2002 Volvo V40 1.9T 1.9 litre turbo 4 from North America


V is for Vigor, Versatility, and Value


Nothing so far. It was sold without the remote keyless entry module and with a cracked side-marker lamp, but that's not a reliability issue.

General Comments:

I waited a whole 1,500 miles before posting my review, and I guess time will only tell, but I wanted to give people the chance to hear about my experiences so far.

The V40, overall, is an attractive, comfortable, versatile, and safe vehicle - and probably very attractively priced when used.

The highlights:

The engine is energetic. It has all the "whoosh" of a Jetta 1.8T, without any trace of harshness and with a solid, smooth power curve that makes you forget that the car is turbocharged until you stomp the accelerator when getting onto the highway. It's relatively efficient, too. Though I wonder how accurate the fuel consumption computer is, it is registering numbers between 25 and 32 under normal conditions, even at 5 years old.

I do not, by the way, stomp the gas pedal often. Turbocharged cars are like purebred dogs -mistreatment will definitely shorten its life.

Handling is competent and safe. The ride is a nice compromise between glued-to-the-road and bouncy comfort. There is minimal lean at turn in, and should you happen to get a little crazy on slippery roads, you've got ABS, Volvo's own Dynamic Stability Assistance, and a "winter" button on the transmission that locks in a lower gear to prevent wheelspin. Should you hit something, you have lap/shoulder belts for all passengers, a plethora of airbags including dual-stage front, head curtain, and side impact. There is also something called WHIPS (to prevent whiplash on the front seats) and ISOFIX for child seats in the rear as well as nifty flip-down kiddie seats in the back. Oh, and 5 headrests. No one suffers.

The interior is the most comfortable small-car interior I have ever experienced. The seats, heated and infinitely adjustable in power on the driver's side, have no equal since those of us remember what Peugeot seats were like. Now, when driving the other car in our family, which is a Passat, I notice the difference between passenger comfort at "good" and passenger comfort at "amazing". The Passat has a weird bulge that hits me at middle back. The V40 supports it all- thighs, back, In the winter, the driver's seat heats automatically, and the automatic climate control doesn't blast air on you until its actually warm. The radio has very good sound, although FM reception is kind of weak. CDs, the iPod, and the XM radio all sound great. The seats fold, flip and fold, and the passenger seat folds forward to flat to accomodate long items. It is no coincidence that the V40 was featured in an late 1990s IKEA ad. It seems built to accomodate that sort of shopping. There's also a power moonroof, wood trim, leather interior, rear seat individual reading lamps, am/fm cd AND cassette, and other bits of automatic this and that.

Items you should know:

Volvos are notoriously expensive to service. You also may have read that dealer service is unkind to customer concerns, especially those customer concerns that center around any sort of computer-related problems that make diagnosis and the "repetition" of the problem difficult.

My own first dealer service was a state inspection, which they couldn't really screw up. My car was ready on time, washed, and I got to pick it up inside a building instead of getting handed the key and getting told to go find it. We will see how the rest of it goes when I actually have a real service concern.

Aficionados claim that used Volvos are best repaired by specialists once they are out of warranty. Often, this is cheaper, and they work harder for your business because they compete for it. Again, time will tell.

That said, a well-maintained Volvo will last a long time. Many postings claiming that some sort of luxury car is "crap" fails to recognize that nearly all luxury brands are expensive to maintain and repair. Volvos, Saabs, BMWs, Mercedes-Benzes, and the like - you will fork out cash to fix them. Curiously, these are usually the only 30-year old daily drivers you will see. So there is something in the rep for durability.

If you are looking for something you can abuse for 120,000 miles, never change the oil, and drive daily at 80mph with the handbrake on, then buy a rusty Subaru for 500 bucks (hey, that was what I did when I was 16).

Do not ever lose a Volvo remote - or any Smartkey for that matter. They cost a fortune to replace and the dealer may or may not be nice to you when you ask about getting a new one or a spare. An '02 Volvo will cost a couple of hundred bucks to get a new, OEM spare. Expensive, but a replacement Lexus smartkey is $1500 if you lose it.

All in all, a good buy.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th January, 2007

2002 Volvo V40 SE 1.9 td from UK and Ireland


Very happy with our first Volvo. It is very comfortable and a pleasure to drive


Suspension is a bit bumpy you can notice every hole in the road.

General Comments:

This car is surprisingly fast.

Although it can be very economical if you want it to be.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th September, 2005

2002 Volvo V40 1.9 turbo from North America


Very solid, quality family wagon


Brake pads were replaced at 32,000 km ($170 Can, about $100 U.S.).

Several trouble lights came on when the car got stuck in the snow and the wheels spun, and the computer got 'confused'. They had to be re-set at the dealer (no cost, but a hassle). You'd think that a Scandinavian car could deal with snow.

General Comments:

This car has a very solid and secure feel. It makes other cars I have owned feel like tin boxes.

The interior fit and finish is first-rate, and it is very nicely equipped for the price.

About the only gripe I have is that this car is rather thirsty considering it's only got a 1.9 liter, and performance is less than my Acura, which is also more economical on gas.

Regular servicing is quite expensive, but with my driving habits, only happens once a year.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st February, 2005

2002 Volvo V40 from North America


Good performance and worth the price


Signal connector on instrument panel came loose and spammed odometer. Dealer provided warranty service and loaner while locking connector properly.

General Comments:

We purchased factory delivery and enjoyed driving it for one month in Europe before bringing it to USA.

Great acceleration, good fuel economy and fast steering response. Seats are Volvo-comfortable. Radio/CD provides beautiful sound. Well appointed with optional leather seats.

Warms up quickly in frigid weather and handles well on snow and ice.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st March, 2003

2002 Volvo V40 1.9T from North America


Good small wagon for a commuter.


Nothing has gone wrong yet with this car.

General Comments:

The car is extremely economical. I have been averaging 29 miles per gallon of regular 87 octane gasoline.

Good acceleration for a 1.9 liter four cylinder engine.

Seats are very Volvo, i.e. very comfortable.

Sporty suspension allows responsive handling, but is too bumpy on a rough road, with too much road noise inside.

Small mirrors do not provide adequate side or rear views.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th September, 2002