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New S40/V50



  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,611
    And you are comparing 48 months of depreciation and 12K miles per year on the Volvo versus 36 months of depreciation and 10K miles per year.
  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274

    I do work for Volvo, and so I am fully aware of who works for who, and more importantly who reports to whom.
    Fact is, VCNA and Volvo Sweden don't always see eye to eye on alot of issues.
    They operate as separate entities without the ability to do much to influence the other.
    I'm not going to sit here and go into huge detail, I hope you'll take my word for it.
    As for the ABS,DSTC,STC discussion. They are separate components that don't always influence each other. They have separate tasks and responsibilities.
    Again, speaking directly with the engineers we sometimes get a different explanation than you get from the PR hacks who write the website.
    Sorry for any confusion
  • I agree, we need to stop.
    Just as an FYI, I am an engineer, and happend to become familiar with the corporate law and general relationships.

    Some of your answers did strike me as a typical PR pep talk, and, sorry for having that opinion, not quite factual. That's it.

    But, I am quitting. The continuation of this discussion does not have any value.

    I am not confused, I just use that word as a manner of speech.
  • benjaminsbenjamins Posts: 56
    I just returned from the auto show and I'm sorry, I'm unimpressed with the s40. It doesn't feel like it is in the league of Audi or BMW in terms of materials and appointments. It is bland inside, the center stalk is fine, but the shifter is small and unsubstantial in the hands. The doors on the s40 and those on Ford's new mid sized cars look uncomfortably similar to me, and I didn't like the feel of the materials covering the doors. They slammed with a decent thunk, but nothing exceptional and not the same thunk of the bigger Volvos. This car is no substitute, whatsover, to the s60. Though the s60 lacks terribly in terms of interior space, the appointments are those of a luxurious car, especially the wonderful R. The best s40 felt like an economy car, like it competes with the Jetta, Mazda 3, and others. It has a decent amount of room, but to me it feels downscale. I may love the way it drives when I test drive it May 1st at the Volvo event, but I'm totally underwhelmed with its interior and it doesn't seem like a good value compared to the similarly priced Honda Accord, Mazda 6, and others. These are much bigger and better appointed cars at around the same price and don't look so lacking in content. This car received little interest that I could see at the auto show, most of the interest went towards the superb xc90 and Rs on display. Most people I talked to agreed with me about the s40s interior. Unfortunately, all of them had dark interiors, none had beige interiors.

    Volvos have impressive seats in being ultra plush yet supportive, excellent fit and finish, better than Mercedes. Saabs are close, Lexus have good seats as well. The new 5 series BMWs aren't bad, though firmer. Audis are good also. The big Volvos hold their own, the new s40, IMO, doesn't work that well inside.
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    "The best s40 felt like an economy car, like it competes with the Jetta, Mazda 3, and others. It has a decent amount of room, but to me it feels downscale. I may love the way it drives when I test drive it May 1st at the Volvo event, but I'm totally underwhelmed with its interior and it doesn't seem like a good value compared to the similarly priced Honda Accord, Mazda 6, and others."

    Sounds like a good news to me! So when is the rebate coming out? ;-) One Passat advertised at $17988 on the newspaper w/ std height & lumbar adjustment on both front seats! & the new S40 is only roomy enough to compete w/ the new '05 Jetta V!

    The best kept secret is that only I noticed the high door armrest height that lets me postured like a king when driving -- something the S60(& everyone else except the C-class & S-Type) lacks!
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    which are the Saab 9-3 1.8i Linear & the Honda Accord 2.4 Type-S, which is a TSX w/ 10% softer suspension but firmer bushings & sway bars.

    On the cover sez "How Volvo's all-new S40 crushes rivals" & eventually ranked 1st place ahead of the Honda. But I don't see why, since they couldn't find any single reason to bash this Honda other than more road noise on the express way than the S40 & rides too harsh at low speed. Otherwise, it sounds like this Honda beats everyone else hands down.

    The 9-3 loses big time "With vague steering, Saab handling offers very little involvement" "...while body roll is well controlled in the corners, the damping is not up to Volvo or Honda standards, and over uneven roads the 9-3 takes longer to settle and displays far more vertical movement. Unfortunately, the low-speed ride is also harsh...In short, the Saab is not as involving as the Honda, nor as refined and effortless as the Volvo."

    So the Volvo is not as involving as the Honda!

    & "New Focus platform gives livelier handling than is usual for Volvo models", that's not saying much!

    "While it retains the good grip levels of its bigger brothers, the S40 is more adjustable and fun, and won't disappoint enthusiastic drivers.", ok, doesn't sound bad.

    "It may not have the steering sharpness of the Accord, but it turns in positively and displays very little body roll in the corners. Furthermore, the more precise handling has not come at the expense of refinement, as superb damping ensures that the S40 remains very composed on undulating A-roads. The low-speed ride quality is impressive, and on the motorway the Swede is very well insulated, although the ride does become slightly more jittery and uneven." What does this mean? It's well insulated on the motorway as far as the noise goes, while the ride is a little unsteady due to excessive softness for the amount suspension travel available? Sounds like this base-model S40 is not equipped w/ the sport suspension despite wearing these alloys, as "The low-speed ride quality is impressive" does not apply to the N.A.-spec S40 w/ sport suspension I test drove.

    (Honda)"Yet, in spite of the car's sporting orientation, it's a COMFORTABLE CRUISER and returned 28.2mpg in our hands. However, motorway refinement can't match the Volvo's, as there's more tyre noise." Again, they probably mean noise when describing the motorway insulation/refinement.

    "Unfortunately, the low-speed ride is no rival, either, with the Japanese saloon unable to isolate rough or urban roads nearly as well.
      But in every other respect Honda's engineers have done a fantastic job. With light but accurate steering, a nimble front end and LOTS of FEEDBACK, the Type-S feels like a hot hatch in saloon guise. Grip is excellent, too, and there's loads of feedback. The body control is also spot on and it remains exceptionally well COMPOSED AT SPEED, SOAKING UP BUMPS with EASE. Add in superb brakes and a snappy shift, and its rivals are nowhere near as much fun to drive."

    Are they trying to tell you that this Honda rides steadier & better than the "slightly jittery and uneven" Volvo at speed on the motorway?

    Sounds like, compare to the TSX, this softer-suspension but firmer-bushing Euro Accord w/ 16"s has more road noise & low speed harshness as well as steering feedback.

    Our TSX's over-soft bushings to compensate for the std harsher 17" tires(to look cool) isn't worth trading off the steering-feedback. & despite free from harshness at any speed, that extra 10%-firmer suspension setting still rides too taut for comfort even at fwy speed.

    This Brit report provides interesting & useful data. Sounds like the S40 T-5 w/ std suspension has the best balance of comfort vs driving fun. Can't wait to see it compare directly to the 325i std.
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    T-5 6-sp:
    click "Volvo 2004.5 S40" under "Recent Road Tests"

    "Handling, with or without optional Electronic Stability Control, is a big improvement over the first S40. The strut front, rear multi-link suspension in Sport Package trim is European taut without being stiff. Body roll is modest, and while the electro-hydraulic STEERING LACKS ROAD FEEL, it does have a good weight to it. Like the powertrains, there is a much sportier, nimble feel with a low level of front plow, much like a good rear-wheel drive European sport sedan. But the price for that prowess is a car that transitions to oversteer quicker than most front drive sedans."

    So, at least w/ the 17" sport package, there's enough oversteer for you to play with. I wonder if the std T-5 w/o sport suspension can stay neutral enough for fun?

    MSN: - - del=S40%20(2004.5)
    "...T5 to 60 mph in 6.7 seconds with the automatic transmission."

    "While somewhat heavy, the QUICK STEERING lets a driver precisely place the car exactly where he wants it to go and provides GOOD ROAD FEEL. Handling is above-average, although the base sedan doesn't handle as sharply as the T5, with its firmer suspension. The ride—helped by the car's solid structure—is generally comfortable, but allows major road imperfections to be felt."

    creakid1 Apr 11, 2004 3:43am
    Like I said,
    "Steering wise, I didn't notice anything. In other words, neither good nor bad, neither too quick or too slow, neither brimming w/ feeling nor numb, & WORKS PRETTY INTUITIVELY. The 325i's steering doesn't have that much more feel, at least in routine handling. But I didn't test the "at the limit" feel, as I only barely squealed the tires cornering both S40's."

    Is that clear?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    MX-Flexa has good packaging but styling only a mother could love. I swear I think the MPV is more sexy.

  • Hey the MPV is pretty hot looking for a minivan. ;)
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Just show prospective customers pictures of the MX and the MPV will be an easy sell.

    I'll concede that it is very, VERY difficult to make a tall boxy vehicle look good. Look at the BMW 1 series hatches.

  • Hey I LIKE the BMW 1 hatch....but the &^%)*&()&*^0s won't sell them here (So I bought a best thing..hehe).

    The MX is actually 3 based...they need to tweak the styling a BIT but thay should give it the same "Mazda" look that the 3 and MPV share (and the Tribute and Truck are missing because they're not Mazdas...hehe)
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Mazda3 is handsome, actually. Good example of sorting out a tall car nicely.

    Volvo V50 is long enough that it doesn't look stubby like that Bimmer does.

  • Actually, I'd swear the Volvo V50 looks quite a bit longer than the Mazda3 5-door...are my eyes decieving me? They're on the same platform, but Volvo did say the V50 would be quite a bit bigger than the S40
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Maybe it's the hatch angle. Volvo tends to chop of the rear of the wagons with a meat cleaver.

    BTW, that's a good thing, cargo space is amazing.

    It's like comparing a Vue to an Equinox, the Chevy has a much longer wheelbase but the squared off Vue looks just as roomy.

  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,611
    ...that the V50 2.4i base model is available only with the Geartronic slush box?? I want a manual.
  • I own a 1984 volvo GL with 79,000 miles on it. Until the last three years, it has been trouble free - never uses oil. The last smog check required 6 tries and $3000 to repair. It passed the smog check this year but is in the shop for a $700 repair bill. Everyone says that the car can go another 100 thousand miles - but my question is - the air doesn't work - intermittent electrical problems last three years - how do you know when it's time to buy a new volvo - one dealer told me average life is 18 1/2 years....and because I don't have a lot of mileage on it - it's subject to more rust, etc. I can't say I would feel safe taking the car on a long trip - that may just be in my head.

    I'm 58 now - so I have to look at long term planning - does anyone have any suggestions on how to make a decision. I am looking at the new S40.2005 as a replacement.

    Thanks for any info....Michelle
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,367
    You can make any car last as long as you want, simply by pouring money into it. Why you would want to do that with a 20 year old Volvo, assuming you can afford something between $25k and $30k, is an open question. Predicting what will break next in a 20year-old car, and how much it will cost, seems like asking too much. It is almost always less expensive to keep repairing an old car than to start the depreciation stream on a new one...but after you've spent the money, will you still have the confidence to actually drive the car where you want to go?

    Safety and utility have come a very long way since your GL was new. You don't have to buy a Volvo to get both. The number of good choices is almost endless - pick up a copy of the April issue of Consumer Reports, which is currently on the newsstands, and read it from cover to cover, carefully. You will see dozens of choices that are going to be more comfortable, reliable, safe, and enjoyable than the car you are currently driving. You can almost close your eyes and point in the family sedan category that is characterized by the Accord, Camry, Mazda6, etc. If you must have a complete airbag package, your choices are more limited, but CU spells out what your choices are there, too.

    The point is that IF you can afford an S40, then you have a wide variety of choices, any one of which is going to seem like paradise compared with an '84 GL. If you can't, there are a number of new cars priced $10k less that will still be a huge improvement over every aspect of the car you're in now. If you can afford $2000-$4000 a year in initial depreciation [for the first few years], you're better off buying new. Otherwise look for a good certified used car - CU can help you make a choice there, as well.
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    but if you must have that nice comfy chair only Volvo provides... Cross your fingers. The old 200-series 4-cylinder GL was a proven design evolved from the '60's.

    If you don't mind getting a used '98 Lexus LS400 w/ reasonably small turning circle not much larger than your old Volvo... It's also a reliable car that pampers you.

    But then a brand-new 4-cyl Accord assembled in Japan is very well built, reasonably comfortable & easy to drive.

    To slow down the engine wear by several folds, after the first 10k miles, start using Prolong oil additive every time with the 0W-40 Mobil-1 synthetic oil. Synthetic oils are also good for those of you who drive too few miles per year.

    A worn engine floods deposit on the catalytic converter to fail the smog-test even worse! Then frequent replacement of the catalytic converter also costs $.

    Also use the Prolong transmission additive for the transmission to last.

    If the car still doesn't last a very very long time, then it's a poorly engineered car.
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    "MX-Flexa has good packaging but styling only a mother could love. I swear I think the MPV is more sexy."

    A van is a like a bus w/ high floor. Ever wonder why the '05 Dodge mini van's seats can disappear into the floor? Even some of today's rear-engine city buses don't have high floor like our old school bus, since there's no drive shaft running from the front.

    Even the new Civic provides a low FLAT floor. So as long as the vehicle is FWD, there's no excuse raising the floor height & thus the center of gravity to turn the car into an SUV-like loser! Even w/ the 3-point-star badge, the A-class Mercedes compact couldn't get away from tipping over when avoiding a moose. Why? 'cause it's got floor high enough to store batteries underneath. Mercedes than had to add ESP plus cutting down the body roll by stiffen the suspension & ruined the ride comfort. This car never made it to the U.S. shore, but the next A-class w/ lower center-of-gravity might.

    Lately, I discovered that the much more expensive new RX330 SUV cannot absorb the speed bumps as well as the C230 sedan!

    This Mazda4's folded seats already cleared the bottom of the rear-hatch opening. So it's really a wagon, not a van. Remember the '76 Olds/Buick full-size wagon w/ all 3 rows of seats facing forward?
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