1997 Volvo S40 SE 2.) from UK and Ireland


I'd buy another one!


Minor wheel bearing problem at 31000 miles - fixed under warranty.

Alarm (not Volvo specification and fitted by another company) stopped working at 38000 miles.

General Comments:

This is my first Volvo and I am very happy with the performance and reliability of the car since I bought it.

Performance is great - more than enough for almost any situation to ensure safe progression - if you thought all Volvos were slow, you might be surprised how this one goes!

Handling is OK, though ride isn't great over poor road surfaces.

Cabin noise is reasonable, changing the tyres reduced transmitted road noise - engine can be a little 'boomy' and loud around 80 mph (which is an illegal speed of course!)

Seats are excellent and help ensure that long or short distances are travelled in comfort. In general the cabin is well planned with all controls to hand.

Good specification on this model - seat heaters, multi CD changer player, electric sunroof etc.

Although a saloon, load-space options are flexible with folding rear seat and front passenger seat folding flat too to allow long loads to be carried.

Although this car has been fine, driving more modern designs makes you realise the replacement for this model soon to be launched on the market is needed as the current version is getting a bit long in the tooth - still I would still buy another one, though I would almost certainly get a V40 instead for even more loading flexibility.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th September, 2003

1997 Volvo S40 CD 2.0 petrol Inj from UK and Ireland


A rough diamond


Ignition coil burnt out @ 123000, cost to fix £382 plus VAT at dealer who proceeded without telephoning me. Part available from German Swedish & French for less than £15.

All the front bushes are clonking again after 10000 miles since replacement. The anti roll bar bushes are an engine out job thanks to idiotic design.

The standard CD changer keeps crashing and has to be reset.

General Comments:

1) Performance better in warm weather than cold. 40-60mph seems a bit weedy.

2) Extremely noisy and intrusive engine very tiring on long motorway journeys.

3) Automatic gearshift very lumpy and unpleasant.

4) Leather seats not too bad (why not heated?) and interior quality generally OK, except shiny coating on dash controls, door handles etc that is scratching off.

5) Economy is bizarre, ranging anywhere between 24mpg and 38mpg average. It likes being driven everywhere at a steady 45mph which is extremely unfortunate because I don't.

Just about every mechanical aspect of this car could have been improved by an extra £50 in research and development or five minutes intelligent thought. That is what Volvo is usually best at.

This is extremely annoying as the quality of construction after 135000 miles is every bit as good as new, it can be fun when you're in the right mood and it looks the part. This car could have been perfect. V70 next, I think.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th July, 2003

11th May 2005, 10:22

Update - May 2005. Mileage now 196000 and nothing, not even a headlamp, has gone wrong since. Was going to ditch it, but now going to run it into the ground. Engine has opened up considerably since 175000.

1997 Volvo S40 S 1.8 petrol from UK and Ireland


Bargain BMW


The gearbox oil seals started leaking at 52000 miles and a week after I bought the car.

The immobilizer started cutting in so the car wouldn't start, the key had to be replaced. This was also within the first week of buying the car.

The gears became unobtainable after I got the car back from the dealer for the gearbox seals to be replaced.

General Comments:

The car is very comfortable and the heated seats are a real bonus.

Performance is very acceptable and the acceleration is brisk, it is very competent at high speeds.

There were however a few glitches when I first got the car, but they were soon sorted out by the dealer who did his best to help me.

It offers terrific value for money compared to a BMW 3 series, if only the S40 was rear wheel drive.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th January, 2003

1997 Volvo S40 T4 1.9 Turbo from Austria


An strange noise from the rear axle.

Engine regulation light occaisonally comes on.

No other problems so far (25000km).

General Comments:

The traction check (DSA) is useless in the wet, the regulation intervenes much too late. On dry roads the traction is surprising good.

All in all, exactly the vehicle I wanted.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th October, 1999

1997 Volvo S40 CD 2.0 from UK and Ireland


Nothing has gone wrong. This is my seventh Volvo and I'm still in my thirties! Perhaps safety is of paramount importance to me.

General Comments:

Comfort is not so good as in my previous Volvo, an 850 but far superior to that of the 240. I don't like the lack of rear windscreen wipers and the fact you have to actively switch the lights to neutral and they STILL stay on is annoying. Swedish legislation I suppose. The number of times neighbours have had to come and tell me I've left my lights on is embarrassing. Still, despite its faults, I love it!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd February, 1998