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New S40/V50

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Comments

  • don't any of you care that volvos are consistently ranked so poorly in reliability? i absolutely love the guigiaro designed body style, the all silver joystick shifter, and the NAD stero compenent-like interior design, but aren't volvos a poor investment? wouldn't it be wiser to invest in a subaru legacy turbo wagon, for example? oh well, it's just talk anyways...
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    from previous owners, I've heard that Volvos are quite durable. My friend has a mid 80's Volvo 740 wagon and he is still driving it, with 300K miles and going.
  • Saw the 2004.5 S40, sweet vehicle, don't like the large gaps between the hood and side panels, nor the gaps betweed side panels and front facia, but told the car was just a prototype. At the end of the day, a smaller S60.

    This will compete well against cars in its class.
  • does anyone know if the volvo 5-cylinder engine is any good? i instinctively have a distrust for any engine with an odd number of cylinders. dunno why, it just sounds innately imbalanced.

    i've done some research on this vehicle, and i like everything about it except for this. also, does anyone in canada know how much the T5 V50 wagon will cost up here (no AWD)?
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    As long as the car is better than the S60. Besides, it's the Focus II -- a car too expensive to be sold in America that you can't even get it here at any price. & the made-in-Germany Focus I topped the reliability rating of all cars sold in Germany, including the Japanese cars.

    http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/news/ae_news_story.php?id=44126
    Pretty soon, you will likely to see a gussied up Mini Cooper costing twice as a base Mini Cooper.

    & according to CR, the Focus SVT costs less than the base Mini Cooper but beats it hands down from ride, handling/steering to room & comfort.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    being a car based off a Focus isn't a bad thing.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    say, a Cavalier or a Neon?
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,432
    ya gotta love how cornell just spits out completely unfounded lies, ignores all the feedback we post to the contrary, and than spits it out again. Can someone hit his reset switch please?

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,432
    Where do you get your information that volvos are unreliable? Can you please post sources?

    The volvos that I know of that started the "unreliable" reputation were the S70s. In particular, the '98s (the year that I own). 84K miles now and no more problematic than my Toyota 4Runner I owned for 4 years and even less problematic than the Subaru Forester we had for 2 years.

    Going back prior to the S70s, volvos had a great reputation and great resale value.

    The 5-cylinder configuration is nothing new, either. The way it came about was by chopping a cylinder off of their straight-6. Car companies add and subtract cylinders from their engines all the time. I remember Chevy cut 2 off their 5.7 V8 to make the 4.3 V6. VW does it now with their W8/W12 engines. Its common cost-saving practice.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    The S60 is scheduled for a redesign in 2006 or 2007.
    Volvo has charge of the platform for that car.
    Meaning that there probably won't be as much sharing in this car as you might think.
    6th beatle, WHAT?????
    The 5 cyl has been around for over 10 yrs w/ hundreds of thousands of engines built.
    Name me one new car that is cheap to fix.
    Even your precious honda and scooby-do's can be expensive to repair.
    cornell, I guess all those thousands of people who pay for gussied up camrys and accords must be doing something wrong. As has been exhaustively demonstrated here the S40 is alot more than just a swedish focus.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    Acura produced a 5-cylinder car. The Acura Vigor.
  • cotmccotmc Posts: 1,081
    I appreciate all the good input here. I've made up my mind to keep my old bimmer for awhile longer and see how this new S40 turns out.

    Volvomax: Thanks for all the info. I personally think it will be very interesting to see how the S40 vs S60 situation plays out, before the S60 is redesigned. If I was a betting man, I would bet the S60 isn't redesigned until MY2007. I don't read up on the S80, but my guess is that model will be redesigned before the S60.
  • for clearing up my misconceptions about the volvo 5-cylinder engine and purportedly bad reliability.
    i guess odd numbers of cylinders is not that uncommon, come to think of it, triumph does have a pretty nice motor in their triple, but the old acura vigor and the new colorado seem to me very unattractive packages for prospective buyers, simply by not offering the ubiquitous 6-cylinder that most sports car and truck shoppers want. oh well.

    as for reliability problems, i have four acquaintances who drive volvos, and two of them absolutely love their vehicle, but the other two said they would buy a different brand of vehicle next time due to the high cost of parts and servicing. i just figured that 50% bad is too bad for me, as i love the styling of the S60, especially the sculpted rear flanks of the sedan. beautiful!

    one of the major italian car magazines voted it the most beautiful car design of the year, and italians know good design when they see it. incidentally, the hyundai tiburon is a huge seller among young italian men.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,432
    polling 4 people doesn't give you too much of a cross-section. You might want to look towards sources of greater diversity like these internet boards. Which, obviously, since you are here, you are doing. So that's a start. :)

    For instance, I don't personally know a single BMW owner who found their car reliable. If it wasn't for boards like these, magazines, published reports, etc., I would think BMW was one of the worst brands on the market.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • sometimes asking four people you know personally is just as valuable as reading the anonymous opinions of fourteen people you don't know at all. i find that many posters contribute facts and opinions that they themselves have based on conjecture and hearsay. if you have read any of my numerous posts in the past, i think you would be aware that my eagerness to learn as much as i can about all cars has more to do with my avid interest as a long-time auto enthusiast than with any neophytic naiivete on the subject.

    as for the purported reliability of certain marques, i am familiar with the yin and yang of owning temperamental beasts and the very human bond between emotional driver and seemingly emotional vehicle, having owned a vintage mercedes-benz convertible and a pristine mid-sixties mopar, as well as several motorcycles.

    i myself am waiting rather impatiently for the return of alfa romeo to these shores so that i can immediately purchase a new 156 sportwagon in light metallic aqua. if my judgements were based solely on reputation, i wouldn't touch an alfa with the proverbial ten-foot pole.

    but the difference between alfa romeo and volvo is that alfa romeo has never professed to build safe and RELIABLE cars, whereas volvo always has, and indeed uses this as a major selling point to justify the comparatively premium price of the vehicles in its line-up.

    that is why i am more circumspect when someone seems to be simply repeating the company line; i believe some people unreasonably defend their vehicle as a psychological means to justify their decision to buy it, as noone want to be perceived as being unhappy and stuck with "their" poor choice; of course, until AFTER they get rid of the aforementioned vehicle, at which time the critical floodgates will invariably open.

    therefore, i'm more interested in reading the opinions of people who have owned a volvo before, and have bought a second or third one which they are happy with, not just the opinions of someone who reads car magazines, or who once owned a volvo but in reality hasn't owned one since. :)
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    creakid1 "Volvo S40" Feb 17, 2004 3:58am

    But then, the only Volvo we ever had was a unreliable Belgian-built '86 760 Turbo 4-cyl. The water pump failed repeatly & everything inside the car broke -- from the power seat, sunroof, stereo... & the new S40/V50 is also made in Belgium.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,432
    i totally agree in respect to what you will find on the internet. the trick is both weeding out the suspect information and getting a large enough sample that it dillutes the misinformation.

    For example, before buying the S70, I read every post I could find. I decided that the more common complaints that did exist were so trivial in content that it would not bother me if it happened to me. Any major issues tended to be one out of hundreds of posts, so I considered those anomalies (or misinformation) and ignored them.

    like you, I also seem to be drawn to cars that some might call temperamental. I own both an Alfa and an S70 at the moment. So if I believed everything I read, I have 2 of the most unreliable cars of all time. LOL. My personal experience, however, tells me otherwise (although, since its visit to the paint shop, my alfa has not been happy, but that's another story).

    What I meant to say, though, is that 4 real-life people does not make for a large enough sampling to base a judgement on. Sure, their information should carry more weight overall, but the laws of probability dictate that it won't give you a fair assessment of the population as a whole.

    On the Alfa thing. I find peoples' opinions of Alfa most interesting and we've discussed it a little on the alfa board. To keep it short, I have never met an Alfa owner who hated their car and thought it unreliable. Anyone I do meet who says "geez. you own an alfa? yer nuts." and I ask if they have ever owned one and the answer is always "no." So I think this ties into your last paragraph about finding folks who actually own them, drive them, and love them rather than those who are just repeating something they may have heard in passing from their uncle who heard it from his friend's roommate. Its a complicated process to say the least.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    build quality has improved from the Volvo 760 Turbo.
  • but the s40/v50 will be built in belgium, and you know what they say about belgians...

    wha? oh yeah, those belgians, they sure make good--

    chocolate.

    i love the new interior. second only to audi. better than VW. but still, a 5-cylinder? even with the hi-po T5 model, i just dunno...
  • Re: posts 356-364.

    Unfortunately it does look like the V50 cargo volume is significantly smaller than the V40. The main reason seems to be floor-to-ceiling height of the cargo area, which is at least 3½ inches less in the V50 than in the V40 due in part to the floor being higher off the ground. Seems very similar to the design of the Mitsubishi Lancer wagon. I figured this out from a European website by converting the length measurements from centimeters to inches and comparing the results to the measurements in the V40 brochure I have.

    Cargo volumes on the European website, when converted from liters to cubic feet, correspond exactly with the Edmunds site and the stats provided in a previous post:
    14.7 cubic feet behind rear seat
    25.3 cubic feet with rear seat folded down
    This is considerably smaller than the European specs for the Mazda6 wagon (18 cubic feet & 60 cubic feet, respectively). As mentioned in a previous post, other countries don't measure cargo volume all the way to the ceiling, and the U.S. specs for the Mazda now are claiming 33.7 cubic feet behind the rear seat. That means that in U.S. terms we can expect the V50 to check in at 27 or 28 cubic feet behind the rear seat, which is a bit smaller than the Toyota RAV4. V40 is listed as 33.5 cubic feet.

    I hope I have miscalculated things. Otherwise, this is bad news for anyone with a family who is looking for cargo room behind the rear seat....
  • It is mentioned in various reviews of the new S40 and V50 that it will be available in 6 sp manual configurations. This is obviously true in Europe, but I can't seem to confirm this on Volvo USAs website. Perhaps I am mistaken, but are they only going to offer the automatic (Geartronic versions) stateside?

    Thanks
  • The 6 speed will be available as part of the 2005 version. The release of new S40s in a month or so will be called the 2004.5 S40 and will only be available in automatic. Expect the 6 Speed and AWD to be available around July/August
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/previews/previews_story.php?id=44236

    The car is so good for a Volvo that the engineers must keep the cargo bay small, otherwise who'll need the V70?
  • The American articles all had said things like it's a fraction of an inch shorter than the old V40 but otherwise "bigger in every way."

    Wish it would get 49.6 mpg US :)
  • We'll see how good the s40/v50 is creakkid. It's obvious you are a big Focus fan and think that anything based on the Focus is superior to Volvo. I think is seeing driving dynamics over other considerations made in purchasing and owning cars. I heard lots of praise for the s60 and v70 dynamics when they were new as well. Time will prove how good these new cars are in terms of durability, reliability, comfort over long distances, and other practical aspects of ownership that car magazines tend not to consider.

    I think the priorities are screwed up. It's nice that the v50 may handle well but the purpose of a wagon is to haul things, not necessarily to be sports cars. The Volvo wagon always has been excellent at both hauling a lot of things and towing. Other so-called wagons were just sedans with a hatch, not true wagons. The v70 is an excellent car, lots of towing space, nice ride, solid handling and road manners. There's a lot of reasons why people would buy the larger and more luxurious v70 over the smaller v50, lots of people buy SUVs over better handling wagons for size and perceived safety. It bothers me that Volvo compromised packaging in their newer cars. The s60 has poor rear legroom, not so great visibility, and an unacceptable turning circle, the v70's rear legroom is just OK and now the v50 has smaller hauling space than its predecessor. For many people wanting an affordable, crashworthy wagon, the Volvo v50 may lose out due to having less hauling space than competitors.
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    in El Toro south of L.A.

    Front seats: Compare to the nearly identically shaped Mazda3, the steering wheel reaches closer to the driver maybe due to the tiltable thigh alone. The door armrest isn't too low even w/ the seat raised, unlike the 3. The center armrest is a little too low, maybe to preserve the stick's shifting ease. The non-adjustable headrest seems to fit the neck contour but only if you're somewhere around 6'3". The fabric material seems to withstand outdoor dirt well. Mazda3's thigh support seems either shorter or weaker.

    Rear seats: Seem identically positioned as the Mazda3 w/ the very un-upscale-like lack of thigh angling up. The Volvo has less leg room but way-less severe on the passenger side. This may be due to the front passenger seat's height/tilt features not found in the Mazda3, which also lacks lumbar adjustment for the passenger side -- typical Japanese. They both have the similarly lack of rear headroom on the sedan, as well as the expected narrow rear visibility.

    The "TV remote" center stack is WONDERFUL! You can reach everything -- recirculate mode, etc. -- w/ your long fingers(if you got them) easily while resting your palm on the shifter. This is also the first time I get to see how the wood trim looks like.

    One of the sponsor drivers parked a Mazda3 2.3 sedan outside, so I compared the shock/spring by pushing down the corners w/ my body weight. Even w/o reminding myself that the Mazda3 has a less-calm rebound setting, I was able to see the obvious difference that the S40 has a slower calmer shock setting on the rebound. The suspension of the T-5 on stage didn't seem significantly firmer for me to push down than the base S40, while the 3 does. I wonder if this T-5 is set up according to spec.

    The test drive line is slow for the auto models, so I only tried the base 5-sp & the T-5 6-sp. No, they're not U.S. spec, as the driver-side mirror is convexed.

    There are 2 tracks -- one twistier, the other faster. Neither track included bumps for ride-comfort testing, so I commented it in the questionnaire.

    I started out on the twisty track w/ the base first then the T-5, & then the base on the faster track.

    Then I went back to the twisty track to repeat the base, & asked a volunteer to video tape me from the back seat.

    I was either over confident or over spoiled by the previous drive's T-5 high-performance tires. This time I overwhelmed the wonderful DSC on the base S40 near the end of the ride & hit the cones 3 in the row so I lost further chance to go back to try the T-5 on the faster track. But that was educational & entertaining, too, since I was able to either oversteer or 4-wheel drift the car a little bit from time to time on this final ride.

    The DSC can be left on w/o really restricting your speed, just like what CAR said about the Euro Focus I. It's amazing, as I viewed the video, how I twisted the steering wheel badly & the car stays on this narrow course. Leaving the DSC on forever is bad for drivers to learn the real skill & can make them dangerous drivers.

    I noticed that there is another setting for the DSC on the dashboard indicator -- something like loosen the rear end. So does that mean, at this setting, the car can allow some oversteer, while the T-5 AWD will allow some power rear slide? Sounds like fun!

    Since the track is all wet, I didn't notice anything good or bad about how the steering gives you the feeling of tire grip. The steering is not heavy, so I can't feel a lot anyway, but definitely not zero feel.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,432
    creaK? how was the car overall? fun to drive? etc? Thanks for the rundown on the DSC, but what about everything else?? :)

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '14 Town&Country

  • We'll see how good the s40/v50 is creakkid. It's obvious you are a big Focus fan and think that anything based on the Focus is superior to Volvo. I think is seeing driving dynamics over other considerations made in purchasing and owning cars. I heard lots of praise for the s60 and v70 dynamics when they were new as well. Time will prove how good these new cars are in terms of durability, reliability, comfort over long distances, and other practical aspects of ownership that car magazines tend not to consider.

    I think the priorities are screwed up. It's nice that the v50 may handle well but the purpose of a wagon is to haul things, not necessarily to be sports cars. The Volvo wagon always has been excellent at both hauling a lot of things and towing. Other so-called wagons were just sedans with a hatch, not true wagons. The v70 is an excellent car, lots of towing space, nice ride, solid handling and road manners. There's a lot of reasons why people would buy the larger and more luxurious v70 over the smaller v50, lots of people buy SUVs over better handling wagons for size and perceived safety. It bothers me that Volvo compromised packaging in their newer cars. The s60 has poor rear legroom, not so great visibility, and an unacceptable turning circle, the v70's rear legroom is just OK and now the v50 has smaller hauling space than its predecessor. For many people wanting an affordable, crashworthy wagon, the Volvo v50 may lose out due to having less hauling space than competitors.
  • The one thing that concerns me about the s40/v50 vs. the s60/s80/xc90/v70 is that I want a car with a Swedish Volvo feel. It is a different feel than the German feel. The German feel is a more "glued to the road, on rails" feel and has a particular tautness. The Swedish feel is a more "zen like" relaxed feel, while still taut at times, that can still make its way over the road if you push it. Yes, most German cars are crisper but the Volvo Swedish feel is much more to my liking, to some degree Saab has this as well. Since the s40 is based on a German car's chassis I hope that Volvo tunes it to a Volvo feel and that it doesn't feel German. To me, that's the appeal of Volvo, even though most car enthusiasts like to point out the more precise and firm German feel (though I don't agree that they are necessarily "supple") and seem to prefer it. I'll get to drive the s40 in May at Volvo's total access. The last s40 had a Japaneseish feel to it, but is a decent car.
This discussion has been closed.