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Volvo V40 - Information & Experiences

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Comments

  • wimpiewimpie Posts: 1
    The evolution of the volvo S/V40. BR>
    From 1996 till 2003 with pictures.

    http://users.pandora.be/volvo40
  • nwngnwng Posts: 664
    I just check the price on carsdirect.com in my area - $20540 for a v40! It is very close to my other choices I've been considering - subie legacy, passat wagon (more expensive). I am not so sure about the reliability of volvo's but given this is an 8 yr old design(and last model year), should they work the bugs out completely?
    Cargo space is fine with me, I don't carry sheets of plywoods, just the regular stuff for 2 kids and I don't go crazy about it. Being in volvosville (Boston), there are plenty of good independent volvo mechanics I can go to for maintenance. And the rear seat comfort part I do not know. Anyone has any suggestions?

    thanks
    Nelson
  • bb_lhs_2kbb_lhs_2k Posts: 94
    I picked up a 2003 V40 two weeks ago for my wife. I was on the same boat as you. The $4000 dealer incentive which dropped the price of the car almost $5000 off MSRP, was a deal closer for me. I like the Volvo safety that's offered in this car, all kind of air bags and side curtains as well as whiplash preventive front seats.

    As for your question about the rear seat, I tried it and I'm a bit over 6' tall, and my knees didn't touch the front seats(maybe about 2" away).
    And the back seat feels quite comfortable. Although, the whole car seems cramped to me, because I'm used to my car, the LHS, which is huge.

    I've driven the V40 a few times now, and I actually started enjoying it. At first it seemed too stiff and sensitive to me, but after a while I adjusted to the feel, and I like the road feel of the steering. The big surprise I got, was how FAST this car is. It's turbo charged and it's light, so it zooms and wants to keep going, but fortunately, it also has the BEST brakes I have ever seen. This car stops on a dime. And because of this, the brake pads are designed softer than usual, and they tend to wear faster than expected, which need replacing every 15-20k miles. And the complaint I have so far, is the mess of brake dust on the wheels. It's unbelievable how much dust accumulates on there. I guess it's the price to pay in order to have really Excellent Brakes.

    On a final note, I think the price you quoted doesn't include any packages, which would be impossible to find (I think). You might have to add $1000-$3000 for a Sports Package or Premium Package with possibly a Climate Package.

    Good Luck!
  • nwngnwng Posts: 664
    $1k or more for an additional pkg is okay with me. If you look around for a small wagon, there are not that many choices to start with. If equipped similarly, I think the price is on par with the legacy (4cyl) and passat(4cyl), and that is why it looks so attractive now.

    btw, this car will be for my wife too. Unlike you, I'll be taking over her current car - corolla.
  • mbfjackmbfjack Posts: 23
    I'm surprised there are not a lot of discussions on the 2003 V40. I'm in Europe, but will soon go to the US, and am undecided between this wagon, the VW GLS V6 Passat Wagon, and the '03 Honda Accord EX V6.
    I am a Honda owner, so my first instinct is Honda. It's a shame Honda doesn't make a wagon in the US. I think in the long run, it would be more practical to have a wagon. I like the Passat a lot, even though it's too pricy, and I'm concerned with reliability and premium fuel. The 2003 Volvo V40 I like a lot. I drove a new silver metallic V40 for a month here in Europe last Summer, and I loved it. My only concern is that in the US, all that is offered is Automatic transmission, whereas I drove a MT, and enjoyed that much more. The Passat GLS has the option of V6 (I like the extra power) and MT, but the Accord doesn't in V6. Still have to test drive the Passat and the Accord.
    As you can see, I am very confused... Amidst all this, what I really value is longevity in a quality car (I've had my Honda for almost 9 years, and no problems). I also value performance, comfort, and safety. My only problem with AT is less control to enjoy.
    Question: how is the Volvo maintenance services in the US??
    HELP
  • bb_lhs_2kbb_lhs_2k Posts: 94
    Like I wrote in my earlier post, I was also undecided between a couple of other wagons (the passat included), and I decided on the Volvo V40. The price was great, and there were too many mechanical issues with the Passat. The thing is that the V40 is not popular at all here in the U.S., you hardly see any on the road. And the problems I read about are the engine light coming on, which is caused by various non-serious things. And the brake pads need replacing often. Other than that, no serious problems. Unfortunately, it doesn't come in manual transmisison here.
    As for Service, it really depends on the dealers. And most dealers for any brand car, don't seem to care enough, I think.

    Good Luck.
  • mbfjackmbfjack Posts: 23
    Thanks for your advice. From what you're saying, I am more and more convinced that the Passat might be out of question, especially after reading all the stuff here on the VW boards.
    I also agree with you, that dealers don't seem to care much about customers after the "buy". My experience has been long long waits, just for oil changes, for instance, even after you make an appointment.
    Since you own a V40, what are your overall experiences with it (hopefully you haven't had the problems you have read about), how long have you had it, and what is the response of the 4-cylinder engine with an automatic transmission? Did you get any of the options, like climate and premium packages??
    Sorry about all the questions. I'm just trying to get the most information in order to make a decision.
    Thank you.
    I'm surprised you don't see many V40s in the States. Here they are abundant.
  • bb_lhs_2kbb_lhs_2k Posts: 94
    Well, we picked up a dark blue V40, with the Sports Package and the Climate Package, upgraded stereo and a Moonroof. We've had it for about 3 weeks now, and have put on it a little over 200 miles. Definitely, not enough experience or time to judge if something is going to break. But the car drives great. The pick-up is terrific and handling is really nice. I also like the way the tranny shifts, no harsh bumps or hesitation. I remember my LHS, when it was new, had some hesitation and quite a few bangs in the transmission until I passed 1000 miles on the car.

    The V40 is not a luxury car, it's kind of noisy (road noise more than engine noise, but maybe the tires have something to do with it), and you definitely feel the road, not too cushioned. But that's exactly what this little car was designed to drive and feel like.

    So far, I have'nt experienced any of the problems that I read about, and hopefully it will stay that way. I'm pretty confident that by now, Volvo has worked out most of the bugs on this model, it's been around for quite a few years now.

    Hope this helps, and by the way, where are you that you see so many V40s.
  • sully242sully242 Posts: 7
    That's one of the nice things about owning this vehicle; they're not a dime a dozen. Great car. Great price ($4,000 under invoice - not MSRP)!
  • mbfjackmbfjack Posts: 23
    So many V40s in Portugal!! And as you probably know, here in Europe, there are hardly any automatics. So, all of them are MT. I have also seen a Titanium gray color here that the US Volvo website doesn't list. Also, here you have a choice of 9 engines, ranging from 102 to 200 HP, gasoline or diesel, etc. But the prices here in Portugal are too steep. There are always some little drawbacks.
    Somebody was telling me about the overseas delivery program from the US: pick up the car in Gothenburg, Sweden, then drive it to one of the 21 drop-off points, like Paris or Madrid (that would be closer for me), and ship it to the US, and all this with trips paid, no shipping costs, and cost of the car amounts to 10% less than buying it the US. I don't know. I guess it's something to ponder.
    I don't remember too much road noise when I drove one last summer. What kind, and what brand of tires did they sell with your V40??
  • bb_lhs_2kbb_lhs_2k Posts: 94
    The tires on my 2003 are the BF Goodrich T/As. Not bad tires really, I've used them before on other cars, but the noise could be because of the suspension not being as isolated as less performance cars (like my LHS). I wouldn't worry about it, it's not an issue.

    As for the program picking up the car overseas. A friend of mine just picked up a BMW 330xi from Germany on a similar program, where he ordered the car here in the U.S., then picked it up overseas and drove it around in Germany for about a week to add a few miles to the odometer, and that's how you save by shipping it Used instead of Brand New.

    Regards.
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    Welcome everyone!

    To nwng & mbfjack - Glad to see you're getting some good feedback here. For additional feedback/ideas, you may also want to check out our Help me select a Wagon! discussion. Good luck, and please keep us posted on your decision. ;-)

    To bb_lhs_2k- Congrats on your new V40, and thanks sharing the details. We appreciate your help/feedback here... and look forward to your future posts. Happy motoring!

    Revka
    Host
    Hatchbacks & Wagons Boards
  • bb_lhs_2kbb_lhs_2k Posts: 94
    Thanks,
    I got a lot of help on these boards, so it's only appropriate for me to help, if I can :-)
  • mbfjackmbfjack Posts: 23
    Thanks for the welcome. It's surprising there are not more posts on the V40. It seems like it's only a couple of us on here.
    I find these boards extremely helpful. Even though I still haven't decided nor made a purchase, it's refreshing to read information with all types of opinion. It helps a great deal to find out people's dilemmas, problems and solutions.
  • I think this car comes closest to what I want in a car.
    I like it alot and really can't find anything wrong.
    (Well...I don't like the old style door handles...that's about it)
    How long will the $4000 off incentive last?
    Never mind... I just checked... it says 4/30...
    Does anyone know if a new V40 will be introduced by then?
    Is the V50 a replacement or different?
  • bb_lhs_2kbb_lhs_2k Posts: 94
    I think the V50 will be the replacement of the V40, but will be introduced in 2005 (I'm not sure, maybe 2004).

    Here's the spy pics of the V50:
    http://w1.313.telia.com/~u31303214/V50.jpg
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    Thanks for the link! If you have a chance, perhaps you could also share (copy/paste) that in our V50 discussion. Talk later. ;-)

    Revka
    Host
    Hatchbacks & Wagons Boards
  • theflowtheflow Posts: 98
    I'm thinking of getting a V40. Any problems experienced so far? And how much does it costs to replace the Volvo brake pads?
  • conradwconradw Posts: 2
    I talked the two local Volvo dealers in the area about the gas grade the Volvoes require, but is still sort of confused.

    Dealer 1: Among the European auto makers, only Volvo requires only regular 87 grade gas. All the others require premium gas. He told me what was shown on the internet, such as Edmunds, was not correct.

    Dealer 2: Although the owner's manual specifies premium gas, you can comfortably use the regular one from any established gas vendor. He himself had been using the regular one and there was no problem. He also said if the regular one did not work, then just went up one notch.

    So the question remains that if the regular one is fine, why does Volvo even specify the premium in their manual to begin with?
  • thomasmithomasmi Posts: 6
    Have any of you V40 owners experienced problems with the plastic trim (integral w/ tail lights)on the rear hatch? Mine has cracked above and below the gate latch, (i.e. between the latch and the glass). Not sure if the extremes in temps. caused cracking or if it's prone to crack due to the narrow width of plastic above latch. Seems like a
    design flaw, although minor, that could have been worked out over the course of the V40's history.
    Thanks for the input.
This discussion has been closed.