2006 Volvo S40 1.6

Summary:

I have come to hate the sight of it

Faults:

Had to be returned to the dealer on the day of purchase, as the paint work was faulty on the front wing.

2009 - Power steering failed due to a leak in the hydraulic system.

2009 - Goes into intermittent safe mode repeatedly. Codes indicate faulty accelerator pedal/sensor. Replaced, but failed 10 miles down the road.

2010 - ABS system failed.

2010 - Doors refused to open (not for the first time). Just lucky an elderly relative was not trapped inside.

2012 - Went into safe mode again because of accelerator pedal issues. Replaced for the third time. Continued to go into reduced power mode intermittently almost at once.

2013 - Problem continues.

This is why I will never buy a Volvo again, nor recommend one. Dealers have been very unhelpful. I could say more. The worst car I have ever owned.

General Comments:

Avoid.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 28th February, 2013

2006 Volvo S40 SE Sport 2.0 turbo diesel

Summary:

99.9% as good as a Beemer

Faults:

Very minor oil leak from the rocker cover, fixed without fuss under warranty.

General Comments:

This car tends to be pitched as an Audi/BMW alternative by much of the motoring press. I can see why, the build quality is excellent, but for me there is no contest in this 3 way comparison; it's well known that the BMW 3 Series is a superb machine, but unfortunately it gained a reputation as being a bit of a berk mobile, being regularly spotted cutting people up and tailgating on the motorways with a general "get out of my way, I own the road" kind of stigma. It seems like the Audi A4 / A3 and VW Golf are now taking over this role, maybe the Beemer will lose its stigma if all the berks switch to VW/Audi ownership.

The S40, while in my opinion being very nearly as good as the Beemer and the Audi, doesn't suffer this reputation, you can still run around in a quality car, AND be let out at junctions by other motorists.

The interior is a pleasant place to be, quality plastics and a clean and tidy layout, the floating centre console is a work of art, seats are the best available, very comfortable on long journeys.

The Ford/PSA diesel engine is a touch noisy, but is very gutsy and returns 50 to the gallon as an average.

The dealer is brilliant, very very helpful, servicing is reasonable, but I nearly fell over backwards when I got a quote for new tyres; avoid the 17 inch wheels, they look great but you need to re-mortgage the house to change the tyres.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th October, 2008

22nd Jun 2012, 20:52

The only thing I would disagree about is regarding the interior. When new, it looked pretty good if a little low-rent compared to the German brands. But after 5 years, EVERYTHING has fallen apart. Oh, no, the seats are still great. But the door panels are so creaky that it sounds like shattering glass when you pull the door shut. The dash material has aged badly, almost dry rotting a little bit. The paint on the radio/climate buttons has faded, so you wouldn't know what button is which unless you are used to the car. That is the one issue with this car, the interior has not held up well at all.

Other than that, it's been a good car, reliable and pretty quick.

2nd Mar 2013, 14:26

I most certainly would not suffer such interior failures in such a young vehicle. Indeed, I would be contacting Volvo and demanding replacements. I would expose these faults to the media, including my own self made videos. This review has given me very sore misgivings over the brand. Am I correct?

3rd Mar 2013, 08:19

Given all the problems that a car can have, I think exposing the whole brand because of the interior issues is a bit much - it's not as if the car has blown up or anything.

Quality improved on these models after 2007, and some materials were upgraded. Audi/VW are no better after a few years - I know as most of the 'soft touch' plastic switches, etc had worn right out after 3 years! (Audi A4)

The Volvo S40 I had before that was a 2004, and had 155,000 miles on when sold with only one button that had worn - exceptional, and my current V50 is even better so far, so initially the quality doesn't seem as good, but is no worse than some of the German brands after a couple of years.

17th Jul 2013, 17:56

I've just bought a 2006 model. I'm sorry you have a bad interior. The dash material on mine is still almost perfect, the lettering on dials and switches is excellent, and the 'wood' centre column still looks new.

Perhaps this is because I live in England, where the weather is so bad UV damage is not a problem!