1998 Volvo S40 SE 1.8 from UK and Ireland


Rides like the car out of the Flintstones, but a nice executive car


Left reverse light failed two weeks after the car was purchased.

General Comments:

Apart from the fact that I think all Volvos do not have suspension, this is a pretty good car. I pity the driver that decides to take on a road hump at ten miles an hour in this car.

The ride is smooth and although the 1.8 does struggle a bit on hills, on the motorway it can fly along at 110+ with relative ease.

No creaking or groans from the car as of yet which is always a good sign. And apart from the oddly slow acceleration in first gear, the mid to high end power is very well distributed on this. That may have something to do with the fuel injection and the 16 valve engine.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 1st March, 2002

1998 Volvo S40 T4 SE 1.9 high pressure turbo from UK and Ireland


Comfortable, safe, practical... flying machine


Nothing has gone wrong with the car so far, I heard about some 'pinging' problems on early T4's under hard acceleration so my friends down the dealership downloaded the E.C.U upgrade to smoothen out the power-band.

General Comments:

Wolf in sheeps clothing?

What ever you want to call it, other than the neat BBS alloys and low suspension, this car looks subtle compared to my last car, the ST200 Ford Mondeo.

It is lot quicker too, the through the gears power is really rapid and will challenge most cars on the road.

It is also very smooth and 100mph feels like 60, which can get you into trouble!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th November, 2001

1998 Volvo S40 T4 CD 1.9 turbo petrol from UK and Ireland


The best high performance comfortable car for the money


Lost centre caps on two of the alloy wheels.

General Comments:

Superb car. The mid range power makes for very easy overtaking. The handling is also fantastic. Only downside to this car is that wet weather traction from a standing start is not good. Extremely comfortable and well equipped.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th June, 2000

1998 Volvo S40 T4 1.9 turbo petrol from UK and Ireland


ECU has packed up more times than I can remember.

Exhaust sensors have blown everytime you hit the red line, causing the car to stall, it even stalls when going along at speed, if the clutch is pressed, so the engine is at idle. Erratic behavior from engine when stationary, the rev counter can shoot up to 2k-4k rpm.

The build quality is very poor, I have had turbo pipes fall off. Windows clunk when shut, battery cannot stand cold weather, I was stuck in the French Alps once.

The dealers feed you lies, when it is broken. Volvo UK does not want to know about the problems, they say it is the garage's responsibility. Air bags did not deploy in a 20mph crash!

Car has too much power at the front for the weight at the front, in the wet the traction is crap. The so-called traction control (DSA) does not work in wet or dry when the car is pushed to its limits. As a performance saloon, this car is very fast, goes round corners nicely, but reliability is very bad. Volvo are trying to make fast cars, but the cars only like being driven by old gits with dogs! Luckily I do not pay for my petrol, as it does around 10-15mpg when driving it hard.

Saying all this, I do like the performance, and as it is a company car I do not have to worry about costs etc.. It does annoy me when the car is off the road due to faults, as I like to drive it.

General Comments:

One thing I have learned from this car is, if you want performance, buy a rear wheel drive car, which has fat tyres so traction control systems are not required.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 8th May, 1999

4th Jan 2001, 08:11

Traction control is usually for low speeds (i.e. 0-40 kph) or icy conditions to stop the wheels spinning.

10th Dec 2001, 03:40

I own Australian delivered 1998 S40 T4, have had the same driver's side window problem, required the replacement of a window switch.

Also experienced the O2 sensor error counts when redlined with subsequent stalling and erratic idle; this also occurs when the ambient temperature is above 38C.

Build quality is good and economy is always better than 10ltr/100km.

Agree that car has too much power for front wheel drive, torque steer a problem when accelerating hard from a standing start.

29th Sep 2007, 21:03

I have owned my Volvo S40 T4 for two years. It is a Japanese Import made in 1998. I am the first New Zealand owner since it was imported in 2005. I had no hassles to date. I bought this car because I looked different from a Merc and BMW.

I have kept everything in the car factory spec except the alloy wheels, which were 14 inch factory wheels. Now looks sporty on 17 inch wheels on low profile tyres. It really looks a part.

It car can really rock off at the lights, if needed.

I'm at the moment really happy I own this car.

I wish we had more access to aftermarket parts in New Zealand.