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This is my first post, although I have been watching this board for over a year and a half.
This is my first car that I got, although my parents got it for me. I started driving when I was 16 on a 89 Dodge Caravan V6, not the best vehicle to learn on but I did. Then I drove a 92 Corolla, 96 Altima, and 99 Camry V6. Then I was introduced to Volvo when my dad got into an aweful accident with the Altima, and my parents got the safest car possible within their price range, which turned out to be a 2004 Volvo S60 2.5T. I fell in love with Volvo then, because it was just fun to drive, albeit the other cars weren't exactly sporty. Then a couple months later, I saw the S40, and my mouth just dropped, and that was the car I wanted. The reason why my parents bought me the car was because I got into medical school, and I was going to be 400 miles away from home (Grew up in Chicago, in school in Erie, PA) and as a graduation present for college, etc. They never bought me a car before then, just drove what ever car was available at home.

So then I started test driving cars about 6 months before school was about to start. So I took my uncle, who is a car fanatic. The first car we drove was a Acura TSX, and I felt the car had no oomph after 30mph, just like the Camry V6 we have. The interior was nice, but it still felt like a honda. Next we drove a 2003 Audi A4 1.8T Quattro, and I had trouble just getting the car out of the parking lot incline. We drove the car, and even when floored, it wasn't very impressive. My uncle was very dissappointed with the car as well as the dealer in Schaumburg. The dealer basically was uninterested as our budget was at thier low end, and even then we were driving a used car. I always had in mind the OSD program because it would be cheaper. So then we went to the Volvo dealer, and drove the S40T5, and boy was it exactly what i wanted, strong accelaration, brakes, comfort, and handling. My uncle took it on the highway near Patrick Volvo, and spun it up to 90, and got right up to a car ahead, stomped on the brakes, it stopped on the dime. In addition my uncle turned in to the parking lot at 40, and it handled beautifully. The dealer in the car didnt say a word, and let us do whatever we wanted in the car. Then we went inside, and I was blown away by the price he gave (it was our second volvo in a year), at 26,800, about 5k off the sticker. Volvo S40 T5 with Premium, and Climate package with the GT. Didnt get the manual because I wasn't sure if I would be able to handle it in Erie winters, which I heard to be horrendous.
The only problems I've had with the car so far was that the radio would freeze, and when the dealer tried fixing it by updating the software, the radio unit froze, and they replaced the whole unit, took about 4 days for them to do it, and I got a 2.4i loaner, boy I missed the T5 then.

The only other issue I have with the car was that the tires suck, and I wish I had 17 inch rims, but I'm saving up for that next year. What tires are recommended for all-season? The lack of Ipod solution does suck, but I don't have long enough journeys to really miss that, besides the drive home to Chicago. However highway milage has been excellent, on the last drive home I averaged 37mpg driving around 75-80mph. Though city mileage does hover around 20-21.
The car does change in performance day to day, and I think that has to do with me changing my driving personality from day to day.

I do have some questions though:
Has anyone installed Xenons from Xenon-shop, because I would like to get xenon's but I dont want the problems associated with lamp failure warnings, etc. To the search monkey's, I have tried searching, but not come up with a definite answer.

I did install the K & N Filter, and I have seen a subtle boost to the higher end rev's as it just keeps wanting to speed after 40mph or so.

How durable is the GT transmission, and is there any problem if I go with the BSR PPC, im planning to buy it through eurosport, unless there is somewhere cheaper, and not Engstrom, although their office is like 20 mins away from home.

As far as the SSS issue goes, I have only maybe faced it like once or twice so far, and thats usually my fault because I gave the car a lazy crank. And Chicago summers do tend to be hot.

There has some subtle wind noise from the driver's side, but it's not that bad that I would go bother my dealer for.

I also added Infinity tweaters to the back doors, as I have the basic audio, and it has turned the system from good to great. Its not as awesome as the premium, but my parents did not have the budget to have all the goodies i wanted, and I am extemely happy for what they have got me.

In the future, I plan to get a Chip, rims, and a sub that I want to be discreet, just to improve the low end a little bit. Hopefully a body kit just to make it look a bit more aggressive.

I will post pictures later, as my car is dirty, being in med school haven't had time to wax it like it did at home.

Volvo S40 T5 GT FWD Flint Grey - Premium & Climate, K&N Filter
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