Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Volvo S40



  • ggeckoiiiggeckoiii Posts: 17
    Hi, considering a S40 and need some help:
    The Volvo web site is at least a year behind the sites of other manufacturers, its a brochure site.

    What, I cant make my own Volvo? Where's the photo gallery? The 360 degree zoom IPIX interior and exterior views? OMG --- no Flash presentation!

    I won't hold this as a grudge against Volvo, but, in lieu of the above features, can someone share links to Volvo S40 photos (interior/exterior/different colors) ?

    Audio Options?
    In earlier posts, someone also asked about this but there wasn't a response. Maybe other newbies have signed on?
    First, with CD changer pre-wiring, where does the
    CD changer go? (I hope not the trunk -- pain to change those CDs while driving)

    Second, what are the options for replacing the factory cassette stereo in the dash (SC-813 AM/FM cassette stereo) with a brand name CD player (Clarion,Nakamichi,etc)? What fits/is compatible? Does audio improve?

    BTW, why can't I get the weather package without heated sites? I'm in Texas. How about instead making "frozen seats" standard?

  • ggeckoiiiggeckoiii Posts: 17
    Well, that was quick -- 1 day later Volvo has a "Design Your Volvo" section, some Flash and more photographs of models.

    But, I'd still appreciate a view of various S40 photos :)
  • rollierollie Posts: 337
    It all depends on what you want and how you want it! For example, if you are opting for Euro delivery and a S80 you can order and configure the car online, do the financing online, etc. through Volvo's website (and have been able to for about a year or so as I recall).

    Generally speaking, Volvo has been out ahead of all manufacturers when it comes to web usage. They were the first auto manufacturer on the web and learned some hard but valuable lessons as a result (read the book 'CyberRules' for more information).


  • Just thought I'd pass along that Ford's influence is going to penetrate the S40 on the next model of the S40 (if it's still called the S40). Word has it that since the S40 is almost the same size as the S70/60, Volvo is going to base the next "small sedan" on the Ford Focus platform. But for the next couple years, you're ensured of getting a Volvo as far as the 40 is concerned...
  • rollierollie Posts: 337
    Regarding post #254:

    rktcyntst, I read this as well but I recall reading that it will be based on the platform for the next generation Focus, not the current iteration (which is a very good platform for what it's worth - just don't know if it lends itself to the traditional Volvo experience). Of course there are those who feel the current 40 series is not Volvo-like so who knows...

  • bgkbgk Posts: 2

    I'm considering an S 40, and I'm wondering does the sports plus package add anything more to the exterior body detail other than front fog lights and a spoiler. Do current owners have any opinions about Touring vs Sports Plus packages?

  • ggeckoiiiggeckoiii Posts: 17
    Check out the UK Volvo S40 section:

    Great movie, why not on US site? Good gallery.
    A 2.0 option! choose wheels! 13 colors!! 3 shades of blue (Azure Blue is great IMO) !!! These are options for all of Europe.

    Hey Volvo, I'd buy a 2.0T4 S40 Manual Azure Blue or Pacific Blue Metallic fully loaded in a heart-beat. Win this stinking American over Acura!
  • wdrwdr Posts: 11
    My understanding of the next S40 is that it will share a platform with the next gen Focus and possibly Mazda. The platform will not be a straight Ford platform, but rather a combo of the small-car platform that Volvo had developed before the buyout and Ford's input. I trust that although some componentry may be shared Volvo will not allow the S40 to become just a gussied up Focus.

    By the way, I do love my S40. The engine is wonderful! I would like to see however an upgraded tire/wheel package, as well as a manual tranny.

    To those who may be put off by the apparent lack of interior storage, I would say that I intially had the same concern. But after 4 months I've found that there actually is a quite a bit of useful storage space inside (seat pockets, under the steering column, door map pockets, the CD slots in the back of the glove box).

    I too would like to hear any experiences with hooking up aftermarket CD changers to the factory-installed "pre-wiring".
  • bgkbgk Posts: 2
    I went to a dealer in CT today and he advised me to wait until July to buy an S 40 since the 2001's will arrive by then and will have significant interior and some ext changes.

  • zmpo02zmpo02 Posts: 1
    I have an S40 now with 800 miles on it. I bought it a Volvo of Charleston (SC). Seriously looked at a Passat, Jetta. I've owned 3 VW's so this was a change. One complaint - the roof liner in the rear seating area 'buzzes', vibrates as you go down the road at any speed - I think the liner isn't stiff enough. I have a sunroof so this is where the cover slides into. Dealer said they did all sorts of things to get rid of it. Not yet. Doesn't make any noise if the car is hot but in the morning it makes a noise. Dealer fixed up paint chips, but other than that I like it a lot.
  • 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.
  • 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.



    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.


  • 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".


  • 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.


  • 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.
This discussion has been closed.