My brakes failed after about a week, accompanied by the engine having trouble running properly. After bringing the car to a Volvo garage (REAL carefully), they found out it was some simple tube that caused the brakes to fail and the engine to take in too much air (don't remember exactly what it was; I'm no mechanic). It took them about three hours to find that, but were so gallant to not charge me for it.
One of the two lifters in the back popped off. Needs replacing. Will probably set me back a full 3 euros.
After a very long drive, the temperature meter suddenly dropped to zero. During the trip it would turn on and off at random. Only happened once, haven't had problems with it since.
This is my second 440. I had to sell my first one because of financial problems (was a student at the time).
One reason for me to buy another one is the comfortable seats; I recently drove for about eight hours straight and at no point did I feel uncomfortable in the car, nor did I have a backache or something similar afterwards. This car probably has the finest seats in its price range.
The interior space is another strong point. For passengers as well as for luggage this car offers a lot of room. I must add to that that the driver and front passenger are the most comfortable. If you're tall like me (1.90m and over), the back seats will not offer a lot of leg room. Persons of about 1.70m will be perfectly comfortable however.
The car performs well in the city and adequately on the highways. It'll get going pretty quickly, but could use more power when overtaking on highways.
The 1.8i is fortunately not a heavy drinker, and when treating the engine nicely, it can be quite the cost effective car.
It really needs power steering. Mine came without unfortunately, and it's the one thing I sorely miss. Navigating narrow streets, turning and sharp bends is sluggish. If you plan to get a 440, be sure it features power steering.
Tends to understeer a bit too much when at speed, or in wet. (or maybe I should just slow down)
The image people generally have of a 440, and perhaps Volvo in general is that of 'grandpa's car'. Why?