Why is the Audi A3 more common than the Volvo S40?

My wife and I are planning to exchange her Peugeot 207 for something bigger and more comfortable for long journeys. We have more or less decided on either an Audi A3 or the Volvo S40. I have done a bit of research on What Car's website. However, on a recent journey from Guildford to Glasgow I hardly saw any Volvo S40s on the road, whereas I saw plenty of Audi A3s. I am beginning to wonder if there is something inherently wrong with the S40 that it does not sell as well as the Audi.

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Audis are very popular status symbols and hold their value extraordinarily well for this reason, but reader experience indicates they are not as reliable as a Focus-based S40 or V50, nor do they ride and handle as well. Volvo is now developing a new hatchback to directly compete with the A3 and Golf. See: www.honestjohn.co.uk/carbycar/audi/a3-2008/ www.honestjohn.co.uk/carbycar/audi/a3-plus-s3-2003/ www.honestjohn.co.uk/carbycar/volvo/s40-2004/ www.honestjohn.co.uk/carbycar/volvo/v50-2004/
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