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All,<p>After having a beautiful baby girl a few months ago, I decided to sell my Miata, in favor of a 4-door sedan. Having gotten used to the performance factor of the Miata I've been having a difficult time trying to find a replacement that straddled the price/performance/reliability/safety issue. I've never really considered a volvo before, but after checking out the dealership on a whim, I was really impressed by the S40. After looking into the different models offered, I'm leaning towards an 04 1/2+ T5. <p>I was hoping some of the more experienced readers could answer a few questions.<p>Tunabilty:<p>The 2.5 turbo looks pretty attractive. Most of the other turbo manufacturers have aftermarket companies that offer ECU reprogramming to increase performance, ranging from $500 to $1000. After doing some research it seems like BSR has the most commonly refered to solution, and the numbers they post seem pretty impressive (258h/325tq @crank). However, IPD seems to have the best reputation as far as aftermarket performance goodies go, and I see the occasional reference to a similar solution, but have been unable to locate any hard facts about it. My question basically boils down to: Does anyone have any experience with this modification as it relates to reliabilty? In particular can the tranny, clutch, and synchro's handle the additional strain. I'm not talking constant hard launches, but the occasional good burst of speed from a roll a "street start" as compared to a track start.<p><br>Reliability (again)<br>Consumer reports ranked the new S40 as a best bet. After lurking around here in the forums, it seems like horror story after horror story. I always see 20 year old volvo's out on the road, so it seems like as a brand they would be pretty reliable. What is the story here?<p>Aftermarket Audio:<br>After being in a miata for 5 years, i thought it would be nice to have a real audio system in the car. I see alot of threads about mating an iPod to the audio system, but only one mention of not being able to fit a after market stereo into an S40 because of the dash. Is this the case? Would I be stuck with the stock audio system? I read a post that said the owner paid over $1000 for the dealership to install a single subwoofer. wtf. If the only option is the factory stereo, are there at least regular RCA outputs to tie in aftermarket speakers?<p>Price:<br>With the '07's being released in a few months, do you think that will affect the prices of the 04 1/2+ enough to justify waiting?<p>Thanks in advance!<p>--james
 

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Re: Questions for S40 T5 owners (jholder)

I'll offer some brief thoughts.<p>Chipping: This is one of the most common topics here; so common, actually, that I glaze over threads on the subject now. People who have actually chipped their cars will probably have more to say here, and you'll find plenty to read via search, but overall I don't think any of the tuners are doing anything that the stock mechanicals of the car can't handle. Certainly nobody here has reported any issues with the components you mentioned simply due to a reprogrammed ECU.<p>Reliability: This is always a subjective issue. You're more likely to hear both the very best and the very worst stories on a forum like this. Certainly the S40/V50 cars have their fair share of common problems, but there really isn't a pattern of problems that affect the cars' ability to consistently get us from A to B. By that measure, I'd say the cars are reliable, but you're likely to spend some time at the dealer for one niggle or another anyway.<p>Aftermarket audio: There is liitle good news here. There is no aux-in (or out), and very few other options for interfacing anything. In-line FM modulators are one option, and products like the JL Audio Cleansweep (which requires its own amp, and comes with many caveats) are another. This is partly because of the dash design, but moreso because of the MOST fiber-optic bus upon which the audio system is based. The good news is that the premium audio system sounds very, very good.<p>Price: The car you're looking at is going to get older at the same rate regardless of whether the 07's are out or not. I'm not sure that a new model year is going to affect its value as much as the calendar does.<p>Good luck with your decision!
 

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I'm on my first volvo....just got it last week, pics are due (hopefully after I wash my car this weekend since it's been raining since I got it).<br>I can tell you one thing in answer to all your questions. The stock (I have premium) audio of the s40 is AWESOME...it has to be one of the best stock systems I heard. You won't be disappointed. It sucks that it's hard to hook stuff to it so for that you might want to wait for the 07s since apparently they will come with and aux in.<br>Good luck with your decision
 

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Our '05 Acura MDX has had fewer niggles than my 05 S40 T5 - but maybe that's because I only drive it occasionally <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/vwbb/wink.gif" BORDER="0"> and when it comes to fixing them, the dealer is all important. If you use a sucky dealer even the smallest problem can become a nightmare. If you use a good dealer the problem can be mitigated by the joy of great customer service. On this, I report a plus for Volvo and a minus for Acura for the exact same mega-dealership in PHX!<p>The premium audio is superb (without subwoofer in my case) which goes a long way to making up for the boneheaded failure to accomodate some current technology. You have two straightforward choices untill they update this - FM modulator or a stack of blank CDs and a fast burner!!! (on the plus side CD text display get's a regular "wow, that's cool" from passengers).<p>Overall the value for money and driving sattisfaction make this a very compelling ride versus the cars Bangle mangled.<p>PS - gas mileage <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/vwbb/smile.gif" BORDER="0"> Watch your friends cover their ears "la la la, I can't hear you ..."
 

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I think most people here are obsessive with the condition of their cars. I know I am. But when push comes to shove I think the occurence of major mechanical malfunctions, with this car, happen very rarely. IMHO<p> We pretty much just "dont like that noise", want better aftermarket support, and cant for the life of us understand why there's no iPod connectivity.<p>P.S. Buy an '07 with premium audio and you'll be set as far as your sound system goes. IMHO
 

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Just like cbeer said, we're obsessive about the conditions of the car. Atleast in my case, the tiniest change in the way the car is acting or performing or looking from the day before is a kick in the butt for me, but I haven't had any problems that have been talked about on here besides the SSS, and that was fixed with a visit to the dealership and a software update.<p>I love my T5, and its been great to me.
 

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Re: Questions for S40 T5 owners (jholder)

<br>My impression is that if you are going to buy this car, enjoy it in stock form, so buy everything you want with the car. Because once you drive off the lot, it is going to be very hard to add anything onto it. The stereo is unmodifiable. The turbo is housed with the exhaust manifold. Aftermarket support is very small and pricey. <p>In terms of reliability, I would pass on the 2004.5 since it's the first model year and they had more problems. Now we have mostly minor problems- electronics, rattling, etc. The few people who have sold their car on this forum have done so because they got fed up with the problems. I'd wait until the 2007s come out and buy a 2006 for dirt cheap.
 

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Re: Questions for S40 T5 owners (eurotrash)

S40 T5 price/performance/reliability<p>ehehe <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/vwbb/biggrin.gif" BORDER="0"> <p>price: high<br>performance: average<br>front wheel drive: sucks<br>reliability: sucks<p>
 

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I had quite a few problems with mine: A/C issues, stereo issues, starter issues, etc. and they all stemmed from one thing:<p>I wanted to save some money so I went with the 04.5 instead of the 05 knowing full well that I was getting a glorified prototype rather than a 'de-bugged' version.<p>Go with an 05 or 06 and you should easily fall in love with the S40 T5.
 

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We haven't had ours for very long (about 2 months) and no problems to report, not even any rattles which has made me happy. We've put about 4000km's on it so far.<p>The only small issue is once the CD sounded staticy like a radio station that was slightly off frequency. Happened once and once only. That's it that's all.<p>If you're looking for a lot of aftermarket it comes at a fairly hefty price but basic stuff can be done.<p>I do have one regret though, I kind of wish I would have got the factory body kit as I think it looks good and is a fraction of the cost (mainly due to the fact that it's painted) of others out there. In my opinion with that, plus lower and wheels and you're done.<p>Good luck.
 

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another thing...<p>this is all personal preference, but getting the dynamic trim package and xenon headlights is a must also. There are many S40's where I live, but my car with all the goodies looks totally different than one without... its a world of difference.
 

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Re: Questions for S40 T5 owners (gg)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>gg</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">S40 T5 price/performance/reliability<p>ehehe <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/vwbb/biggrin.gif" BORDER="0"> <p>price: high<I>...Comparing V50 T5 AWD to Audi A4 Avant/BMW 325xiT it's $250 less per month.</I> <br>performance: average<I>...it's not a sports car, it's a luxury sedan.</I> <br>front wheel drive: sucks<I>...yeah, when you want to drift.</I> <br>reliability: sucks<I>...yeah, when you drift.</I> </TD></TR></TABLE><p> <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://********************/smile/emthdown.gif" BORDER="0">
 

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Re: Questions for S40 T5 owners (gg)

<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>gg</b> »</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">S40 T5 price/performance/reliability<p>ehehe <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/vwbb/biggrin.gif" BORDER="0"> <p>price: high<br>performance: average<br>front wheel drive: sucks<br>reliability: sucks<p></TD></TR></TABLE><br>You got yourself into the wrong car dude. Shoulda done your homework better if FWD turns to be a surprise for you
 

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You should be able to get an 04 05 cheap. I went to trade mine in and the Volvo dealership I bought it from offered me 18,500 for it<p>Sooo....<p>05 S40 T5 auto, FWD, climate, premium, sunroof, passion red, 13k miles<p>Bought 11 months ago with a sticker of 32k <p>= a $13,500 loss in less than a year.<p>WAAAHHOOOOOOOO
 
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