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New S40/V50



  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    although we bought one too soon back in April '03 & paid MSRP + the $300 for the "required" dealer accessories.

    Last night we test drove the 325i w/ std suspension, & one comment from one of us is "the TSX is a junky car!" In case you wonder why isn't the TSX w/ sporty-suspension & 17"s satisfying us while the lower-limit-handling 325i w/ the std soft-suspension does. Well, the TSX's steering that can't let you feel the tire grip just can't built enough confidence for MOST drivers, so they never bothered to approach near its handling limit! Plus the std 325i rides whole lot cushier. Even in routine handling, the 325i seems to let the driver go however he likes more intuitively.

    So we ordered one to be built in May w/ memory seating & the no-cost SULEV to keep the environment clean! Since only Germany builds the SULEV version, I guess this is the reward for protecting the environment. Otherwise, all the 325i's on the lot are assembled in S Africa w/ transmission from France.

    Leasing at $2825 drive off including $350 security deposit + 35 more payments of $299/mo at 10k mi/yr.

    So can anyone estimate how much does the new S40 depreciate over the next 3 yrs?

    Sure the TSX will last forever w/o costly repairs, but we'll have to ask the 16-yr old in the family to take over this "left over" car -- the "abandoned child" in no time! ;-)

    I checked out the before. It seems that the 320i costs only slightly less than the 325i when similarly equipped after you add the DSC, auto climate control w/ charcoal, etc. The 330i does cost way more than the 325i when similarly equipped. The reason is simple. All 3 6-cyl engines cost about the same to build, but they black mail you for the torquy 3.0 that saves gas. So the 2.2 320i is not a good buy for the $.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    A MINIMALLY optioned 325, with the std suspension, is indeed a great car. It fits my template for a great touring car [as opposed to the ubiquitous "sports sedan"]. We narrowed our choice 18 months ago to the most basic 325 I could find, vs a heavily-discounted C240. We picked the latter [our 14th MB, but then there have been nearly 35 others of all import makes over the years, including 4 BMWs], but based as much on dealership and service as any real differences in the driving. The BMW is quicker, marginally better handling, but also a bit noisier and noticeably tighter in the back seat and trunk, vs the MB, but no one selecting one over the other would get any argument from me. [I belong to both BMWCCA and MBCA.]

    I was interested to see what Volvo was doing with the new S40 [we tried and rejected the original S40 a few years ago]. The price is aggressively high - how much higher than the market will ultimately bear remains to be seen. And for me, the T5 versions would all ride too firmly for my tastes. But early demand seems solid - I have a friend who works at a dual MB-Volvo dealership, and interest in the S40 has been lively.
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    "And for me, the T5 versions would all ride too firmly for my tastes."

    Sport suspension is a $750 option on the T-5 along w/ these fancy-looking 17"s. The T-5 only LOOKS the same as the 2.4i w/ optional sport suspension due to the wheels, fog lights, aluminum trims & the T-tech fabric.

    I tested the shocks w/ my 185-lb body-weight pushing the car on each outside corner. Guess what? The std T-5 is softer than the 2.4i w/ sport package.
  • p3dab5p3dab5 Posts: 5
    Has anyone figured out a clean way to hardwire an Apple Ipod into the stereo system on the new Volvo S40?

    It's my understanding that the stereo doesn't have an AUX port anywhere and obviously a replacement head unit is not an option with car's unique console design (not that I would want to replace it anyway!). I could always use an FM adapter but that seems so lame given the reduced sound quality... thanks!
  • p3dab5p3dab5 Posts: 5
    One more qustion: I read in one of the reviews of the S40 that the AWD system "will be tuned for speed, not slick driving conditions". First, is this true? Second, if it is, will there be a way to reprogram the system to handle slick conditions better (like the cross-country)? And finally, will the AWD system in its current form be able to handle mountain roads in Colorado?

    Thanks again!
  • jchagtdijchagtdi Posts: 55
    Thanks for providing us with the correct information regarding the import tariff savings (or lack thereof). All too often we (I mean me) read things in automotive magazines and forums, and blindly trust their contents. Thanks for clarifying that issue for us.
  • ejsjejsj Posts: 10
    Here's my situation - I'd like to find a compact car with a sporty feel but also some refinement, for under $25k. I thought I'd found the answer in the Jetta 1.8T until I learned about what a disaster it's been from a quality control perspective.

    I've heard lots of good things about the Mazda 3. More recently I've been intrigued by the S40 which of course shares the same platform. I figure I could get a base S40 2.4i, manual transmission for not much more than a loaded Mazda 3 sedan. But I imagine the Volvo would be more comfortable and better insulated against noise. I have a long freeway commute so highway ride and quietness are important. Of course, I haven't driven either car yet, but was curious about any opinions you might care to share.
  • "the savings for them comes from cutting out Volvo NA"

    I am confused and have tendency to believe that our respected experts are not quite accurate there.

    I have an OSD Order Confirmation in front of me, that clearly states that I am buying my XC90 from Volvo Cars of North America, LLC via their Overseas Delivery program.

    Also, doesn't it surprise you, that the OSD program available only in US and Canada, but VCNA somehow is "cut out"?

    Any comments?
  • caminacamina Posts: 31
    What is SULEV ?
  • Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle
  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    The S40 AWD system is the same system as the Cross Country. It lacks the Cross Country's ride height and M/S tires.
    This coupled w/ the S40 T5 running on all season tires is probably why the "tuned for speed" comment was made.
    My R is "tuned for speed" yet handles bad weather very well. Obviously, if you live in Colorado you may want to invest in snow tires no matter what you drive.

    On the Original OSD purchase order, the letter head is Volvo Car Corporation, which is Sweden.
    Also, on page 2 there are instructions for wire transfers directly to Sweden. The OSD dept runs out of Volvo headquarters in Irvine CA, and uses VCNA's facilities. Does VCNA get something out of this? Yes. But they are not the importer. You the owner are. The cars MSO(Manufacturers statement of Origin) will have your name, not VCNA's on it.
    All of our new cars have VCNA's name in the MSO.
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    from the Pasadena dealer.

    Both over bumps & fwy.

    My immediate impression from the back seat of the S40 sport is the that I don't want this car due to the tight-ride alone so the test drive's over. The Mazda3 only rides a tad worse w/ a little more harshness & quicker rebound. Then as I floored the 2.4 5-cyl onto the fwy, the 5-cyl growls in an agonizing way compare to 6-cyl's. As abrupt lane changes were done at 60 mph & lower speeds, the rear tire grip was absolutely unaffected, unlike the Mazda3.

    Then as I switched to the T-5 std(only $2050 more than the 2.4i sport), the engine worked far less hard &, therefore, less noisy. The power curve change/lag is not obvious like the Passat 1.8 turbo's "2-stage feeling", & is not even easy to pin point where exactly the "stairway change" is, but rather, a fairly gradual change. So there seems to be enough time for the driver to adjust the throttle even w/ stick shift.

    The ride is more tolerable & reasonable, but still not a deep feeling like the C240 Sport. No Focus ever provided a deep long-travel feeling before anyway.

    The handling is actually fine w/o the sport suspension. It's not like when you push it hard the roll/pitch will happen instantly & use up the travel, since the car remains stable w/ all the body movements still in slow motion so you have time to adjust.

    Overall, this car wins my heart pretty well, as it does everything pretty well. & I believe the driving position/posture & the seat played a big roll. But I still suspect that, in order to compete w/ the non-sport 325i's handling & ride comfort, the S40 needs the sport suspension's handling & the std suspension's ride comfort.

    Quietness on the concrete fwy seems ok & above average.

    Ventilation noise is reasonable if you disperse the outlets, & changing to the recirculate-mode does not blast loudly like typical cheaper Japanese cars do.

    Steering wise, I didn't notice anything. In other words, neither good nor bad, neither too quick or too slow, neither brimming w/ feeling nor numb, & works pretty intuitively. The 325i's steering doesn't have that much more feel, at least in routine handling. But I didn't test the "at the limit" feel, as I only barely squealed the tires cornering both S40's.

    I believe the 16" T-5 std(w/o sport suspension) is the best S40 combo.

    Premium sound system is already nearly $900, & the factory subwoofer, available as dealer-install only, costs another $1100! So I was advised to find aftermarket alternative. What I hate about the Volvo system is the lack of adjustable mid-range besides the std bass/treble. The Mazda3 does but premium upgrade isn't available at least for '04.
  • The Focus "control-blade" suspension has always been a bit stiffer than your typical American strut/link setup; Since Volvo and Mazda both use variations of it, it's not at all surprising that they would seem similarly stiff to the uninitiated (who happen to be looking for that "riding on a cushion of air" slow motion effect that "Harley Earl" talks about on Buick commercials). Creakid, we already know your suspension preferences run closer to Buick than Mazda. ;)

    I am wondering about the following statements though, and wondering if you could clarify them:

    "As abrupt lane changes were done at 60 mph & lower speeds, the rear tire grip was absolutely unaffected, unlike the Mazda3.", Does this mean the rear end held on BETTER than the Mazda3? I've found the Mazda's grip to be very good.

    "Then as I switched to the T-5 std(only $2050 more than the 2.4i sport), the engine worked far less hard &, therefore, less noisy. The power curve change/lag is not obvious like the Passat 1.8 turbo's "2-stage feeling", & is not even easy to pin point where exactly the "stairway change" is, but rather, a fairly gradual change. So there seems to be enough time for the driver to adjust the throttle even w/ stick shift." Were you able to find out the engagement point in the RPMs for the turbo,a and if so, what is it? Likely, since you were driving the stick, you managed to keep the RPMs high enough to keep the turbo engaged full-time. I wonder if an auto would be different?

    Sounds like you started off hating the car, and then ended up changing your mind. Exactly what about the car made you do so?
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    "Sounds like you started off hating the car, and then ended up changing your mind. Exactly what about the car made you do so?"

    I think one reason the std 325i never won my heart is b/c the shape of the seat & driving position, as I have to re-contour myself to fit this Beemer. The Volvo adjusts for my body, even the fixed headrest isn't too far off from Beemer's nice adjustable one. I just checked w/ the BMW parts -- you need to spend $2500 to buy ONE power sport cloth seat to include the lumber feature, albeit a good one w/ 4 ways.
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    “"As abrupt lane changes were done at 60 mph & lower speeds, the rear tire grip was absolutely unaffected, unlike the Mazda3.", Does this mean the rear end held on BETTER than the Mazda3? I've found the Mazda's grip to be very good.”

    Road-holding very high, & very good even on uneven surface. But this zoom-zoom tuning is too neutral that it even oversteers. Every time I made an abrupt lane change, the 3S, w/ both 16" & 17", always broke loose the tail a little.

    Yes, the S40's rear end held on BETTER than the Mazda3. None of today's S40's got the optional $695 DSC.

    The only time I oversteered-some in the S40 was when I did the maniac provoking of the DSC in the wet during the All Access drive.

    "Were you able to find out the engagement point in the RPMs for the turbo,a and if so, what is it?"

    Not really, that's why it didn't seem obvious.

    "Likely, since you were driving the stick, you managed to keep the RPMs high enough to keep the turbo engaged full-time. I wonder if an auto would be different?"

    The only turbo stick I tried was at the All Access drive. There was a one-time "2nd-stage power curve" being added way after I took off from stop. & nothing like that happened for the rest of the 60-second lap(all in 2nd gear).

    Today's auto car, as I repeatly lift off the throttle to search for the lag/boost-built-up-time, only shows a gradual change of some sort, fairly vaguely.
  • benjaminsbenjamins Posts: 56
    very informative. Sounds like you like the car, from you I regard the review as praise as you never really praise any car and are analytical over emotional.

    Does the Volvo feel like the Mazda and Focus, or does it feel like a Volvo-tuned car that perhaps may be using a supplied chassis?
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    I'm sure Volvo tuned the car the way they like, but this Focus II suspension never felt like it's got very long travel compare to Mercedes or maybe even BMW w/o sport suspension.

    The S40 sport has a fairly tight tuning, although still free from harshness, as if it's the std sport tuning from everywhere such as the '91 Sentra SE-R but w/ longer springs. Getting a Mazda3 isn't too much different from the S40 sport, either.

    The T-5's std suspension is the non-Japanese "everything's in slow motion" type of fun, as if you always have time to think & decide whatever next you want to play. ;-)

    For example, what happen when you add more front sway bar to restrict the front body roll? The car dissipates that energy as MORE understeer. Ditto the rear w/ the swaybar change. So as you make VERY abrupt lane change on the S40's std suspension & the body starts to roll slowly AND continuously. & before that travel stroke stops, you already finished the transition & corrected the steering back the other way to straighten the car. The whole process never pushed the the tires in any way, as if the elastic-but-still-calm suspension took the beating forces! Sure, you can't operate the car at the higher limit the sport suspension allows, but you actually got time to decide how you can provoke the car & choose different combinations while your passengers are being entertained by the comfortable & smooth transition that's also as fun like some sort of the mild amusement-park rides.

    npaladin2000 Apr 11, 2004 4:03am
    "Creakid, we already know your suspension preferences run closer to Buick than Mazda. ;)"

    I drove a Buick Regal from the '90's several times, &, no, I don't like its ride comfort at all. This FWD Buick didn't have much spring travel & there's not much STABLE slow motion to play around.

    The C240's non-lowered sport suspension fits my taste a whole lot more than Buick's, although might still oscillate a little too much if I push it hard.

    Since the 2.4i's 5-cyl isn't silent enough, the T-5 engine seems to be a must for a compact luxury. That's why it's available w/o the sport suspension(a $750 difference including the pretty 17" wheels).
  • Volvomax,
    I am hesitant to contradict your statements, but...

    OSD is run by Volvo Cars of North America.

    See the quotes from the Volvo Cars of North America, LLC corporate site:

    "Chicago, IL (February, 2004) --- For the first time ever, Volvo Cars of North America, LLC (VCNA) reports that its Overseas Delivery program outpaced the competition by a significant margin. With 2028 deliveries for 2003, Volvo topped second ranking BMW by 280 units, Mercedes-Benz by 1256 cars and Saab by 1956 deliveries. Year over year, the program has grown an astonishing 22.3 percent."

    VCNA is not just an importer fo the Volvo it's a part of the Volvo Cars of Sweden. See quote from the same site:

    "Volvo Cars of North America, LLC is part of the Volvo Car Corporation of Göteborg, Sweden. The company provides marketing, sales, parts, service, technology and training support to Volvo automobile retailers in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico."

    You provide a lot valuable advises to the readers of this site, but please keep the facts straight.


  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    venus537 Apr 2, 2004 8:12pm
    "the ride on the open highway can be a little busy, especially on less than perfect concrete highways. On smoother asphalt, the S40 is quiet and comfortable. I'm perfectly willing to admit that this complaint could be the result of a personal bias toward soft-riding highway cruisers, but the fact remains there are cars like the Acura TSX that offer both sharp handling and excellent highway manners"

    The TSX has an interesting tuning. It rides superficially plush due to extra-soft bushings(softer than Euro Accord's) and, therefore, misleadingly smooth most of the time. When the bumps are deeper than expansion joints, the vertical jolts coming through the TSX's taut-setting suspension into the passenger torso are more forceful than in the rather busy riding S40 sport & Mazda3. & by then, if you're not smart enough to figure it out, you'd probably still blame the road rather than the TSX's setting since the car is plush to begin with. No wonder French cars, which are deeply absorbent but not superficially plush, don't sell well in America. ;-)

    Pretty much all the time, the slow-body-movement T-5 w/o sport suspension pampers the passengers more than the TSX for sure, although the TSX got the taut-&-long-travel suspension that has more capacity to take bumps during hard cornering better than just about anyone else.

    I think the TSX would be an excellent car if they use firmer bushings to keep the tire-grip steering feel from completely washed out, & reduce some suspension tautness along w/ adding some slower rebound setting to relax the ride a bit. I think Acura's trying too hard to distinguish the TSX from the large Accord.

    So you might wonder why not just get the Accord if you don't mind the extra length. I don't know. The Accord still drives relatively boring & still doesn't seem to have that Euro-style calm suspension movement for me to play around. I believe some old-style French cars are fun to play around not just for cornering over deep bumps, but to double as an off-road vehicle while riding calm! No wonder I saw Peugeot 504 sedans in some old video shot in Africa.
  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    My facts are straight.
    OSD is administered by Volvo Cars Sweden.
    In their desire for sales #'s, VCNA last year started to count OSD cars towards their sales objectives.
    VCNA has no direct responsibility for the OSD dept.
    Yes, VCNA IS apart of Volvo, same way the say Volvo UK is. All that means is that I could sell a car for delivery in the UK and a salesperson in the UK could sell a car for delivery in the US.
  • anythngbutgmanythngbutgm Posts: 4,277
    Was at NY on Saturday and spoke with two of the girls and one of the men at the Volvo booth. All confirmed that an AWD S40 AND V50 will be available with the 6-speed and inline 5T!!! Even better? well how about a starting price for the above mentioned at $25,700? That's based on a pricing sheet that one of the reps had with him. The Gray V50 they had at the show was gorgeous, and they had the Candyapple red S40 which was stunning. Thank you Volvo!!!

    One downer, may be a big one, anyone notice how low the rear exhaust tips sticked out below the rear bumper. Seems like you'd have to choose your parking lots wisely and make sure the exit doesn't have to much of a dropoff. Could scrape those off pretty quickly :(

    Sorry, haven't gone through all of the posts, so maybe I'm re-iterating existing information.
  • Max,
    I have an impression that you work at the Volvo Dealership. Is it true? It seems that you have some issues with the VCNA, as you constantly is trying to diminish it's position in the Volvo Car Corporation.
    I would think, that VCNA has a major-major say there.

    How about this fact?

    "Ford taps N. American Volvo head as new Volvo chief
    Source: Yahoo

    DETROIT, June 6 (Reuters) - Ford Motor Co. (NYSE:F - news) on Tuesday named Volvo North American chief Hans-Olov Olsson as the new president and chief executive officer of the upscale Swedish car company, and set a goal of growing worldwide sales 50 percent by 2004.

    Olsson, 58, takes over from Tuve Johannesson, who ran the Volvo Car Corp. since October 1995. Johannesson becomes vice chairman of the board. Ford, the world's No. 2 automaker, bought the Volvo car unit in March 1999.

    Olsson said in an interview from Sweden his mission is to expand Volvo's worldwide sales volume from a projected 445,000 vehicles this year to 600,000 by 2004. At the same time, he will work to double the company's profitability from today's levels."

    The VCNA, LLC is an organizational part of the VCC (Volvo Car Corporation) as well as Volvo Car UK, Ltd.
    It's just one corporation with the divisions, controling major markets.

    And the US market is, by far, the biggest Volvo market in the world.

    My question to you is - Why do you want to separate the VCNA from the VCC?

    (Same as I still can not get why do you want to separate the DSTC from STC and ABS?)

    I also would like to have your e-mail, as it might be more comfortable for you and for me, if we can discuss some of the issues off-line.
  • venus537venus537 Posts: 1,443
    How much time have you spent in the T5? I would think not much. So how do you come to your "so sure" conclusions?
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    The pictures can be pretty clear even during brief test drives, unless you're talking about seating comfort that lasts hours. But then, these Volvo seats are always 2nd to none. Eventhough the TSX front seats are almost plagiarized from (the larger)Volvo's, they are just that much off in providing a perfect shape.

    This brief test drive includes the so-so surface-quality streets & concrete fwy plus 3 lengthy speed bumps(not the short ones, though, unfortunately), which I did accelerate & braking plus cruising diagonally over each one of them. The T-5 std's ride is not just less taut than the TSX but also has that luxury Euro-style slow motion not found in the TSX, although might not have the ultimate depth of travel the TSX can eventually provide in some extreme situations.
  • gambit293gambit293 Posts: 406
    25.7 seems a little low. I think the reps got confused. 25.7 is about what the normal T5 starts at(and I don't even think that includes destination). The non-AWD T5s I saw at the dealership were all well over 30. I think one of them was about 32/33.
  • venus537venus537 Posts: 1,443
    "Even though the TSX front seats are almost plagiarized from (the larger) Volvo's"

    your sort like the pink rabbit for that battery company when it comes to phrases that come out of left field. what's next?
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    in both the TSX & most Volvo's is that they can't be lowered sufficiently to fit the neck contour comfortably even for my 5'11" frame. I wonder if that was done intentionally to cover all different sizes of dummies for high crash-test score, since these tests probably only set the headrests at the lowest position & assume we're also bunch of dummies that don't know how to raise the headrest for each individual person.

    It is still a compliment that these large TSX front seats are almost Volvo like. Ever wonder why even the 325i w/ better ride/handling/steering compromise doesn't seem to win my heart as well as this new S40? I think it's because the Volvo lets me sit like a king.
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    '04.5 S40(assume MSRP under $24900)


    48 mo lease. $0 due at signing. $0 security deposit. $0.18 per mi over 12k mi/yr.

    4th yr & post-36k-mi maintenance not included.

    Compare to last weeks advertised '04 325i auto(MSRP under $30200) lease:

    $299/mo(x 35)

    36 mo lease. $2528 due at signing including $350 security deposit. $0.20(?) per mi over 10k mi/yr.

    All 4 yrs of maintenance included including wiper blades & brake pads.

    Both cars are quite comparable if you equip the S40 w/ the quiet-enough-to-compete turbo engine & DSC, while the charcoal filter(std in 325i) is not available for N.A. at this moment. The 325i also has fog lights & audio controls on the steering wheel std, just like the S40 T5.

    Our 325i w/ MSRP of under $31200 to be built has optional pwr seats w/ memory, which is only available on the S40 if you also get the turbo, leather & moonroof at MSRP of under $30400 including DSC. In the U.S., the 325i neither offers fabric interior nor available w/ lumbar adjustment, which might be seriously lacking according to BMW owners.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 22,091
    just a small nit to pick, but that 4-year included maintenance doesn't do a whole lot of good on a 36-month lease .... unless you decide to buy the car and the included service continues beyond the length of the lease terms.

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

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