drive family sedan. It has a classy design to it.

    The S40 is smaller and sportier. I completely believe that my S40 has the best steering of any FWD car I've driven. I'm also impressed with the safety that was engineered into this car.

    Before I leased the S40, I considered several other models. To be honest, the Passat was not one of them. My list included the Acura TSX, Mazda 6s 5-door, Saab 9-3 Linear, Mercedes C230K, and a BMW 325i (which was only ruled out due to its price).
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    "No doubt the Passat is a better driver than any Camry or Accord sedan, but it doesn't have the suspension tuning to be a sport sedan (except for possibly the very expensive W8 model)."

    Its heavy nose on an Audi-layout only makes the handling clumsier.

    Anyway, if you're getting a stripped Passat GL, don't forget to add the optional $280 ESP.
  • cotmccotmc Posts: 1,081
    It was my understanding that the W8 model was the only Passat available with a firmer "sport" suspension. That is the only reason I singled it out.
  • Just a quick question, how much of Volvo is owned by Ford?
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