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Volvo S40



  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    More importantly NONE of them are or would be in the $25-30,000 price range. NONE of them would win against their larger siblings.

    Enjoy your focus.
  • jcabqjcabq Posts: 2
    My wife and are seriously looking at both the Audi A4 1.8T Quattro and the Volvo S40 T5 AWD. We both agree that the Volvo is a lot more fun to drive, but the Audi is more luxurious and spacious.


    At this point we need some input/feelings with regards to residual value and long-term reliability for these two cars. Considering the S40 is redesigned, my question may be hard to address. However, if I am not mistaken the 5 cylinder engine has been used by Volvo for some time - although I do not know if the S40's engine compares to past Volvo models.


    We are also concerned that a 2005 A4 might be somewhat obsolete with the introduction of the 2006 A4, considering the improved engine.


    Any suggestion/input would be greatly appreciated.
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    I'm curious about your fun-to-drive impressions. Was this as a result of the extra power, or did you feel the t5 handles more nimbly, as well?


  • jcabqjcabq Posts: 2
    Well, first off I have to provide the caveat that I like cars, but am not an expert by any means. Consequently I may use inappropriate terminology, but I will try my best to answer your question.


    The extra power contributes greatly to my impression. The A4 performed well in first and second, about that same as the T5, but suffered greatly thereafter. The additional torque available in the S40 is noticeable, even during city driving.


    The S40 felt more like a Rally car than a luxury car. The handling of the A4 was impressive but a little "softer" than the S40. The A4 struggled a little with a high speed turn (probably at a higher speed than recommended) while the S40 had very little body roll or difficulty. The predictable downside is a somewhat "stiffer" ride in the S40.
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    Hey, thanks, that's really informative!


    I'm probably not buying for a while yet, so i'm sure all the cars i'm lookin at will be tweaked some.


    The s40, even with the sport package, isn't as sporty as i like, but i still might bite because of its other aspects. It, at least, knocks the 9-3 off the list for me, as it has some advanatages over the 9-3 and i don't really see where the 9-3 compensates.


  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    I think C & D had listed the trunk space for the S40 @ 16 cubic feet. Is it that big? For such a small car? By comparison, the trunk for the Camry is 17 cu ft, and the Accord, I believe, is only about 13.5.
  • Volvo lists the cargo capacity at 12.6 cu.ft with the second seat up and 31.5 cu.ft with the second seat folded.


    Very respectful, compare to Honda Accord.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    I was building an S40 T5 AWD on the Volvocanada site, and, apparently, you can't get the automatic without buying the sunroof, which costs an additional $1500 on top of the $1500 for the auto! Can anyone verify if that is true? If it is, I think that is a ripoff. So, if I don't want a stupid sunroof, I'm essentially paying $3000 for an automatic transmission. The S40 (other than the base model) is already pretty pricey. So if they group options like that, I think they will price the car beyond what many people can/will pay. They are in BMW 3-series territory price-wise.
  • guyfguyf Posts: 456
    I think you are right Gordon, the sunroof is a "mandatory" option with the automatic.


    I too found the S40 too expensive for what it is. I was looking for one last fall but ended up leasing a very nice S60 2.5T fully loaded for a little under $500. per month before taxes. This is a 2004 and Volvo was doing a fire sale in September.


  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    You're right. If you want AWD, and you include a couple of option packages on the S40, then price-wise, you'd be butting up against the S60 and XC70, 2 models that are actually more suitable for family duty due to their bigger size.


    It's almost impossible to find a semi-upscale, reasonably-sized, and reasonably well-equipped AWD vehicle for under $40K in Canada. I even looked at the new Outback. That goes up to about $45K for the top-of-the-line. And really, other than the famous Subaru AWD system, you're not getting a heck of a lot of car for that kind of money. They don't even give you memory feature for the driver's seat. I mean c'mon, Subaru, $45K is not pocket change!
  • guyfguyf Posts: 456
    Do you really want AWD? The S60 with traction control and the Gislaved NordFrost3 tires will go anywhere it's ground clearance will allow it. It its a very easy to control, fun to drive car in the snow.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    The reason I want AWD is that I'm lazy and cheap (mostly lazy) about getting snow tires. You need 4 snow tires. First, it's a pain to buy, and store 4 extra tires with garage space already limited. If you want to change the tires yourself, it's 2 full changes per year, plus you then would have to shell out for 4 rims. If you go to a gas station to have them changed, try lugging 4 tires in the trunk of your car! Also, I don't like the road feel of snow tires, so I don't want to have to drive on them if there is no snow.
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    I'm a big believer in snow tires. AWD only helps you get moving. Snow tires help you turn and stop. Getting moving is not generally a safety issue. Turning and stopping is.


    My car now is RWD but i have snows and i'm better off than AWD cars with all-seasons.


  • True,

    Let's not forget that AWD or stability and traction control just helping to MANAGE the existing traction.

    Snow tires ADD the traction.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    With all due respect, guys, I'm not sure I can agree 100%. If I had to put money on it, I would still be inclined to bet on a good AWD system over a RWD with snows in terms of traction. I've seen some pretty fancy high-end RWD cars with snow tires spinning hopelessly in the snow. The key would be a good AWD system. something like the CR-V's system would not be any better than a RWD or FWD with snows. But a Subaru or Audi's Quattro....different story.


    I think both snow tires and AWD add traction, just in different ways.
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    "I had to put money on it, I would still be inclined to bet on a good AWD system over a RWD with snows in terms of traction."


    That *might* be true *only* for acceleration.


    And that only matters is you care about accelerating quickly away from stoplights, and not about stopping or turning to avoid an accident.


  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    Your point about stopping and turning is very valid. But I'm more concern with not getting stuck, rather than rapid acceleration. With or without AWD, I actually drive very conservatively whenever the road surface is slick (a function of age!), so usually stopping and turning are not really an issue.
  • guyfguyf Posts: 456
    My personal experience tends to demostrate the opposite. My wife's S60 with 4 winter tires is better, safer on snow than my XC90 on Michelin 4 seasons.


    Now with 4 winter tires on the XC it's a different story.


    Nokian makes a 4 seasons thats is reported to be very good on snow, maybe that's what you're looking for?
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    " better, safer on snow than my XC90..."


    You mean better in turning & stopping, or better in accelerating?


    And yes, when I switch out of the OEM tires, I will definitely look for all-seasons with strong snow performance. I'll check out the Nokian. Thanks for the tip. Never heard much of that brand before though. Do they also make cell phones? :)
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    There is that--but i have never gotten stuck in my RWD with snows. However, you may well drive in worse conditions than i do in chicago.


    My main reason for being interested in AWD is i just don't like how FWD feels, and AWD can feel more like RWD.


  • Do not count on it with Volvo. Under the normal conditions the Haldex AWD is mostly FWD (which is a good thing IMHO).


    I strongly believe that with the exception of the street racing FWD is much more practical and safe for the "normal" sedan.
  • nedc2nedc2 Posts: 192
    Nokia spun off its rubber products division ages ago, at one time they even made rubber pac boots, good for Finnish winters --1980s? maybe. Now Nokian tires is spinning off its non automotive products, bicycle tires, etc.. I just hope hope they'll be offering tires in the size I need by next winter.
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    Yes, i know the s40 is haldex, which is quite unfortunate to me. I personally think FWD as wrong-wheel-drive. Even when you're not street racing, FWD intrudes in a lot of areas of the driving experience, IMHO. I quite like the s40 otherwise, though, so it's still on my list.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    How similar are these vehicles? I know that they are based on the same "platform" (whatever that really means).
  • What it means is that the sheet metal parts for the floor, some of the body and attachment points for the suspension are the same.


    Mazda and S40 have different suspension, engine, transmission, active and passive safety devices, seats, interior, exterior body panels, lights, etc. (if that is not enough).


    S40 also have some additional reinforcement even in the part of the body which is common for all three (Mazda 3, Volvo S40 and new Ford Focus) vehicles.


    Mazda is sportier, while S40 is much safer and much more refined.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    Thanks for the information. That helps, I was wondering if there were more than cosmetic differences. I did know about the obvious differences, like the engines.


    Safety is definitely an issue for us, particularly since these cars are toward the smaller end of the spectrum.
  • Good stuff. I'm still trying to decide between Mazda3s and S40.
  • tranmitranmi Posts: 12
    Why are you still thinking ??? For the money, get the Mazda3 (S40 2.4i is noisy and slow) but for the power go with the S40 T5. I got my 05 S40 T5 last July and still happy with it.
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    S40 lets you choose, but charges more for the sport suspension.


    If you like to be pampered for under $20k, then take a newspaper-special S40 stick w/ no option & enjoy the comfort of the slow-movement ride & the chair-high driving position (especially the door-armrest height) w/ good thigh support.
  • Since 2000 I have owned IS300, BMW 330xi, & "04 Acura TL[270 hp]. No way is 2.4 'slow'!

    That being said, I did enjoy the added punch that is provided by the T5 turbo. I'm more than a little bit concerned by the turbo lag when driving in heavy traffic. Will I get used to it & be able to adjust???? Any replies from T5 guys will be appreciated. Bill from NJ
This discussion has been closed.