Relatively high depreciation made this car very good value to purchase at 3 years old. However, this makes it less attractive as a new buy.
Insurance and fuel costs are average for a car of this size. I've found 35-37 mpg is fairly typical for motorway cruising.
Some parts from Volvo dealers are expensive, but not expensive as those for the larger Volvos.
The 2.0 litre 16-valve delivers plenty of power for my needs (and those of most people) and avoids the extra running costs of the turbo engined cars.
The engine accelerates smoothly, but is a little on the noisy speed at motorway speeds. It's also a little louder than expected when idling from cold, but is extremely quiet at warm idle.
Very good manual transmission on my car: accurate, smooth and slick when changing quickly. My car has reverse located below 5th on the selector pattern; I've also driven a S40 with a different layout (reverse to the left of 1st) and the gearchange wasn't nearly so good - it was vague and notchy.
Plenty of extras with the SE trim level: cruise control, climate control, CD player, trip computer, leather trim and electric windows all round as all standard.
Electronic climate control is excellent: cools and heats the car effectively and responds quickly to temperature adjustments.
The seats are very comfortable, but the driver's seat height adjustment does not allow the seat to be lowered as far as in some other cars. Passenger seat is not height adjustable at all, which is disappointing.
Ride is excellent on good surfaces, but only average for a car of this size on poorer roads.
Boot is only average sized and has a large lip, but has plenty of fixing points for securing loads.
As you would expect from a Volvo, lots of airbags: driver, passenger, side and head curtain airbags are all fitted.
Build quality is good, but perhaps not quite up to the standards of the larger Volvos.