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New S40/V50

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Comments

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,271
    Volvomax: when are you expecting the manuals to arrive (and I guess by extension the 2005s)?

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (when daughter lets me see it), 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again), and new Jetta SE (son's first new car on his own dime!)

  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    We are expecting the first manual S40's in September. 2005 S40 auto's in August.

    Volvo says the V50 AWD manual WILL be available in the US, but probably not till after the first of the year.
  • carman123carman123 Posts: 71
    July issue of Road & Track has a road test of the 6 speed T5 FWD. They gave a favorable impression of the car except for a poor shift linkage between 4th and 5th gear. However, I am amazed that they "strongly recommended" the sport package. They made no comment of the stiff ride that a lot of us have noted when compared to the base suspension. I wonder if they drove it on a smooth test track or in the real world with imperfect roads.
  • avolvofanavolvofan Posts: 358
    carman123, while the S40 Sport package is a bit firmer in its ride, I personally do not find it objectionable. I guess I prefer the better handling response from the re-valved shocks and the larger anti-sway bars. I have test driven an S40 with Sport package over a range of "real world" road surfaces and conditions (including concrete expansion joints), and where other cars driven over the same surfaces were bucking about like a washing machine on spin dry cycle, the S40 was very composed.
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    'cause, especially during the 20th century, almost every Japanese car(at least the FWD ones) suck when comes to ride comfort on rough roads.
  • leeandginaleeandgina Posts: 38
    I was just curious about the range of finance deals mentioned here, esp with people with good credit getting poor deals from Volvo finance. My wife and I have a few issues in recent times so our score was not good (575). However, our local Volvo dealer (Rahal) got us 2.9% APR over 5 years on a new S40 2.4i thru Volvo finance with just 1500 down (and they paid our last 3 lease payments on our current car too). We were very happy but is this an unusual deal?
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,830
    Welcome to Town Hall! Well, you might check on our Smart Shopper board - that's where the finance & lease discussions are located. Sounds like a great deal to me, and you should patronize that dealership again for getting such a great deal with a less than perfect credit rating! But you might get more feedback from those with expertise on the other board.

    We get lots of folks who are more than happy to report their negative experiences with dealers, so a positive story would certainly be welcome.

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  • saedavesaedave Chicago, ILPosts: 683
    I sat in two different S40s to get an idea how the V50 would be a few days ago. The leather seat was so bad I could not believe I was sitting in a Volvo! The last seat that I found that bad was in the first Cadillac Catera...since changed. I hope this is fixed eventually, preferably for the V50.

    Interior quality is worse than the cheapest Ford Focus, with the cup holder "fingers" looking like 90 days to failure. The leather quality looks like the exterior of a bargain suitcase. That is shame for a car with such good styling.
  • cotmccotmc Posts: 1,081
    I guess it depends on one's body proportions and what type of seats one is accustomed to. I personally prefer the leather seats in our new S40 to the seats in my wife's Lexus RX330. As a reference, I am about 6 feet tall, and I weigh just under 200 pounds.

    For the S40, both my wife and I think that the leather upholstery provides a little more cushioning than the T-Tec seats, but they are not definitely not the plushy seats often found in the Japanese and American luxury vehicles. These S40 leather seats are similar in size and firmness to the seats often found in smaller BMW and Mercedes vehicles. I am also very impressed with the lateral and lumbar support they provide.
  • saedavesaedave Chicago, ILPosts: 683
    I am the same size and weight, but advancing years have eliminated my padding in what appears to be a crucial area. By contrast, I am very comfortable in both the 05 Subaru Legacy GT and the 05 LL Bean Outback with leather. The S40 seat seems much narrower than even the sport seat in the GT.

    Perhaps the T-Tec seats would be ok; I will try them to see if a local dealer ever has such a vehicle in stock.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Get the Legacy. Mighty fine vehicle, actually. Took one for a spin in the Las Vegas Motor Speedway infield track and it was just dreamy.

    Quicker than the T5 with AWD for better balance, plus roomier inside. The S40 is more WRX sized really.

    -juice
  • saedavesaedave Chicago, ILPosts: 683
    Juice

    I did not like the GT's throttle response at all....lag followed by too much...nasty in Chicago's heavy traffic. The Outback H6 engine was fine, but ride was not as good as the GT. I'll just keep my W8 Passat wagon for another year or so. When the Acura RL AWD shows up I'll drive it.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Did you drive an automatic? The manual is a little more responsive. FWIW, the ones I drove were broken in. I was at a dealer training event, basically, as a guest. Those performed better than what I'm hearing from people that test drive brand-new models at dealers. Perhaps there is something to this "adaptive" transmission stuff?

    I'm looking forward to Acura's new Super Handling - All Wheel Drive, though the RL is too rich for me!

    I'm surprised, though, isn't the S40 a bit small if those are the models you're cross shopping? Why not an V70R AWD?

    -juice
  • saedavesaedave Chicago, ILPosts: 683
    I would prefer a Golf 3.2l 4Motion 6 speed auto to all of these...except for the famous VW/Audi electrical gremlins. The 4Mo Golf won't be here soon enough, I believe. I do NOT intend to keep the W8 to the end of its warranty....some left over may be necessary to sell it.

    The lag on the GT turbo was very prominent; it is hard to believe that break-in would help that much. My old 2.5l GT (1997) took forever to break in, but still had some hesitation even without a turbo.

    The RL could be a "keeper" that would warrant its price unlike the S4 Avant that is nearly a repeat of my W8 wagon at a ridiculous price. Imagine an S4 out of warranty!
  • avolvofanavolvofan Posts: 358
    You would be surprised at the learning function of the GearTronic transmission. When the wife drives my S60, it takes around 50 to 75 miles before the GearTronic gets back to my profile. What you are experiencing definitely sounds like a learning function in process.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Golf is smaller and usually the sporty ones have just 2 doors.

    V50 is very roomy, more so than the S40, especially rear head room.

    -juice
  • saedavesaedave Chicago, ILPosts: 683
    Juice, the Golf has great front seats that are very comfortable and bigger than those in the S40 I sat in. On paper the V50 seems much better than the Golf. I will have to try the seats and drive the V50 when they arrive at the dealer. Interior quality of the S40 is inferior to the Golf. When the new Golf arrives here (early 2006?)with the approx. 240 hp 3.2 litre engine and Haldex AWD it will be a head-on competitor to the V50. I think that without all wheel drive the S40 and V50 have little to offer over various FWD vehicles like the Mazda3, etc.
  • cotmccotmc Posts: 1,081
    How about all the safety engineered into the S40?

    I would also argue the S40 has a better drivetrain and more refined and solid interior. Yeah, the interior is on the "modest" side, but I prefer modest over flashy, trendy, or whatever. For example, I completely dislike the Mazda 6 interior.

    There are also some cool features, such as the menu-driven customizing options for the car (climate control, key operations, audio, etc).
  • cotmccotmc Posts: 1,081
    On a related subject (barely)...

    I am very impressed with my S40 tranny's responsiveness to downshift requests when I am driving in Manual Mode. It seems to downshift as soon as I hit the gearshift lever, with no noticeable lag whatsoever. It is much more responive than my 2000 BMW StepTronic, which typically exhibits about a 1-second delay.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    V50 should be about the same size as the Jetta wagon, actually. The boxy rear helps you fit boxes inside.

    I agree that the Jetta has nicer materials inside. Volvo's are inconsistent, some are very nice, others look cheap, mostly below the waist line. I really like the floating center console, though.

    I like Mazda's dash design, too, the sporty cockpit feel.

    -juice
  • saedavesaedave Chicago, ILPosts: 683
    The Mazda3 has one huge advantage over the Volvo: NO European electric or electronics. Volvo's gremlins are not as bad as the German ones, but are still a problem.

    While the Volvo version of the new Mazda/Ford platform may have a few more safety features, it is still a small car in an SUV world. For more safety, buy bigger and heavier as well as more crush space.
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    according to my test drives. A FWD S40, even w/o DSTC, doesn't break the tail loose easily during abrupt lane change the way a Mazda3 or std 325i do.

    Plus:
    http://sdm3.rm04.net/servlet/MailView?ms=MjUxMzc5S0&r=NTIyNzA- 5MjM3S0
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    "I agree that the Jetta has nicer materials inside. Volvo's are inconsistent, some are very nice, others look cheap, mostly below the waist line. I really like the floating center console, though."

    I don't care for the floating center console, which forces all buttons to become soft touch rather than mechanical. For instance, my cars got A/C button that clicks inward when on, so I don't even have to look at it when driving.

    But Jetta IV's interior simply sucks! Don't let the finish material overwhelm your logic, & I'm not talking about the reliability. It's the ergonomics nightmare. What the heck is the that low location for the stereo/HVAC? So it looks more like an Audi A4 &, therefore, more expensive looking? Even w/ telescopic steering column to impress, my 5'11" frame still find the steering wheel too far away, as if only the non-transversely-mounted VW's like the Passat can allow me to hold the steering wheel. But then even the Passat's door armrest is too low to rest my left elbow while driving, ditto the 325i. That's where the new S40 comes to rescue w/ that beautifully high door armrest. I wonder what other car has it?

    The problem is that I like to adjust the seat sitting high but doesn't want a clumsy SUV.
  • avolvofanavolvofan Posts: 358
    You should check out the IIHS (www.iihs.org) crash test of the new S40. It (the new S40) did better than the S60 did. In particular, there were problems with the S60 in regard to intrusion into the driver footwell. With the S40, no intrusion problems. While it is tempting to think that heavier equals safer, that is not necessarily the circumstance. (Although, I wouldn't put a 3,000 lb. car (such as the S40) up against a 5,500+ lb. SUV.)
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    How much weight will be on top of you when you're in an upside down SUV?

    I remember seeing a N. California earth-quake picture. Only the Volvo(a 700 series) had the roof not collapsed by the falling bricks. All other vehicles, including a Chevy Suburban, had their roof/pillars flattened!

    But who cares as long as you're such a skillful driver that you'll duck every accident anyway. It's the new S40's high door armrest, not high center of gravity, that rules! ;-)
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    creakid1: so how do you feel about VW ergonomics? LOL

    All cars have to withstand 150% of their own weight on their roofs, but trucks are exempt from this safety standard. However, some trucks do meet it.

    -juice
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    150% is ok if the vehicle lands upside down slowly, but not enough if it's slammed down w/ some g-force.

    VW used to have high location for the stereo & HVAC, but the steering wheel locations are always a long reach on models w/ transversely mounted engine.
  • avolvofanavolvofan Posts: 358
    150% of vehicle weight turned over is nowhere near what would be experienced in a real world roll-over event. Additionally, in the real world roll-over, the sides of the car get hit as well. I have seen some cars (whose manufacturers will be nameless) that had the roof completely caved in from a roll-over event. I have also seen a Volvo 850 that was rolled. While the Volvo 850 was a write-off, the occupants walked away from the roll-over. Personally, I would trust the Volvo to do better in a roll-over event than a car from some asian manufacturers.
  • jthorsenjthorsen Posts: 39
    OK, so the Mazda 3 and the S40 are built off the same "platform", right? But what exactly does the "platform" encompass?

    Does the 3 have the same structure as the S40 with increasing strengths of steel as you get closer to the cabin, or is that a Volvo exclusive? I noticed the 3 is slighty longer, but also several hundred pounds lighter. Is the weight difference from the structural make-up or the fact that they have different engines, transmissions, etc. or both?

    Thanks!
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,271
    The 3 does not have all of the sophisticated features and materials that the Volvo has. The Platform is really the basic structure but is modified by each company.

    The weight difference is probably a combination of the safety structure, and added features (power seats, etc) and materials (ie sound deadening).

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (when daughter lets me see it), 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again), and new Jetta SE (son's first new car on his own dime!)

This discussion has been closed.