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New S40/V50



  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    "did you have to special order a base model s40?"

    Each dealer I visited in Torrance & Pasadena had one, but only w/ the $450 metallic paint.

    It's cool to raise the seat/steering so high to take advantage of the moonroof-less headroom.
  • caminacamina Posts: 31
    Last Spring I went to the Chrysler Crossfire drive event. They had a track where you could test the Crossfire against other cars (Boxter, AudiTT, and G35). They also had a computerized questionaire, Theme Music CD, memorabilia...etc.

    Is the Volvo S40 drive event similar ?
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    there weren't other kinds of cars for comparison & this is the only one w/o strips placed at then end of the track to simulate bumps. It's definitely worth going & be on time. The event is pretty upscale w/ free appetizers/drinks.

    The Lexus's & GM's had other cars to compare.

    The Mazda RevItUp events are for the $40 school/racing to win one Mazda sedan nation wide. & all the newest-style Mazda vehicles are there on the test-drive section, which is free for everyone. & like Volvo's, no non-Mazda cars for comparison.
  • cotmccotmc Posts: 1,081
    Actually, this month's issue of CR specifically states that the BMW 3-series reliability "has improved lately, so we recommend the 3 Series." They were also recommending the 3-series back throughout most of the late 90's. I had good reliability with both of mine.

    Regarding Volvo reliability, the 60, 70, and 80 series models are all "recommended", with a respectable "average" reliability rating. (This is respectable compared to some other European cars, such as Mercedes, Audi, Jaguar, and most VW models).

    In order to stand out from all the other near-luxury small sport sedans, I agree that Volvo was correct in taking some risks and providing the S40 with a "polarizing" interior design.
  • That's because, when it comes to Mazda, there IS no comparison. ;) Though it'd probably be appropriate for them to stick a Subie and/or Honda in there.

    I need to ask something. Exactly where ARE these events? Do they ever come to NY State, or do they, like everyone else, think there is nothing in NY State north of NY City? (Hmm, you mean maybe I live in Canada? Hehehe)
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    Sign up soon. Space's limited. But be there anyway for the free test drive of the Miata turbo, RX-8 auto that rides softer than the 3i, etc.
  • Uhh, you DID hear me say NY STATE, right? Apparently, both Mazda and you think NY State ends at the NY City Newburgh, no Buffalo, no Albany, no Poughkeepsie....grr...ok, the first car company that relizes that there's more to NY State than NY City gets a cookie. :)

    Hmm, might have to go just to try out the RX8 though, even though I'm not worthy. BTW, don't knock my 3s suspension. ;)
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    "That's because, when it comes to Mazda, there IS no comparison. ;)"

    A lot of people may think Mazda is king, but C&D nailed it. They found the Mazda6 running out of suspensions travel even easier than the Accord's softer setting. The Accord's long springs made it the king in this area.

    It seems the "Focus system" has failed & is no match for the BMW 3-series. The SVT may ride & handle like the 3-series w/ the lowered sport suspension but not the ride/handling compromise of the 325i sedan's longer-travel regular suspension.

    I like the new S40's interior, but as the Brit magazines(i.e., AUTOCAR, etc.) pointed out that the T-5's ride comfort doesn't have the 3-series/Jag X-Type's last 15% of polish , while not having the handling composure to cope w/ its own 17" wheels. Was that the regular or sport suspension? Even if it's the regular & you can upgrade to sport suspension to improve the composure, the ride will be even worse still. Anyway, for us buyers here, take the sport suspension w/ the 16"s as equipped on the 2.4i sport & forget about being power greedy by getting the T-5 turbo that lacks direct throttle response. Also, the T-5 sport's 17" wheels made "the T-5 stampedes down a typical British B-road rather than flowing with poise."(p.57, 23 March 2004 AUTOCAR) & its std T-tech-fabric power driver seat & auto climate control are point less, as their lack of memory feature & charcoal filtration, respectively, have no true advantage over the std 2.4i. Keep the $2800 in your pocket. The T-5's 6-sp manual has no significant quietness advantage over the 5-sp manual.

    Ok, so you may not need to push the handling envelope that hard, but the electro-hydraulic steering assist really cuts down the everyday steering feel & ruins the fun. BMW seems to realize the problem. After their Mini Cooper w/ the electric-assisted steering, BMW decided to keep the conventional pure-hydraulic power-steering unit driven by the good o'engine belt on the upcoming compact -- the 1 & 2 series. They're also smart enough to make the i-drive only as an option.
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  • Ok, bear with me, but where do you get the "Focus system" as having failed by pointing out a car that doesn't even use it? May I in turn point out that the "Focus system" in the Focus has gotten high marks from C&D, Auto Week, and many other car magazines, and even those haters of American Iron, Consumer Reports! The Mazda3's "Focus system" is well thought of by C&D, Auto Week, and Edmunds, and will probably do well in others when they get to it.

    Now it IS possible that Volvo tried to dampen it too much to give it a plushy "luxo-ride" and it messed up the chassis/suspension balance, but Volvo never really marketed it as a sporty car, but as more of a entry-level luxury car with some sporting intentions. You have to remember, Ford's Premiere Auto Group isn't just some willy-nilly glob of automakers; each one tends toward a specific brand identity. Near as I can figure, this is how they come out:

    Ford: Ho-hum rental fleet, Trucks
    Mercury: Entry-level quasi-luxury, rental fleet
    Lincoln: Limos, Hurses. ;) Luxury cruiser type things (LS not withstanding).
    Jaguar: Sport/Luxury (sort of like a British BMW)
    Mazda: Sporty vehicles
    Volvo: Luxury/Safety
    Land Rover: SUVs, African Safari supplier :)
    Aston Martin: Bond-mobiles, missiles optional. :D

    Of course Volvo isn't going to measure up to Jaguar..the Jaguar is a larger, more costly vehicle, and Ford isn't interested in cannibalizing its own sales, now is it?

    Also keep in mind that you haven't even gotten to check out the US spec suspensions on the V40 don't even know if it's going to be the same as Euro spec, tighter, or looser.
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    bothered to compare the Mazda6 to the A4/X-Type/3-series/S60, & even the Passat W8 to the 5-series/E-class! & the 3-series Compact hatch to compact cars like Golf, WRX, etc.

    These comparison tests are entertaining, as we expect some of the best economy alternatives to compete w/ the Beemer.

    The Passat lost miserably in steering, handling & ride.

    The Mazda6 is so behind in refinement, including a crashing ride & especially noise isolation.

    "Now it IS possible that Volvo tried to dampen it too much to give it a plushy "luxo-ride" and it messed up the chassis/suspension balance, but Volvo never really marketed it as a sporty car, but as more of a entry-level luxury car with some sporting intentions"

    The whole point is that you either get the ride or the handling, if not both. Like how the C-class gets the ride comfortably if not the handling/steering of the 3-series.

    Sure, I've yet to experience the N.A. S40's. But judging from these preliminary reports, the std 325i sedan can do better than the S40 in BOTH ride & handling composure, plus better steering feel from the conventional power assist. Not that the S40/Focus is bad. It's just why can't the even-better BMW platform be donated(or sold) to a more-economical-car company such as a reliable Japanese like the Focus platform did w/ Mazda? ;-) In the late '90's, Ssanyong of Korea bought the W124 blue print from the '86-95 E-class. I hope the old E36 3-series' formula can be for sale to some reliable Japanese company so we consumers can all benefit?

    I'm actually one step ahead of them when comes to the "ride comfort" std, 'cause they're only using the 3-series w/ the lowered sport suspension(std in Euro since '02) for comparison. No wonder Automobile found the Focus SVT steers & rides about at well as the 3-series.
  • Well, if the Focus SVT steers and rides as wel as a 3 series, then the VolvoS40 concievably can as well, depending on how they spec the suspension in the USA. Probably best to head to a dealer and just try one out.
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    As one Brit magazine did a recent comparison of the present Focus w/ the new Golf, Astra, etc., they said that you will never find a car this fun to drive again(the present Euro Focus).

    So I have a feeling that if you still want that fun meaty steering by avoiding these newer-designed cars' e.h. assist , then you still have to settle w/ the upcoming '05 Focus ST "SVT sedan" w/ so-so luxury refinement.

    In a way, we lucky North Americans are the only consumers to enjoy the old Focus that soldiers on. Now, Euro tuned, w/ ok reliability.
  • "In a way, we lucky North Americans are the only consumers to enjoy the old Focus that soldiers on. Now, Euro tuned, w/ ok reliability."

    Personally, I'll take the one built in Hiroshima wih Japanese reliability. ;) But I'm mighty glad Ford backed it, and Volvo developed the safety features on the chassis.

    However, those who want a plushy ride weren't gonna be happy with the Ford or Mazda versions of this platform. And since I don't see Lincoln doing something with it (Maybe Mercury or Jag, but NOT Lincoln) that leaves Volvo, which needed an S40 replacement anyway.

    Come to think of it, Jag might be well-advised to consider something based off of this platform, maybe as the next X-Type or a new model.
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    First, it is the next Passat that gave up on the Audi design & went for the Focus system, at least on the rear suspension of FWD models.

    So since no one else is now stupid enough to mount the engine north-south ahead of the front axles just to drive the rear wheels on the AWD models easier than transverse mount, Audi decided to replace the cramped-back-seat A4 by continuing w/ that 924 formula -- that's right, a RWD platform. & so will the next Jag X-type. & this is gonna leave the Volvo S40 the only premium Euro Ford w/ transversely-mounted engine. The next S60/80 will not adopt the Ford platform & will even replace the next Mondeo!

    The Porsche 924 was designed by VW in the '70's & badged as an Audi in Europe!

    When a car is less nose heavy, it can handle better w/o sacrificing comfort. That's why some of these RWD cars are so good at ride/handling compromise.

    The CR comparison test also found the 4-cyl Mazda6i w/ 16"s out-handles & out-rides the 6-cyl Mazda6s w/17"s!

     creakid1 "Acura TSX vs. Mazda6" Mar 29, 2004 12:02pm
    creakid1 "Mazda3" Mar 6, 2004 4:40pm
    So, therefore, the 3-series w/ sport suspension is still far from supreme comfort. No wonder the Focus SVT matches.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 21,961
    The BMW STARTS at $29K and the X-type STARTS at $30K. Why are these being compared to the much cheaper S40??

    '17 F150 Crew 2.7; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '09 LR2 HSE. 44-car history and counting!

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 24,861
    I may have lost track, but it sounds like you should get down to the BMW dealer while they still have good deals on the current style 3 series, or just pick up a nice cheap Focus.

    You also sound like a good candidate for a trip to the local performance shop. Just get the car you like otherwise, and the right components can give you any level of ride/handling you want, assuming the underlying chassis is a good design.

    New shocks/struts/springs (depending on car)can do wonders to fix the ride/handling flaws of an S40, TSX, or BMW for that matter. May not be able to do much about the steering feel, but changing the suspension can probably minimize (or hide) the impact of the e.h. set-up.

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

  • Maybe you have to go up that high to find something that beats an S40? ;)

    Hehe, seriously, the 3 series, while priced higher, is a similar class of car, so a comparison there is inevitable and valid. I dunno where the X-type came's a size bigger.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I think the S60 is a competitor for those.

    S40 might end up competing with the upcoming 2 series, or 1 series if BMW brings over a sedan.

    If you eyeball the 1 series pics, Volvo has it all over BMW, no comparison, both inside and out.

    S40 might also compete with the Saabaru, i.e. Saab 9-2x.

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 21,961
    I think the S40 and TSX are direct competitors. So, if the 3-series is compared to the S40, then, by default, the TSX would have to be compared to the 3-series. Yet, as we all know, the real comparison is the 3-series to the TL.

    It just never fails. Anytime any new car comes around, folks have to compare it to the much more expensive BMW. Its just so tiring. To fairly compare, I think we'll have to take the S40 and add thousands in aftermarket upgrades. Its only fair. ;)

    '17 F150 Crew 2.7; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '09 LR2 HSE. 44-car history and counting!

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Yeah, guess it depends on whether you're looking at size or price. Or even performance.

    In its price range the 3 series is very small, no way could I cram my family (with luggage) even in the wagon.

    A V70 has room to spare. Even a V50 might have more cargo space, if not more passenger space.

  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    "I dunno where the X-type came's a size bigger."

    "I think the S60 is a competitor for those."

    Rear-leg-room wise, neither the X nor the S60 are really bigger inside than these little guys just like the TSX. They're only superficially half-a-size longer outside.

    I find the 325i sedan's rear leg room, when the front seats are tilted high(including the thigh angle), significantly roomier than even the RX-8.

    The Canadians get the 2.2 320i to compete w/ the S40 2.4i while the 325i competes w/ the S40 T-5, which has a higher output due to the turbo "but overtaking and using the engine's full performance often feels like too much hard work."(AUTOCAR). So, performance wise, the T-5 hardly has an edge over the 325i.

    The TSX is a much-less-expensive car when similarly equipped.

    The 325i has std DSC & climate control w/ charcoal-filter/smog-detecting recirculation, so the T-5(charcoal/s-d rec not available in N.A.) w/ DSC is only $1600 less than the std 325i.

    The 1 or 2 series doesn't just got no room for adults' legs in the back but also the spare tire as well! & only the coupe will eventually make it to N.A. & w/ only 4-tires(no spare).
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    "New shocks/struts/springs (depending on car)can do wonders to fix the ride/handling flaws of an S40, TSX, or BMW for that matter."

    What if the S40 w/ sport suspension is already the best tuning setting for this chassis?

    Heh heh heh, believe me, you don't want to risk your $ & time experimenting forever. See my past R&D on the Protege platform:
    creakid1 "Focus Owners: Future Models" May 7, 2003 3:21pm
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 24,861
    Suspension settings are like tires. There is no "best" solution, and the manufacturer (except in extreme applications) has to try for a compromise to please as man buyers as possible. So, you end up with sorta sporty/sorta luxury.

    If you want go cart like handling and ride be damned, do it. You want to drive your sofa and corner like a 1971 LTD, do it. Volvo has to cover everyones nut with just a (mild) sport package and 17" wheels to do it.

    I do agree that you can spend a bundle experimenting, so I would want a tested out package from a reputable source so you know what to expect. But, as you have pointed out, just changing the shocks/struts can make a world of difference.

    Anyway, my theory remains that no car (at least that I can afford) is perfect, but there is a lot of pretty damn good out there these days. And an S40 (and TSX, and Mazda 3) are certainly in this category.

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

  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    & I'm talking about the old 5-series w/o any active swaybar. It's such a no-compromise car that it beats the previous E-class in every way including quietness, ride, handling & steering.(per CR comparison)

    No wonder BMW had to keep that back seat cramped w/ bad seating posture so Mercedes won't try to leap-frog back at BMW.
  • caminacamina Posts: 31
             You cut-n-paste beautifully. What's your point ? Try to show some more intelligence and explain yourself.
  • caminacamina Posts: 31
    Yes, your are correct but that was recently changed. Up until that change CR stated the 3 Series reliability had fallen below average and the car was no longer recommended. The same was true with Audi A4, Mercedes C240, and VW Jetta. There were not many German cars recommended by CR other than the VW Passat.

    This is what is on paper. In the real world, ask anyone who has owned a German car or a mechanic and they will tell you they are nutorios for electrical problems. My friend leased a convertible Mercedes. It has been at the dealer 14 times for electrical problems. He said never again and would buy a Lexus in a heartbeat.

    Yes, the Volvo S60 was recommended and I looked at the 2003 last Spring/Summer when Volvo was offering the $5K rebate. I loved the looks both inside and out. However, the turning radius was 40 ft compared to the 3 Series 35 ft. Also, I could not stand the pillow-like headrest. They block your side/back vision.

    This is something I would have a hard time getting use to. I realize they are designed to protect against wiplash but what good is it if it will cause you to rely on your side mirrors and possibly hit people.

    The last straw was the dealer wouldn't look outside thier lot for the color and options I was looking for. They wanted me to buy a new 2004 off thier lot.

    So, this is why I waited a long time for the S40 and am extremely disappointed when I saw the console. It's not about getting with the times. It's about paying 27.1K for a car that you feel looks cheap on the inside.

    If the console just had a regular base behind it, buying this car would be a no brainer. This was a risk that Volvo didn't have to take and they will pay for it.
  • Hey, Camina,
    Take it easy. We've got it. You do not like the new console. Just do not try to ram this into our throats :-).
    Give some room for other opinions, would ya?
  • I personally found that new console in S40 futuristic, unusual, something that need to "grow on you", but not cheap by any stretch of imagination.
    And why do you need to make everyone dislike it?
    Get a BMW, it's a great car, but it's a bit presumptuous for me. Volvo, i think fits a niche for the people who wants to drive something a bit out of ordinary, but with a style, safety and very decent handling, and not been perceived as "snobby". The BMW creates the definite " I am an ambitious driver" image.
  • I just have one question: do you like the center console? Hehe, kidding kidding, easy ;)

    From what I understand, that console was designed hat way intentionally, to provide storage space behind it. Though it probably would have looked better if it were ENCLOSED storage, it's intended to be open back there.
This discussion has been closed.