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Volvo S40



  • I am strongly considering a 2004.5 , but my insurance company (Progressive) doesn't have this vehicle in their system - and the specific car's VIN comes up as "invalid".

    Has anyone else had similiar problems with this model or newer models in general? I'd hate to switch companies, b/c their prices are usually so good!

  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    Both cars have done very well as far as quality is concerned. There are more incentives for the 60 so that may sway you.

    One of my customers did have an issue w/ insurance. Although this was back in March. Since then we ahve sold quite a few S40's and no insurance problems have been reported.
    Progressive should have the VIN info by now.
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    they should substitute w/ something like '04 S40 for now.

    When I got the new '90 Protege 4-dr sedan, AAA took my word for it & insured it as '90 323 4-dr sedan. At least the agent saw "323" on my trunk deck that said:

    Mazda 323"

    In my later renewal, their system could no longer allow "'90 323 4-dr", so it became "'90 Protege 4-dr".
  • leeandginaleeandgina Posts: 38
    We bought a 2004.5 S40 in May and Liberty Mutual didnt have the vin either, so they did the premium manually. Make sure you get a discount for ABS, Alarm and the airbags though, they missed that. We pay $1100 a year for ours in PA, with $250 deductibles and its used for commuting too (45 miles one way).
  • Volvomax
    my owner's manual says in certain markets the front passenger seat will fold flat. I even remember a review of the new S40 stating such. My dealer says only if the passenger seat is powered will it fold flat. That's not even an option on the 2.4i S40.
    what's the real story?
  • cotmccotmc Posts: 1,081

    Max helped me with my S40 2.4i lease. We both came to the same conclusion: The 2.4i passenger seat does not fold flat. I was a little disappointed, but on the other hand, I doubt I would ever take advantage of that feature, anyway.

    I suspect your dealer is correct.

    BTW, after selling my BMW, and driving an Audi A4 before that, I have no regrets after 3 months with my S40.

    Well, on second thought, I wish I had the upgraded audio package. The midrange presence within the standard system is weak, and the tweeters sound rather cheap. That's probably my only complaint.
  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    On the European version there is an option to have the seat fold.
    For whatever reason this option is not available on the US cars.

    I'm pretty sure that even the T5 w/ a pwr passenger seat won't fold flat.
    In the bigger Volvo's the mechanism to fold the seats is mechanical. There are 2 release pins at the bottom corners of the seat.
    Oddly enough, on some of the older models the drivers seat had the release pins as well.
  • czm3136czm3136 Posts: 10
    Tony - this is definitely an issue for my husband, who only drives the car a small percentage of the time. I haven't noticed it yet since my feet aren't as large but he has definitely commented on this several times. You can actually hear his foot getting stuck.

    Other than that, the car is awesome!! Maybe you can wear smaller shoes when driving it?!?!
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032

    I'm not sure if this applies to Volvo, but the 5-dr IS300 w/ this feature can't recline w/ proper posture for comfort.
  • grantchstrgrantchstr Posts: 371
    Am I right in hinking that the new S40 in the USA is the V50 which is available in Europe? The V50 looks a great car and I suppose has been debugged in Europe before hitting the USA market. I believe the V50 is longer than the S40. Is the V50 ONLY a wagon? Any observations on pricing in the USA?
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,734
    The V50 is the wagon version of the S40. Both were introduced in Europe a few months ago. The S40 has been on dealer lots for about 3 months and V50's just hit this month. Pricing can be found at or if you click New Cars here at Edmunds, you can find the pricing.

    Good Luck.
  • grantchstrgrantchstr Posts: 371
    Thanks, whats the incentive for the V50, if any?
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    So even C&D & MT (rather than just CR) would bother to road test the new compact Volvo w/o the torturous sport suspension. The wagon tested by them did come w/ 17" wheels as a $500 option.

    "...the V50 pulled an impressive 0.85 g, again bettering the performance of the sporting wagons form Audi and BMW..."(C&D)

    Like the "S2000 and RX-8s -- sporty, quick, and fun cars that are relatively affordable", the "V50, too, is sporty, quick and fun..."(C&D)

    "The V50 posted a confidence-inspiring slalom speed of 66 mph, on par with the likes of the much ballyhooed Performance Package-equipped BMW 330i."(MT)

    It's no wonder. Unlike the std 325i, the S40's(both sp & non-sp) I tested, w/ & w/o DSC, had an impressively stable rear end, & hence very easy to toss around at the limit. DSC's intervention comes on smoothly on wet surface & only as a back up when you need it -- this is the Focus style.

    & overall, even w/ spirited handling, ride comfort still...

    "Not only did the Volvo effectively match or beat the (WRX-based)Saab's performance at the test track, the V50 further persuaded us with its higher standard levels of ride quality..."(MT)

    Note: The Subaru WRX already has a more absorbent ride than the BMW 3-series Compact's std sport suspension.

    "We had sneak peak some months back at the V50's new chassis in Mazda 3 guise, so we weren't surprised to find it well balanced. It never felt too harsh driving around Michigan's pocked roads, yet it didn't just lean over and give up when lateral grip began to rise."(C&D)

    "To this formula Volvo adds a perfectly tuned chassis that conceals road blemishes while providing predictable and spirited handling."(C&D)

    This is w/ 17"s, imagine how smooth w/ the 16"s.

    Also, "Freeway running was silent and smooth. Road and wind noise barely registered."(MT)

    "Although the V50 sends 100 percent of its power to the front wheels until slip is detected, torque steer is surprisingly absent"(C&D)

    So the T-5's torque steer is not likely to be a problem even in FWD form.

    "Even with all this power, turbo lag is virtually nonexistent, noticeable only when lightly modulating the throttle from a standing still."(C&D)

    "If there's one thing we wish we could banish from the Volvo portfolio, however, it would be the inline-five turbo's characteristic rubberband power delivery. While this trait wasn't apparent during full throttle blasts, it did make smooth stoplight get away and parallel parking a bit more touchy than we'd like."(MT)

    Maybe the stick version isn't as hard to modulate, but this 2.5 5-cyl turbo engine still isn't that perfectly desirable. Eventhough it's not as noisy as the n.a. 2.4 5-cyl, still this "inline-five produces uninspiring engine drone"(MT). So you might be better off w/ the foreign-market quiet-revving 4-cyl developed by Mazda if you don't need much power.

    Besides, the turbo's boost-built-up time delays the full max torque till about 3000 rpm when you accelerate, & by that rpm you usually already up-shifted to the next gear.
  • OK, so we visit the Volvo dealer, we have the full pricing sheet and option sheet -- we configure a new S40 T5 AWD and it comes to (@full MSRP) a hair over $40,000 (this baby was loaded).

    So next we get to some nitty gritty details, since the price sheet says Standard Equipment as in lower models, plus. . . .

    Here is what is "missing" and these are, from our perspective "fatal, deal-killing, oversights."

    From the ridiculous to the sublime:

    1. No sat radio
    2. No blue-tooth
    3. No in-car phone prep or option
    4. No Volvo On*Call (their version of On*Star)

    Before you say "wah!" Before you roll your eyes and look at me like I've got six heads, let's examine these "inexpensive" (for the manufacturer) features.

    #1 Sat radio -- virtually every car in "this class" offers this technology. Many cars offer it that are well below the Volvo's class and intended customer base. And puzzling as Volvo brags about an umpteen speaker Dolby Pro-logic sound system -- sat radio is becoming an "assumed" feature (standard or optional, I'll grant, but assumed nevertheless).

    #2 & #3 Blue-tooth &/or "cell phone" prep. I'm lumping these together for several reasons. Here's the killer reason -- lawyers and lawmakers. Don't kill the messenger, but within 18 months (mark my words, mark your calendars) there will be bills and individual state laws "put into effect" that will fine drivers who are caught using a "non-hands-free" and possibly "non-hand-and-eyes-free" in car phone. Some states have already passed such laws. The way around this is technically elegant -- or it can be. First you can now acquire for low or no cost blue tooth capable phones, when you are talking on them outside of your car, you hold them and use them in the way we've all grown accustomed to; then, when you get into your blue tooth car, the phone and its controls are automatically transferred to the sound system and buttons on the steering wheel and sometimes even voice activiation goes with the territory.

    A cool toy to be sure -- a big fine if you're caught using the phone while driving in the "conventional way" -- you may cry "big brotherism" you may moan and complain -- just take it from me, Repulican or Democrat or Eye of Newt Party, this law is coming and don't shoot me, I'm just the piano player.

    How could you sell a car in 2005 that has DVD navigation, smart key, 13 speaker Dolby Surround etc etc etc -- and overlook this [love it or hate it] looming safety regulation (especially when you're Volvo?) Fatal flaw, sales wise, in the long run.

    #4 No "On*Call" -- this, frankly, is much more personal; you may hate the notion of "On*Star" or you may think it is a waste of $16.95 per month. Well, Senator, I knew Jack Kennedy, he was a friend of mine, and you're no. . .you know the rest. Having lived with On*star and it's features, such as Virtual Advisor and voice activated hand and eyes free phone integration "dial 555-1212" -- I can tell you this is another one of those things that, like Sat Nav, morphs from cool toy to valuable feature to safety feature. And, if you use your car for business, you can forward your email to your car and the darn thing figures out how to read your text email to you while you're driving.

    You may argue the "need" for such features (1 - 4 above). You should evaluate them, however, in the context of competitive advantage and/or disadvantage. Having them may NOT provide any advantage -- But, NOT HAVING THEM will provide a disadvantage that will be difficult (in this price class) for many potential customers to overlook.

    Even VW's have On*star available for Pete's sake as do low end Chebbies!

    The real killer, however, is that lack of blue-tooth or cell phone prep. When you drive in our medium sized city [Cincinnati] and see more people ON the phone while driving than NOT, you can bet the legislature will soon be putting the kibosh on THAT! Hate to buy a $40K car and then have to after-market-rig a way around that!

    Until they "fix" this thing, take the S40 off [your] shopping list, it's already in minute 16.
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,734
    Sat Radio - nice to have but the vast majority of people are not going to pay for the service.

    Blue Tooth - nice feature but I think you're over reaching on the legislation issue. AFAIK, 2 states (NY and NJ) and one county in Ohio have passed a hands free law. Heck, even here in MA the legislature failed to approve a hands free requirement just last week. Further, meeting the law in most cases can be met by using an ear bud or head piece. Lastly, the only vehicle offered now with bluetooth compatability that I know is the Acura TL, so if it's so important almost everybody is behind the curve.

    On-Star - again I think few people are willing to pony up the subscription fee. On-Star is optional on most GM cars bacause GM owns On-Star. Outside the GM family only VW/Audi are really offering it. It's available in the current RL which is on it's out and Subaru isn't offering it anymore.

    We all have our own opinions but to rip into a vehicle because it's not perfect in your eyes is a bit harsh.

    If it makes you feel any better the S40 is available in Europe with the intergrated phone - s/ - click on instrumentation under interior. Perhaps focus groups here in the US nixed that feature.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    The number of competitors to this car when you get an MSRP in the $40k range is just staggering. I simply cannot imagine spending this kind of money for any S40/V50. To each his own...and never mind the missing "features", none of which I would care about...
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,734
    One last thing - how did you get it over $40K? With every box checked for the S40 T5 AWD, it doesn't crack $37K here in Boston. Not a good value at $37K either IMHO.
  • The S40 T5 AWD -- at this moment -- is THE bargain in the range/class that it presumes (and really is) to be in.

    My comments, were not meant to be a rip - and I am aware that the cell phone / hands free facility is available elsewhere (for despite the incredulity I may have elicited, Europe will soon be "hands free" mandated -- and we'll see how far along we are here in NA in 18 months).

    The S40 T5 AWD @ $40K list compares (and content-wise surpasses) favorably with the Audi A4 3.0 and the 3 Series Bimmers. And, when all tarted up like this S40 would be at this price, these competitors cost more, several thousands of dollars more. Perhaps if you thought the VW Passat V6 w/4Motion could be a contender (but the Vee Dub cannot be had with sat nav, e.g.) @ $32K, well you would be right, the S40 is over priced. But this little dude is a fairly high performance European sport sedan with AWD and a 6speed manual transmission and (minus my gripes previously stated) "nearly all the toys" one has come to expect in this price range.

    And, while I certainly agree with the "to each his own" philosophy, I would wonder out loud if you have had these features that I am "on" about -- or better said, how do you know you would not care about them?

    Finally, since Volvo offers phone prep and On*Call elsewhere and on other models, at least understand my suggestion that most of us who buy cars between $35K and $75K have come to expect certain "available" features (standard or extra cost).

    "What once were vices are now virtues. . ." as the song goes.
  • I did not even check every option box on the price sheet and the number, as I recall was $40,165. I think that there was a paint option for $400 bucks that I didn't select, since we were just looking at black -- we did, however, check laminated glass, ground effects, sat nav and every package and upgrade available except metallic paint and gun rack or some other silly thing that was on the "individual option" sheet. Sorry, I left the price guide in my coat pocket, if I remember, I'll post the config and the MSRP's (BTW there was offered a decent discount off MSRP -- but the lack of phone prep was too serious an omission to allow the car, no matter what the price, to remain on the list.) The dealer thinks the "oversights" mentioned previously will be addressed, especially sat radio (very popular) and the phone prep.

    FWIW, the dealer said most who get On*Call don't renew -- I am a fan of On*Star, so color me in the minority.
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    "Lastly, the only vehicle offered now with bluetooth compatability that I know is the Acura TL..."

    That's the whole point. The S40 is smaller than the TSX, yet cost no less than the TL when equipped liked the TSX.

    The TSX is only a $27k($29k w/ navigation) car, so Volvo's removal of auto-recirculate charcoal filter for the N.A. S40 is unacceptable. That's why neither the 3-series nor the C-class(today) would dare not to include this feature std.

    The main reason this new Volvo excels is because it utilizes the German-designed suspension & steering from the Focus II. Other than that, Volvo is behind in technology. Our '86 top-of-the-line Volvo 760 was so primitive that the turbo compressor wasn't even water cooled, the rear suspension wasn't independent, the climate control didn't even come w/ a recirculate feature, & the right outside mirror didn't have a convexed lens. Volvo eventually corrected them years later.

    I don't mind paying for one XM radio subscription. But I need to take it from one car to another, 'cause I drive multiple number of cars.
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