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Volvo S40



  • ggeckoiiiggeckoiii Posts: 17
    Read an earlier message concerning overseas delivery, but there wasn't much information. Volvo states: "Save up to $4,000* on the purchase of a new Volvo and have the comfort and safety of your very own high-performace Volvo awaiting your arrival." ; "*Model Year 2000 Manufactured Suggested Retail Price compared to Model Year 2000 Overseas Delivery price."

    Sounds great! Has anyone done this? Does it take longer to get your car to the nearest dealer? And, geez, they are giving away, until 9/30/00, a free roundtrip and 1 night hotel stay in Europe with Overseas delivery -- why doesn't everyone do this?
  • alarmedalarmed Posts: 1
    I bought a brand new 2000 S40 a week ago, and I have had problems with the internal power lock button and the remote buttons. Sometimes they work and sometimes they don't. My alarm actually went off, siren and all, while I was driving it. You'd be surprised at the looks from other drivers. Luckily, I was a mile from my Volvo Service Center. They ran checks on it and found nothing. So, they called the "hotline" and found that at times if the buttons on the remote are depressed simulataneously, or if they are depressed rapidly, it screws up the computer that controls the locking and alarm features. Basically, it gets confused and doesn't know if the car is locked, unlocked, or if someone is trying to break into it. So, I made sure I detached my key and remote from the rest of my keys, bottleopeners, etc., to avoid any unnecessary hits on the buttons. Also, I am very careful when I push the buttons on the remote, making sure that I push only one button at a time and only once. The problem is not solved. I haven't had the alarm go off when I'm in it, but it has gone off randomly while sitting in the comfort of my home. Has anyone else had this problem(s), ie. power locks not working half the time, remote not working half the time? If so, I would like to hear what the problem REALLY is, and how it was fixed. I accepted the fact it was an operator error to begin with, but now I am certain something is wrong with the system.
  • ggeckoiiiggeckoiii Posts: 17
    Lots more people
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    A Volvo S40 today. It was very nice and comfortable. But it didn't feel very powerful, not as powerful as I expected. The turbo kick was good, but still not as much as I expected. Of course, it's only a 1.9 too. Also, when I was at the dealership, they brought in an S40 on a tow truck that had been T-boned at 55 mph! The driver walked away and only the driver's window was busted, because it was down at the time of impact. Amazing!

    The dealer told me they go for retail though. I know that's a bunch of crap. I will just have to check out or something like that for a better price. How is everyone's ownership experiences been anyway? Just curious. Thanks. :)
  • cypherpunkcypherpunk Posts: 1
    [I conducted this survey before I found this particular forum on well... --kevin]

    Volvo recently introduced the S40/V40 to the US. Variants of this model (based on the Mitsubishi Charisma) have been selling in Europe and in Australia (I think) for a few years now.

    It's pretty easy to figure out what the price is for this vehicle is. It is also pretty easy to determine that this is a safe car (check around on the web -- try and on some of the European crash testing information sites).

    However, because this car is new to the US, a lot of people seem to be wondering "is this a reliable car?". I found myself wondering this a few weeks ago.

    I'm a little dismayed that I haven't found anything like "Consumer Reports" in any of the European media that I searched (I could be wrong; if so, please correct me). So, lacking a resource like this, I decided to find owners of S40/V40s on the web and ask them directly about the reliability of this car.

    In my initial survey, I found 19 people on the Internet who either owned this car or else they seemed to be leaning towards buying this car.

    7 of the 19 people that I surveyed responded back to me. What follows is a summary of what I found, followed by some general comments from me.

    At the time of this writing, I'm still searching for a car. Due to a changing job situation, I'm not in a huge rush to buy a car just yet, so I haven't bought a car just yet.

    Here you go:


    The engine (160-hp., 2.6-liter 4-cyl) is made by Volvo. I think that other engines are available in Europe and Australia. I live in the US so I'm not considering those engines here.

    I haven't heard any complaints regarding this engine.

    I haven't heard anybody accuse this engine/transmission combo of not being quick enough. In fact, one of you complains that this car accelerates so quickly that pens come off of the dashboard. (-:

    One respondant claimed to have knowledge that that the transmission was Japanese in origin -- his mechanic said that it was made by iksomi/Toyota. I haven't been able to confirm this yet (if this person had said "Mitsubishi" instead I would have been less surprised). This person's mechanic also said that this is the same transmission as used in the 70 series.

    (I seem to recall that "Consumer Reports" reported major problems with some of the Volvo 70 series transmissions, so this causes some concern).

    Volvo corporate says "use premium fuel", my local dealer says it is fine to use regular. One of the repondants indicated that they had their "check engine" light come on because of fuel problems. I've seen enough evidence to suspect that this car would be somewhat finicky when it comes to octane levels.

    Two people report that this car goes well in snow. This is a front-wheel-drive car, so this is good (but not unexpected).

    One person reports that the label on the fuel door incorrectly specified the air pressure for the tires (a little bit too high) -- and sure enough, their tire's pressure was a little bit too high. If you own one of these cars, read your tire's sidewalls, just to confirm.

    Of the 19 people that I originally wrote to, 7 responded.

    Of these 7 respondents, 5 of you indicated that you owned a S40/V40. Of these 5 S40/V40 owners there were no major reliability problems reported, and I think that it would be safe to say that these 5 owners are very pleased with this car. Also, two of these respondants mentioned that they knew of two other people who bought this car, including one who said that their mechanic had traded in a Jeep 4x4 for an S40.

    Of the remaining 2 respondents, one cited reliability concerns and bought a Toyota Camry instead. The other mentioned that he wanted a 5 speed manual transmission and so he instead bought a year 2000 Audi A4 instead (``it's got that lovely Audi Quattro all-wheel drive'').

    After I sent out my original query, I found comments from 2 different people (who are not involved with my original survey) who both experienced a major problem with their S40/V40s -- they both pulled to left, which made the cars unsafe. One of these cars needed to be shipped back to the factory in order to get repaired. Two other people reported having weird electrical problems with their S40s.

    (amusing complaint about this car) The cupholders could use a lot of improvement. Yes, I've seen some people claim that they can't understand America's fascination with cupholders, but speaking for myself, I use them all the time on long road trips and I find them to be very useful.


    I was at the Volvo dealership a few days ago, asking the sales guy some questions. He was a very straightforward kind of guy to deal with so I asked him a pretty specific question:

    Consumer Reports no longer recommends any of the Volvo models, and in fact they experienced some *major* reliability problems with some of the S70s. What happened, and what has Volvo done to fix this?

    He replied that their dealership hadn't seen any major problems with any of the 70-series. Also, he pulled out a three page long printout from Volvo Corporate that was supposed to be a rebuttal to the Consumer Reports flap. He was kind enough to photocopy this for me.

    I think that I could safely sum up this printout this way:

    o Volvo asserts that the transmission problems were caused by a small component that failed in the transmission system. I
    got the impression that Volvo was trying to imply that the real problem was in some part(s) that they got from their suppliers.
    However, this part was really vague.

    o Volvo fixed the problems under warranty.

    o Volvo owners are very satisfied with their vehicles.

    However, I'm an engineer, and I didn't see statements like:

    o We had a problem with part XXX from supplier YYY. We have taken steps to ensure that either this part meets our
    specifications or else we'll find a new

    o We had a problem in our manufacturing
    process. We identified the problem and
    fixed it.

    Maybe I'm being unrealistic in expecting to see something like this, but I think that this would have been nice.


    So, what's my conclusion with regards to reliability?

    I can't make any sweeping conclusions here. I simply don't have enough evidence.

    However, I can fill you in on my perspective: I really like the V40. The car presents an appealing combination of features: safety, utility, good gas mileage, etc. These are the main features I am looking for. As far as reliability, I'm pretty sure that this car would be more reliable than some of the cars I've driven in the past.

    To tell you the truth, I was pretty close to buying a V40 this past weekend.

    However, after getting home from test driving one, my sister-in-law called and told us about her latest problems with her 1998 S70. This week it's an electrical problem, last week it was a fuel problem, and two weeks before it was a different electrical problem. There's been a long string of problems with this car.

    Yes, I know full well that this is a completely different car and that it was probably manufactured at a different plant. But it got me thinking...

    The V40 costs several thousand dollars more than what my wife and I were planning on spending for a car. Yes, we can juggle our budget around to buy this car, but we always come back to the same basic struggle: safety versus reliability versus price. I can pay almost $6000 (US dollars) less and get a Toyota Camry with side impact airbags. That's nothing to sneeze at, and I have no doubts about Toyota's reliability.

    In my area, the only place to get a S40/V40 serviced would be at the dealership, which is located in a somewhat inconvenient location for me. Getting service for this car would be a little bit tedious. If I encountered any of the same problems that my sister-in-law encountered, this would be a major pain-in-the-neck.

    I'm a tad bit leery about buying a car that doesn't seem to have very much of the market segment either. I think that the majority of mechanics in my area have absolutely no experience with this car, and that parts are possibly going to be hard-to-get and more expensive. I've been really paying attention for the past two months and I've only seen one S40/V40 in the area that I live in (to be fair, I've seen lots of other Volvos).

    (I do a lot of bike riding -- while I'm doing long rides I look at the cars in people's driveways and the cars out on the roads. For example, I did a 100 mile bike ride the other day and out of the thousands of cars that I saw I didn't see one S40/V40 in my area.)

    So, the end result? We still haven't bought a car yet. My wife and I are still shopping. We were looking at the Toyota Camry as well, but, to be honest, I don't really care for a car this large (if it were a wagon and gave me a lot of useful space, I'd be more amenable to driving it, but if I were going to be stuck driving a Toyota sedan a Corolla would be more my style). This weekend I think we're going to look at Subarus, and we might even look at the Ford Focus as well. My wife and I have experience a lot of problems with Volkswagons in the past so we haven't seriously considered the VW Passat (yet). I don't think that the Volvo is out of the running yet, but if we buy this car something is going to have to be done in my mind to further ease my concerns about price and reliability.


    This is the result of my survey. I hope that somebody else finds it to be useful.

    kclark at cabletron dot com
  • wdrwdr Posts: 11
    The transmission in the S40/V40 comes from Aisin. This info is available in just about any magazine review of detail.
  • 1702817028 Posts: 45
    I think you cut to the heart of the matter when you said you are wary of buying a car with a small market segment. That is true with most people, and that's partly why you see so many Accords and Camrys out there. Some call it good sense, some call it lemming mentality. You make the call.

    I for one enjoy being different, and look for soul and character in cars. It is simply a matter of where your priorities and tastes lie.

    As for the S40/V40, I think it was something of a mistake of Volvo of NA to bring it here after all. There is a very strong market segment in Europe in between economy/cookie-cutter and entry-level luxury cars, a segment which Volkswagen, Audi, Volvo, Opel, and some other brands inhabit successfully with some or all of their respective models. Mercedes and BMW have some compact cars in the upper part of that segment as well.

    Here in the US, it doesn't seem to be so. People who can get their hands on the money needed buy an entry-level luxury car, even if they have to live in a trailer-park to do it (I'm exaggerating, of course). Cars below that grade are seen as simply utilitarian, and the obvious conclusion is to buy a Toyota or Honda.

    In the end, all we can say is; to each his or her own.
  • sravanhsravanh Posts: 1
    This forum is really helpful in making up my mind to buy a Volvo. After considering Camry and Volvo. I had to make a decision. What can I afford to risk? The safety or the reliability. The Volvo, based on the past history, may be not as reliable as a Camry. But it is the safest car available for a comparable price. Today after a lot of research and thinking we purchased a Volvo V40 for about 24K+TTL with Silver metalic paint and no options. I found the car to have COntinental tires rather than Michelins as mentioned on this board. The buying experience was pleasant.

    The V40 ride is not as smooth as a Camry, But my priorities lie in the Safety. Rear view visibility is good contrary to the post on this forum. The research post by Kevin (about five posts above this) is valuable.
  • raychuang00raychuang00 Posts: 541
    While the S40 is general a nice car, the problem with the S40 is that it suffers in comparison with a Honda Accord LX or EX V6 sedan and the Toyota Camry LE V6 sedans in terms of price.

    Given that an S40 usually costs around US$26,000 out the door, for that same money you can easily get the Accord and Camry models I mentioned above. The Japanese cars have WAY more interior space, offer more power and definitely are better-rated in terms of reliability.
  • rollierollie Posts: 337
    Amazing that although I'm not a big fan of this car, I find myself defending it again! Ray, while I'm sure you meant well, you are simply wrong.

    The S40 is larger inside (99.5 cu. ft.) than the Camry (96.9 cu. ft.) or Accord (98.3 cu. ft.). To get more power than the S40 you have to step up to the V6 in either the Accord or Camry. If you take a base V6 car you will find that neither the Accord or Camry include important options like side impact airbags or ABS brakes which are standard on the S40. Further, although these V6s have higher horsepower and torque numbers, the S40 hits max torque much quicker and it is 320 lbs. lighter than the Accord and 243 lbs. lighter than the Camry. If you add the optional side impact airbags and ABS to the V6 Camry or Accord you will find that it is MORE expensive than the S40. Remember, I am comparing the base S40. Sure you can add options to bring it up to $26,000 but you can also spend this same money adding options to the Camry and Accord. The S40 also has a much more respected safety record. It is the only car in its class to earn 4 stars in Euro NCAP crash tests (which are much more comprehensive than those done by the NHTSA) while others cars in this class like the Audi A4, Mercedes C-class, etc. earned 2 stars. The S40 also has slightly better gas mileage than the Accord and Camry.

    Further, although the base cost of the S40 is $23,400, you can get it for under $22k delivered if you're price sensitive and can take a long weekend to go to Sweden (for free) to pick up your car from the factory.

    I do agree that the S40 is a tougher sale if you load it up with options and approach the $29k mark. Fully loaded the S40 price gets into the Acura TL and Audi A4 range which is very competitive.


    [email protected]

    p.s. - All of my data except for the crash test information came from Carpoint's side-by-side comparison tool.
  • hiflyerhiflyer Posts: 79
    Your statement about the S-40 having more interior space than the Camry and Accord was somewhat surprising. So I did a little checking.

    According to Autosite, the EPA estimates the passenger volume of the S-40 as being only 88 cubic feet versus Volvo's claim of 99.5. In all sincerity, I've never recalled such a disparity in estimates between the EPA and a manufacturer.
    In the case of the Camry and Accord, the EPA figures are about the same or greater than the manufacturers'.
  • rollierollie Posts: 337
    Regarding post #271:

    hiflyer, I checked Volvo's website and came up with an passenger space figure of 99.5 cubic feet (interior volume - cargo capacity). That's not to say that Volvo is wrong (it wouldn't be the first time their website had a mistake) but I would hope they would know the size of the car. I don't have the figures handy, but I believe if the S40 only had 88 cubic feet of passenger volume it would be in a smaller EPA category.


    [email protected]
  • raychuang00raychuang00 Posts: 541
    My big gripe about the S40 is simple: there is just NO amount of decent rear legroom on that car!

    When I set up the driver's seat on the S40 to be comfortable up front for me, I can't sit in the seat right behind the driver. This is definitely NOT true of the Accord or the Camry, both of which allow me to sit in the seat right behind the driver comfortably even after I set the driver's seat in front.

    For what Volvo usually charges for the S40, I might as well pay a little more and get myself an Acura 3.2 TL sedan instead. (smile)
  • wdrwdr Posts: 11
    I love my S40, but I must react to Rollie's comparison of interior volumes. When talking about interior seating comfort and the feeling of "space" it is by no means valid to just look at interior volume figures. This is like saying two people are equally healthy just because they are of the same weight! It is much more relevant to compare leg room, hip room, shoulder room, etc.. Many vehicles can have equal interior volumes, but it is the way the interior is packaged that creates the feeling of "space".

    That said I don't really care that there isn't a lot of leg room since I am single and will rarely have any passengers in the back seat. I'm much more interested in firm, supportive seats and proper ergonomical layout of the driver controls. I think the Volvo is superior to the Camry and Accord in both of these areas (although I would prefer more side bolstering in the S40's seats).
  • 1702817028 Posts: 45
    Frankly, if your primary concerns are:
    a) economy
    b) reliability
    c) size
    Then you probably shouldn't be looking at midsize European cars. Japanese cars are better in terms of those factors.

    European cars generally cost more in upkeep, even if they sometimes are pretty close in initial cost. Japanese cars are in general more reliable than European ones. And European cars are primarily designed for the European public, which means they want smaller (thereby more nimble and fuel efficient) cars than Americans.

    Even so, I'd take a European car any day, b/c I want more than dependable transportation from my car (especially when I buy a brand new car). I look for style, safety, excellent balanced engineering, and a measure of exclusivity, all the little things that make up the soul of a car.

    I think we can agree that it is good that there's a wide range of cars to choose from, so everyone can be happy!
  • venus537venus537 Posts: 1,443
    Any Accord with the V6 engine comes standard with ABS and side air bags (with the 2000 models). And the LX V6 models start at around $22,500. As for the Volvo's turbo being in the same league as the Camry/Accord V6 engines, dream on. I love my Accords, but I'm looking for something different after four of them. I Once considered the Volvo S40, but it's just out of my price range. I leaning strongly towards a manual Volkswagen Jetta GLS VR6. Try getting a manual transmission in a Volvo S40 or Accord V6. Obviously interior space is not a top priority with me. One last item, a car doesn't have to come from Europe to have "excellent balanced engineering".
  • rollierollie Posts: 337
    If you reread my post you will find that I didn't say that Volvo's turbo I4 was in the same league as the Camry / Accord V6. What I implied, obviously without enough clarity, is that the S40 turbo I4 along with the fact that the S40 is hundreds of pounds lighter equates to similar performance.

    Also, I've never stated or implied that a car has to come from Europe for balanced engineering nor have I ever used the phrase "excellent balanced engineering".


    [email protected]
  • joel2468joel2468 Posts: 75
    I have a 1999 S70 Base right now, and am waiting to see the new S60, but even more so, the upgraded S/V40s. I really like the hasn't caused me any problems at all (16K miles so far). My six previous cars were Hondas, and I know for a fact that maintenance on the S70 is no more expensive, if not a little less expensive than the Hondas (if you follow the recommended service intervals). Lately, though, I've been looking into sporty wagons, a more versatile vehicle for me right now. Looked into the Audi A4Avant, and Subaru outback. From what you know, what's the reliability been for the V40? What have you heard from owners as to real world experience? Thanks
  • rollierollie Posts: 337
    Regarding post #278:

    joel2468, as far as I know the reliability of the 40 series cars in the US has been very good to date. I haven't read much in the way of complaints for this line (of course I haven't checked the 40 series forum on either). The 40 series benefits from a few years of debugging in Europe prior to shipment to the US. That is the reason why the T4 wasn't shipped over last year (the ECU was still having bugs). It seems that the Siemens ECU in the 40 series now is quite reliable from the few mentions I've read of it.

    Regarding sporty wagons, make sure you look at the new 3 series BMW wagon which is quite nice or the luxury and performance King of the Hill, the new 2001 V70 T5. It's not cheap but boy does it fly (0-60 in 6.9 seconds with the automatic - the manual is faster but I haven't seen a published number) and it finally has a world class suspension setup.

    I'm glad to hear you are enjoying your S70. I used to have a S70 T5 and it got downright boring it was so reliable (I used to welcome the occasional visit to the dealer to test the latest toys but our S70 wouldn't give me enough nits to indulge myself.) It looks like I will be moving to Southern California in a few months and will need to pick up another car. I'm praying I can find a way to hold off until the S60 hits the streets.


    [email protected]
  • smchalesmchale Posts: 16
    Dude! (aka, welcome to Sou Cal).

    I live in Orange County. To date, I have only seen four S40s on the road. It's still a unique car.
  • 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).


    rdollie[email protected]
  • 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.


    [email protected]
  • 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...


    [email protected]
  • 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.