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New S40/V50



  • 307web307web Posts: 1,033
    US export is either cancelled or will be delayed for a few years while BMW ponders marketable engines and body styles for the US.
    The 1 and 2 series were originally expected in the US as soon as this fall.
    Not anymore. It may be canceled for good.
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    No spare tire, so you're forced to ride on those run flats that don't cushion bumps well.

    Other than that, it's a perfect 2+2 w/ poor rear leg room.

    If the production version can be tuned to ride comfortably, then I'll be interested in the notchback coupe w/ a wide rear glass width not found in the new S40.
  • caminacamina Posts: 31
    I would like to stay away from German cars since they have bad reliability reports especially on the electrical side. I looked into the Mazda 6 a while ago and thought it was a good car for younger people. I would imagine the Mazda 3 is along the same lines.

    If you look at the New S40 book, there isn't anyone in there over 27 years old. After looking at the car today, I can see why. I signed up for the drive event but now I don't feel like going.

    Here are the other cars I have been looking at with short comments. Tell me what you think.

    BMW 3 - Not reliable, everyone has one because of leasing deals. Arrogant dealers and service. Too expensive. Most of the car is made in Germany and the transmission is made in France. Not exactly my two favorite countries at the moment.

    Audi A4 - Not reliable, 4 cylinder too slow and just as much or more expensive than 3 Series with 6 cylinder option.

    Mercedes C240 - More expensive and more problems.

    Acura TSX - Not bad but at $27K, too expensive for 4 cylinder. Dealers were not discounting when it first came out. I may revisit this one now.

    Infinity G35 - Great performance and reliability, a little cheap on the inside and plain on the outside. Too much power for me :).

    VW Passat - Great reviews but not sporty enough.
    VW Jetta - Nice looks both inside and out but terrible long term quality and made in Mexico.

    Volvo S60 - Nice both inside and out. Ride is not sporty enough. Wide turning radius and headrest are too big which blocks your side vision. Not enough pickup with standard engine. I would only consider with the $4-5K factory discount.

    Infinity IS 300 - Great performance and reliability. Terrible looking dash with the 3 big circles. Looks like a old fashioned washing machine dial. Center console has too many colors. Exterior is very boring.

    Toyota - (the car company that pays off Jesse Jackson). Don't really have anything for what I am looking for but may look into the Solara Convertible.

    Saab 9-3 - Not bad inside and out. Didn't have great reviews.
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    gave high praise for this prototype 1-series except "The One was taut-riding and restless over the rough French roads we tried. Before production begins, the engineers plan to dial back the spring and damper rate to increase the suspension's give. They claim his can be accomplished without damaging the handling."

    In the same issue, the new FWD S40 T-5 w/ 17"s was criticized badly including the lack of the 15% final polish in ride comfort found in the Jag & Beemer. Of course, the A4 rides even worse.

    "Good grip but steering lacks feel when cornering; ride and body control suffer when pushing on"

    "Push the T5 hard and it quickly becomes apparent that this sort of approach is not really enjoyed by either the car or driver. When you want the steering to tell you what's going on it goes all tongue-tied, denying you th sense of accuracy the best sports saloons offer. The system also lacks feedback once on lock. Body control that had seemed well judged at lower speeds starts to fade, allowing the car to lurch on its springs and pitch and yaw until progress becomes ragged."

    "Below 2000rpm there's very little action and the boost arrives with such a polite surge it removes much of the excitement from driving the T5. Very soft throttle response makes meting out the power frustratingly inaccurate, too."

    Well made, rapid, comfortable, individual

    So-so handling, lazy engine, knobbly ride"

    At this price, the turbocharged-2.5 S40 only has similar 0-60mph time as the normally-aspirated-2.5 325i! W/ no better rear seat room than this RWD rival, plus the cancellation of charcoal filter & manual passenger seat-height adjustment for N.A....

    I might as well invest in a better-resale stripped $28k 325i & install a $2k factory cloth sport seat w/ 4-way lumbar.

    Both the Volvo & Beemer offer bi-xenon. AUTOCAR did like the the S40's.
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    "I signed up for the drive event but now I don't feel like going."

    It was deceiving. The cars on the track had sport suspension so they handled great but that's because there were no bumps available for testing. The T-5 on stage had no sport suspension, so when I compress the corners outside the car, it felt like it has a relaxing ride(amazing for a car that cornered like that on the track! But that's a different set up).
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    The TSX's long springs have a surprising taut ride that doesn't pamper the passengers while the steering can't tell the driver about the tire grip.

    The G35 is a little crude including the so-so steering precision even though it doesn't lack feel. The ride might be a tad shallow, while the off-throttle oversteer(w/ std suspension, per CR) & the RWD power tail slide are bare kept in check w/ the stability control switched on.

    The upcoming redesigned Lexus IS maybe quite an attractive proposition. The drawing seems to look not too different from the present car w/ a nice rear glass width.
  • You could check out the Mazda6. Probably similar dynamics to the Acura TSX with a 4 cyl, but it's also available with a V6 (WITH a manual tranny, if that interests you). Honda also has the S2000, if you're looking for sports car action. The Mazda3 can be luxoed-out with leather and NAV and xenon low-beams. Doesn't sound like you've checked out Lexus yet, and then there's also Subaru's upcoming redesigned Legacys.

    Sounds like all you're considering is luxury nameplates, mostly. In those cases, they're much less likely to haggle, and you pay for that nameplate (admittedly, you pay for some other things you can't get in other cars too, but that nameplate invites a premium).
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    Hopefully the '05 model will allow the N.A. cars to be equipped w/ DSC. & the Bose stereo is on its way. Then just add hundreds of dollars of sound insulation on this reliable car & put on the S40 or Gabriel shocks to calm down the rebound...

    The '06 cars are coming just over a year away. There's the German-made new Passat blown up from the new Golf/Jetta V w/ Focus-type rear suspension. Like the transversely-mounted-engine Passat back in the early '90's, it'll be super roomy again.
  • caminacamina Posts: 31
    Well, all I can say is I was waiting for almost a year for the new S40 to come out and I am both disappointed and upset. The theme should be changed from "All New" to "All Cheap" as far as I'm concerned. How can you make a car with a center console like that ? What were they thinking ?

    I drive a 1988 325 coupe with 240K miles and was holding off as long as I can. I was hoping to get a new car this spring.

    Is there anything else coming out soon that is newly designed ?
  • Ok, you probably DON'T want to hear about the new Hyundai SUV, so that leaves the 2005 Subaru Legacy/Outback, due to be relased around June, I believe. Or you can get the Mazda3 (Keep that DSC away from me...I have my own DSC, and it's called a "steering wheel") which doesn't need a Bose stereo, really. :) Nothing else comes to mind, though I might see something at the auto show in a couple of weeks (NY City one).
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    "The theme should be changed from "All New" to "All Cheap" as far as I'm concerned. How can you make a car with a center console like that ? What were they thinking ?"

    That center console location is genius! You can just rest your palm or wrist on the shifter & type anything you want on those shapely buttons w/o looking! Except that the buttons do not retract when switched on like the typical A/C button on a base Japanese car.
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    "Is there anything else coming out soon that is newly designed ?"

    What's wrong w/ the Mazda3? It's the closest thing to your E30 BMW. Or if you must have a meaty hydraulic steering driven by engine belt such as the upcoming 1-series, then take the sedan version of the Focus SVT -- the '05 Focus ST sedan w/ Mazda engine. The reliability should be ok by now, per CR.
  • josh684josh684 Posts: 55
    I like the new S40, Sure the inside is a little plain but I can live with that. When you get the black interior it looks better. Mine is ordered and I should get it at the end of the week. I just bought the base model MSRP 24,875.
  • caminacamina Posts: 31
                   The ergonomics on the center console may be brilliant but the looks of it are very cheap. In fact, the whole instrument panel - dash is cheap looking.

    This is going to be a major turn-off coming from people who own BMW 3, Audi A4, and similar Japanese cars.

    Your right about the black interior. That was the color in all the pictures I saw up until I sat in it so you didn't notice it on the web. I wanted to get the Premium Package and with the wood inserts it looks much worse.

    My problem is there should be some meat behind it just to fill in the bare area so it looks like a normal console. Immediately I thought I was sitting in a cheap rental a Focus.

    For almost a year I have been telling everyone this is going to be my car. They said "How can you say that about a car you havn't seen". I told them there would have to be something really screwy with the car for me to not get it because I don't like anything else out there in my price range.

    I sat in the car for about 2 minutes and told the dealer it had to be a joke. All he could say was "The Boston Globe had a good write-up on it".

    The bottom line is the interior looks cheap and plain. With leather and moonroof it will cost $27.1K for 5 cylinders. I can get a 6 cylinder BMW 3 for about $4K more and I don't have to be used as Volvo beta tester.
  • josh684josh684 Posts: 55
    I just crashed my SUV, so I need to get another car soon. I looked at Mazda6 and I was not comfortable in it. I did not get premium package, because I can not afford. So BMW was out of the question. I agree that the wood looks bad. If I were you, I would also go for the BMW. I was looking at used ones, but I decided that I did not want to buy someone else Lemon. I did that once and that was enough.
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    "I looked at Mazda6 and I was not comfortable in it."

    Is it because the driving position is so uniquely low-slung & laid back? Then go for the more upright Mazda3 then. Watch out for the 17" wheels that ride concrete hard.

    The Mazda6 sedan, C-class sedan, Lexus IS & Jag S-Type are few of today's sedans that still offer a wide rear glass for me to comfortably view what's behind me, whether it's for lane change, passing or looking out for cops on the S. California fwy.
  • caminacamina Posts: 31
           To be honest, I don't want to buy another BMW either. I don't like any of the dealers in my area. My car is a 1988 325 and has been dealer serviced for almost it's entire life. The way I have been treated the last few years, they don't deserve my business for another round.

    Now that I have found a good independant mechanic, I may just hold onto it until it dies because there is nothing out there that excites me. Plus, I love beating the system.
  • logic1logic1 Posts: 2,433
    is like modern furniture (an area the Scandinavians happen to know a lot about): either the viewer gets it and loves it, or does not.

    I have sat in an S40 as well. (waiting for the wagon, however) The interior is certainly not cheap. It is minimalist elegance.

    People conditioned to respond only to traditional furniture also tend to eschew modern furniture design as cheap. Those who do understand, appreciate the materials, design and work behind modern design takes more effort and expense than more conventional designs.

    Volvo is offering a real alternative. If you want what everyone else has, good. There are plenty of other makes doing the exact same thing as they always have. Those of us who want and appreciate something different are pretty happy to see the Volvo offerings.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 25,354
    I thought the interior showed very well, and seemed to be made out of high-quality material. The console (center stack) was a very specific design statement, not done because Volvo was "too cheap" to fill in the gap (besides, it is a perfect place for a pocket book, camera bag, etc).

    If you read enough reviews, you can find any opinion that you want. You will also become so befuddled that you will never buy a car.

    There is no such thing as a perfect car (especially when price is a consideration). And no one can tell you what you like. So, drive anything you are interested in, and decide what you like.

    It does seem that there are some people that will never be satisfied with anything, so they shouldn't even bother to shop. Either that, or pony up the big $$ and get a 5 series or whatever it is that serves as your ideal dream car.

    2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.4i Limited Tech (mine), 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's) and 2015 Jetta Sport (daughter's)

  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    Bravo, well said.

    I like that the S40 is a polarizing car. For too long Volvo has been bland, this is a love/hate kind of car.

    There are no "perfect" cars out there and its easy to succumb to analysis paralysis, especially if it's been a long time between purchases.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Add the 2005 Legacy GT to your list, the new interior is a lot nicer and you get 250hp, AWD, side curtains, 6 speed (or 5 speed auto with buttons on steering wheel), 4 level heated leather, huge moonroof, 17" alloys, CD changer, etc.

    It's about Acura TSX-sized. Subaru is rumored to beef up their warranty for 2005 as well. The 2.5T engine is based on the one in the WRX STi, which means semi-closed deck block, forged pistons, the works.

    I see it completing with the S40 T5 AWD when that model arrives.

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 25,354
    That Sube does sound interesting. Bigger class than the Volvo, but fits the same broad (counter-culture) parameters, at around the same price.

    Will have to toodle over and see it when it arrives. Hopefully they fixed the 2 main problems I had with my wife's 1992 Legacy (overly stiff clutch, and horribly uncomfortable seats). Still the most reliable new car I ever bought.

    2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.4i Limited Tech (mine), 2013 Acura RDX AWD (wife's) and 2015 Jetta Sport (daughter's)

  • new4doornew4door Posts: 5
    #580 -- did you have to special order a base model s40? My local dealer only has models w/ the premium package in the forseeable future.
  • caminacamina Posts: 31
    I dont think Volvo is in any position or has earned the right, for that matter, to be setting asthetic trends. If I wanted what everyone else wants then I would buy another 3 Series or lease one like every other college student. I think I addressed this in one of my previous messages.

    I waited about a year for this car and loved everything about it until I saw the interior. Say what you want. The console is a discrace for a car priced like this. It is plain and cheap looking. It may have good materials and engineering but it is cheap looking and insulting.

    Volvo is the only car company I know that consistantly offers $5K Dealer Incentives in order to sell cars...even in the Spring.

    There is a reason for this. The reason is they are too polarizing. This is thier second try at being different with the S40 and they will fail again.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The seats are very nice, they've been making the auto show rounds with the 2005 GT. They're actually unique to the GT model, with taller shoulders and more bolstering.

    Put it this way - I don't like the seats on our 2002 Legacy L, but the 2005 GT's are night-and-day better.

    Great seats like Volvo is famous for, to bring this back on topic.

    FWIW, I found the S40 interior to be innovative, the "floating" console is interesting. I'm not crazy about painted silver (fake metals) but it's par for the price class.

  • "I would like to stay away from German cars since they have bad reliability reports especially on the electrical side.

    BMW 3 - Not reliable, everyone has one because of leasing deals. Arrogant dealers and service. Too expensive. Most of the car is made in Germany and the transmission is made in France. Not exactly my two favorite countries at the moment."

    Boy! Don't you have any preconceived ideas and aren't you discriminatory?!!!
    What's next? You are going to refuse putting gas in your car because it comes from the Middle East?!!!!
    The new S40 console design is innovative and does not look any cheaper than other comparable cars. You are not the type of guy that can think outside the box, that's all! Nothing wrong with that, but admit it and stop bashing the S40 and other countries!
  • caminacamina Posts: 31
    I think you have lost touch on what forums are about. They are about opinions and I enjoy reading others. But, there is no need to get personal.

    My comments about BMW 3's are from my own experience, other owners of German cars, Consumer Reports, and other information available to people who want to express and listen to opinions.

    Seems like you have a preconceived idea of anyone who doesn't have the same thinking as you. Isn't being politically correct thinking inside the box ?

    Country Bashing ? If I don't want to give my money to companies from countries, I have a problem with politically, I have that right. But, if you read carefully, it's not my number 1 priority.

    Yeah, your right, it doesn't exactly thrill the heck out of me to have to pay $2 to $3 for a gallon of gas. How about you ?

    I have my opinion and you have yours. Why can't you leave it at that ? Who the hell are you to tell me what I can or can't say ?
  • josh684josh684 Posts: 55
    There was one in Orlando, FL. It didnt have black interior. One at Westin Volvo, they wanted MSRP. I bought mine at Warren Henry, and it was located in South Carolina somewhere. Should have it this week.
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    "The new S40 console design is innovative and does not look any cheaper than other comparable cars."

    Like cell phones, they are getting less bulky.

    I find all cars so distant from perfection that I have to ignore the badge & even styling. The S40's interior looks boring w/ that simple-shaped dash, but that center console is a smart design, except that the switches on it are by wire & not the more intuitive conventional mechanical ones.

    I still rate its overall interior design the best due to the driving position & ergonomics alone!
This discussion has been closed.