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Volvo S40



  • fladriverfladriver Posts: 64
    Thanks for turning me onto the TDS. I just got back from Sweden where I picked up a new S40. All went well. Although one you could go and sign for the car then come right back and pocket the savings, I took the car for a spin through Denmark and Germany. It's funny to think that when I requested the materials from Volvo my husband said something like, "why waste your time with something you read on the internet." He's a believer now though!
  • rollierollie Posts: 337
    Regarding post #281:

    Hi fladriver. Glad to hear I was of help. I'm envious of your jaunt through the European country side. I spent a weekend over there and stuck to Sweden since I couldn't convince the Mrs. to join me (our son was 3 so it would have been a bit of an inconvenience to stay long with him). As it happens, since I'm going to be relocating to Southern California in a couple of months, I'm considering another car through the TDS program. I've just got to work out the timing for delivery and convince my wife that she needs to clean the cheerios, crackers, and junk out of the car every day! (No small job to convince her but I'm going to have to try).


  • taylortmtaylortm Posts: 1
    ...that no one mentions Nissan Maxima on this board!

    There are a TON of comparisons to Accord and Camry, but I didn't see a single mention of the Maxima. I am in the market for a car... started with JUST Camry & Accord 'til I discovered the S40. Passat was out almost from the beginning. Maxima presented itself to the table... I consider it a serious contender. No?

    I'm just suprised, and was wondering why.

    BTW, you recent posters, I am also in Orange County (Irvine).

    Looking forward to your comments,

  • rollierollie Posts: 337
    Regarding post #283:

    taylortm, for the money, the Maxima (especially in base form since it gets the same engine?) is a great buy. It's odd as you mentioned that it doesn't seem to get the mind share here. Odder still is that it is thought of more as a drivers car than the Accord or Camry yet it gets few accolades here.

    Hey, where do you live in Irvine? The Mrs. and I are pulling our hair out trying to figure out where to move to in Irvine (or possibly Aliso Viejo since it was recommended by one of the locator services we spoke to recently). I know it's off topic so if you don't mind sharing some insight please direct a reply to my email address below.


  • Hi

    I just got a new S40, loaded (great car, with lots of personality; compared to Accord V6, Passat V6 and Maxima).

    Does anyone know what CD changers can be installed in this model? The car came with CD Changer pre-wiring, but Volvo's own changer is $650. I think, it's too much. Any comments/advice?

  • fladriverfladriver Posts: 64
    I too just got an S40 with CD changer prewiring.
    From what I've been told so far, it sounds like we have to use an Alpine CD changer and a VOLIL adapter. I went to Circuit City and they had a changer selling for $250 (model CHMS620) that the salesman said was the only one that would fit the car. The adapter was $100 more, but it wasn't even in stock. The installation fee was $60. Altogether that is "only" $410, assuming the adapters come in.

    The other thing I've heard is that the prewiring may not be compatible with the aftermarket changer anyway, so paying for prewiring may have been a waste of money.

    I'd appreciate your posting what you find out here. Enjoy the car; I know I am.
  • lankforplankforp Posts: 3
    Had the same problem with security system Easy enough fix for mine- ended up being a loose fuse and have no problems since.

    Recently experienced air conditioning problem on a 2 hour trip though - after one hour air conditioner quit blowing cold air - next day trip back home - same thing an hour ino the trip.

    Anyone else having problems?
  • number17number17 Posts: 69
    "There are a TON of comparisons to Accord and
    Camry, but I didn't see a single mention of the
    Maxima. I am in the market for a car... started
    with JUST Camry & Accord 'til I discovered the S40.
    Passat was out almost from the beginning. Maxima
    presented itself to the table... I consider it aserious contender. No?"

    Why not the Passat? Similar engine as the S/V40 (1.8T vs 1.9L turbo ... 150hp vs 160hp, both use turbo to boost low end torque), bigger car, good handling, more features and lower price.

    Nothing wrong with the Maxima. I think it's a great car and great value .... but wouldn't typical S40 buyer favour the nimble size, good fuel economy, and more characters? They are 2 different kind of cars IMO.

    But then for me, until Volvo brings the 5sp MT over for the S40/V40 I know it won't be on my wishlist.

  • 1702817028 Posts: 45
    If you guys take a look at and, you will find plenty discussion on those two issues. If I remember correctly, the prewiring needs some kind of adjustment to fit the adapter. As for the AC problems, it seems it can freeze up when it has to work for several hours in a row. Stopping for a while and letting it thaw seems to solve the problem.
    Just an idea: if the 3rd party CD-changer solution costs that much, you should check with the Volvo dealer if you can buy their CD-changer and install it yourself. It might even be cheaper than the Alpine+adapter, who knows. That's how the BMW 3-series guys do it.
  • 1702817028 Posts: 45
    Hey, don't give Rollie a hard time, that was me promoting European cars! ;) Can't blame me, I'm from Sweden so I'm biased!

    And for the record, I didn't say that non-European cars didn't have *any* of those qualities. I only said that they are all present in the premium European marques.

  • yrnehyrneh Posts: 5
    Has anyone leased S40 using the special subsidized lease? I think the term is $329 per month with no down payment, no security, and no acquisition fee. I went to a Volvo dealer in San Diego, CA, and they told me that they don't know about that deal. It's strange because they were advertising a special deal for S80 ($499/mo) but they didn't know about the deal for S40. I am wondering if anyone knows about it and has taken advantage of it. Any information would be appreciated.
  • I too have recently experienced problems with my S-40 air conditioning. This was a trip from Georgia to Kentucky and I had been on the road about 3 hours in summer temps. The A/C began to blow lukewarm air. I turned off the system for a few minutes, opened the room and then when I turned it back on, it worked ok. It did the same thing coming home, same fix. I wonder if it would help to not use automatic and just set the temperature up a little and use the manual fan speed settings? Also, I love my S-40. I have driven 11k miles and the only things I have noticed about it is that it makes a strange squeaking noise around 75-85 mph. The seats and aromatic leather are the best I've ever seen and there are so few around that many uninformed people think it is the flagship S-80 until they take a good look at it. This car is everything Volvo said it would be and more.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    I test drove an S-40 a few weeks ago. I really did like it. The seats were the most comfortable ever! I was hoping to have more leg room, but I am pretty tall (6'3) so it was adequate. Waiting for some to hit the used car lots.

    Also, saw one at the dealer that was broadsided at about 55 mph. The whole side was sunk in. The dealer told me the driver walked away. It gave me cold chills to think about it, and still does. Amazingly safe cars. A little expensive, but who can put a price on your life?
  • FLADRIVER--Ended up putting a Volvo CD Changer in--a local dealer was running a special for $450, plus $50 installation. Works great, not giving any problems so far. Checked out the Alpine changer, and together with adapters, brackets, and installation it worked out to be almost the same (well, a little over $80), plus I was told that people had problems controlling Alpine changer with Volvo factory radio.

    One more thing. From the moment I got the car, it was pulling very slightly to the left, mostly on the freeways at high speeds. Almost unnoticeable but still annoying. Asked the service guy when the changer was installed, and he told me that quite a few S-40s have had that problem, and that Volvo recommended changing a few parts in the suspension. The mechanic replaced some bolts in the front suspension (free, of course) and realigned the wheels--everything is perfect now; just wanted to see if anyone else had this problem with S-40. Otherwise, the car has been great--I am loving it! The seats are the most comfortable ever and the ride is great! Drove an Accord-V6 and a V6 Passat again, just to compare after being in a Volvo for a week, and I can't complain about my S-40; although it has formally got less ponies under the hood, I can't tell the difference.
  • rizzo5rizzo5 Posts: 8
    Hello all:
    I'm in the market for an S40 in the next month or so, and have found all your posts very helpful. Does anyone on the board know if Volvo is currently offering any incentives, etc. to its dealers? After a great test drive this morning, my salesperson just came out and volunteered a price on any vehicle/configuration in his inventory of about $300 over invoice, stating he wanted to make the whole experience hassle free. He even was so forthright to confirm that they would also make 1% of invoice on holdback. I think the pricing he's offering sounds great in the absence of any incentives, but was wondering if anyone had any thoughts or insight on the pricing. At this point, I'm basically deciding between the S40 and Maxima SE. Thanks in advance.
  • alwhitealwhite Posts: 2
    When I bought mine (Apr 00), the first payment was free, and there was no security deposit or acquisition fee. The one that I bought was also early 2000 pricing which is about $500 cheaper, and the capitalized cost was 2% over invoice.
  • Hi Riz,

    I was choosing between the same models about a month ago--Maxima SE and Volvo S40. Although both are very nice cars, they are quite different, at least in my opinion. Maxima is much larger, so if you want more back space, it may be a better choice. It handles very differently from S40, though. It is more powerful, but much heavier as well, so I could not notice much difference in terms of power between Maxima and S40. The Volvo feels tighter, however, and more "controllable", at all speeds. Again, this is only my feeling, and I am no race driver. In any way, the Maxima felt more like a big American car with Japanese flavor to me whereas the S40 was definitely much more European, which I prefer. It boils down to your personal taste.

    As for the price, I am not sure if dealers are getting any incentives from Volvo right now, but I was able to get my car at $180 over invoice. I went to, got their pricing, and then negotiated directly with the fleet/internet manager at the dealership. (I was told that has raised their prices by about $200 since--check it to be sure).

    Hope you get what you're looking for--probably can't go wrong with either model!
  • rizzo5rizzo5 Posts: 8
    Valery: Thanks so much for your response. I agree with many of the points you made regarding the differences between the Max and S40. I currently own a 97 Max GXE, and can attest to the character of the current Maxima as you described, although the car has changed a fair amount since 97.

    Anyway, the S40 certainly does have a "tighter" feel, and I've always been partially to more "controllable" (i.e., smaller) cars, so I will likely pursue the Volvo once I get back from vacation. Thanks for your input. Stay tuned....
  • My wife and I just leased a Red S40 and we love it! 1,000 miles and no left drift. I did feel it when we first drove it off the lot but have been careful to pay attention to it. It isn't a noticable issue but I will be taking notes.

    As far as our lease: Yes, we got the Volvo sponsored lease. 3.75% interest no 1st payment, no costs other than tax and license. Total in at signing $842...payments 48 @ $346...Contract cost: $23,975. We are in San Diego County!

    With these #s none of the other car choices could even come close...
    And we looked at everything that rolls...LoL!
  • rvk1rvk1 Posts: 2
    I heard the window buttons may be moved forward on the 2001 model so they are more easily accessed with the armrest down. Does anyone have confirmation of this?

    Also, any news of other changes like improvement in A/C system so it doesn't stop after 2-4 hours of continuous use on hot days?

    Any other changes/improvements for 2001?

    What is the name and/or e-mail address of a person at Volvo who is the liason with the auto publications for news releases?

  • mashdillmashdill Posts: 1
    The 2001 S40 has a number of changes. Included are: 1. Window switches moved from the center console to the driver's door. 2. Redesigned center armrest with covered storage and redesigned drink holder(s) on the center console where the 2000 model window switches are/were. 3. Wood (simulated) trim is now a stand alone option!
  • rvkrvk Posts: 2
    Thank you Mashdill for the information that you provided about some of the changes for the 2001 S40 Volvo.

    However, do you or does anyone out there have any news of other changes like improvement in A/C system so it doesn't stop after 2-4 hours of continuous use on hot days?

    Also, what is the name and/or e-mail address of a person at Volvo who is the liason with the auto publications for news releases?

    Thanks again for your help!
  • Does anybody know if S40 will come with a stick shift at 2001 or at any other time?
  • Too bad if they don't have stick for this car since the engine seem pretty good. This car can outsell both Audi A4 and BMW 323i if volvo put stick shift and a real "sport package"
    (bigger wheel + lower, better suspension)for the same price as now.
  • lancerfixerlancerfixer Posts: 1,308
    I think the lack of a manual tranny is a glaring oversight in this car. After all the criticism heaped upon Volvo by the press and public about this, you'd think they'd have listened...
  • rollierollie Posts: 337
    Regarding post #306:

    lancefixer, there is an I believe always has been a manual tranny for this car. It is offered outside of North America only though. While the press has noted the utility of a manual for this car I think it would be overstated to say they've heaped criticism on the car for the lack of a manual in the US. The main reason why a stick isn't offered here on this car is because there isn't enough demand to justify the cost of EPA certification (which could run into the millions). However, if enough people, keep complaining online perhaps we can generate enough demand to warrant the investment by Volvo in certifying a manual for the US. Perhaps...


  • I am not sure how many volvo can sell if they bring the stick S40/V40 into the state. However, if volvo (or ford) want to bring this car here to compete the BMW or other "European Sport Sedans"; then in that case, they forgot to check out that almost 50% of BMW 3-series sold in the state are stick shift.
  • wonderwallwonderwall Posts: 126
    they can't sell the stick volvo because people here in america are too busy running into the median,talking on their cell phones and fumbling with the "inconvenient cupholders" installed in so many cars.

    you know, i have seen too many people here at edmunds saying they are dissatisfied with their cars because the cupholder is not to their specifications... it's time for an economic downturn, so people will have to think about REAL issues again.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    It may sound stupid, but I won't buy a Jetta or Golf because of their cup holders. Of course, I always have a drink in the car with me (commute 100 miles a day), so it has to be in a convenient place. It may sound stupid to you, but it's a little important to me. Different strokes for different folks, I guess.
  • lancerfixerlancerfixer Posts: 1,308
    I'm fully aware the car is available with a stick (and a whole lot of engine choices, too,) outside the US. That doesn't do me or any other American enthusiast any good, though, does it? In this class of car that Volvo is competing in, though, most cars have manual trannies available. (Passat, Accord, Camry, Saab 9-3, Infiniti G20, A4 1.8T, Maxima...)
    Most of the reviews I've read, rollie, even Edmunds, have noted the lack of a manual as a bad move on the part of Volvo.
This discussion has been closed.