Volvo V40 - Alternatives to a Volvo V40 - catsdad
My son is in his late 20's and coming out of his company's car scheme. He's asled my advice on what to get. He's been spoilt by large diesel estates (Mondeo, Passat and Avensis) so although he doesn't need a large car he doesn't want to step back to his supermini days even though its usually just him in the car.

He does about 10-12k miles per annum, mainly motorways and A roads. He lives in the Midlands so there are car dealers aplenty. He wants a petrol 4/5 door car and has a wide budget of £8-£11k. He prefers the flexibility of buying rather than any form of lease. He fancies a V40 but these are very rare and even early examples of the current model are over budget. Failing that he quite likes the BMW 3 series but he has heeded my warnings about the potential running costs of a BMW in that price bracket. Also petrol models are again rare, although more common than the V40 if you go back further in age.

I have suggested a Focus (he thinks its too much of a family car), a Civic (maybe but prefers not to follow me), Astra (doesnt want to go back to VX after his old Corsa), Mazda 3 (just doesnt appeal), Kia/Hyundai SUV (had one on day hire didnt like it). To be fair none of these is really in the BMW/Volvo sector and just a tad dull I suspect.

Probably the next step is to consider the VW group offerings, maybe a Leon? Newer timing belt models should just be in budget. I know they drive well but I still remain to be convinced as to longevity of modern small turbos. But hey every car has its good and bad points.

So any suggestions please for a V40 substitute?

Volvo V40 - Alternatives to a Volvo V40 - RobJP

A few V40 petrols for sale - technically just outside his budget, but depending on his negotiation skills, prices are nearly always a bit flexible :

£11,800 : www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/20170916935...1

£12,000 : www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/20170902889...1

£11,300 (but base spec) : www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/20170922957...1

If he likes the V40, then he might as well get one, rather than getting something else, not being happy with it and wanting to swap in 12 months.

Volvo V40 - Alternatives to a Volvo V40 - 72 dudes

I know they drive well but I still remain to be convinced as to longevity of modern small turbos.

Don't forget that the 1.6 engines in the T2 and T3 were also small capacity turbos, albeit arguably less stressed than the VW group 1.4/1.2 models.

But I like the V40 and for me the Leon/Golf/Octavia don't have the same appeal.

Edited by 72 dudes on 29/09/2017 at 14:25

Volvo V40 - Alternatives to a Volvo V40 - nellyjak

It is my experience that anyone who has a particular or specific itch, should, as in this case, seek to scratch it.

Anything else may well end up feeling "second best" ...disappointing...and temporary. (as said earlier)

It may need a slight budget stretch but if he's really into the V40 then that's the way I'd go unless it was totally out of court moneywise.

Volvo V40 - Alternatives to a Volvo V40 - SLO76
The T2/3/4 1.6 petrol motors in the V40 are descended from the excellent Yamaha designed Zetec SE engines that Ford started using in 96. There's no reason why they shouldn't be totally reliable and I'd happily recommend one. It's worth paying a bit extra for a car he likes, it'll save his sanity and wallet over the longterm.

As for alternatives that are a little more exotic than a run of the mill family hatch and noting that he's no fan of my usual suggestions (Civic/Mazda 3) I'd tell him to look at the Seat Leon 1.4 TSi FR and possibly a Focus ST. Both are great fun to drive and to date are reliable.

The Focus uses a turbocharged version of Mazda's L series motor so it's unlikely to go wrong if looked after. Some issues with coolant leaks on them so watch levels otherwise they're pretty tough. Buy only with full Ford service history and look out for crash damage and faked histories. Fast Fords are always easy to sell on if looked after properly and kept standard.

The Seat is an attractive model in FR spec. Cheap to insure, sporty to look at and goes very well while still hitting 50mpg with a light right foot. The later belt driven TSi motors are proving reliable so far and from what I can see on their specification there's little to fear from a dealer maintained car.
Volvo V40 - Alternatives to a Volvo V40 - RobJP

Also, don't forget that we're just entering what's traditionally the quieter time of year for car sales. So prices tend to get pushed downwards for the next 2 months - until garages start to look to the new year sales, and build up stock in December again.

Add to that the 'scrappage' schemes and manufacturer discounted finanace on PCPs, etc, which are pushing new car sales at the expense of used sales, leading to even more used cars on the market, along with that reduced demand.

All that adds up to downward pressure on prices, and a buyers market.

Volvo V40 - Alternatives to a Volvo V40 - pd

The V40 isn't a particularly uncommon car, if he wants a V40 then that is probably what he should hang on for.

I can't beleive one can't be found somewhere. Although there are far more diesels out there than petrols they do exist (not that there is particularly anything wrong with the diesel version and in that price range you could find a Volvo approved one).

Volvo V40 - Alternatives to a Volvo V40 - SLO76
"not that there is particularly anything wrong with the diesel version"

The Volvo 2.0 yes, it should be ok though it's still relatively unproven having only been around for three years so far but the 1.6 diesel is the very same notorious PSA motor we often refer to as the diesel of doom on this here forum. I would sidestep one of these.
Volvo V40 - Alternatives to a Volvo V40 - pd
"not that there is particularly anything wrong with the diesel version" The Volvo 2.0 yes, it should be ok though it's still relatively unproven having only been around for three years so far but the 1.6 diesel is the very same notorious PSA motor we often refer to as the diesel of doom on this here forum. I would sidestep one of these.

It isn't the diesel of doom. The early ones gave some issues if they weren't serviced properly but they are a decent engine as long as you look after it. For whatever reason it seems to be in Fords that they gave the most trouble.

I wouldn't have any qualms about one in a lower mileage Volvo - they rarely seem to have issues in Volvos - particulaly if it has full Volvo history. I've seen these engines at 250k used in taxis still going just fine.

You certainly need to be careful and if approaching a 2006 car with it in with 120k on the clock and one stamp in the book and a whining turbo I'd avoid but I am not convinced later serviced examples are any worse than anything else out there.

That said, if the OP wants a petrol, get a petrol as they are out there.

Volvo V40 - Alternatives to a Volvo V40 - SLO76
"It isn't the diesel of doom. The early ones gave some issues if they weren't serviced properly but they are a decent engine as long as you look after it. For whatever reason it seems to be in Fords that they gave the most trouble."

It's a later 8v version of the same engine and although much improved it's still weak. I have a neighbour who ran a 2012 Citroen Berlingo as a taxi with the same motor which required a new engine after 80,000 miles and know of another who required a new turbo on his Mondeo at less than 60k. Both were regularly serviced, the Ford at the local main dealer. A co-worker required a turbo at under 60k on his 59 Peugeot Partner van but this would be the older 16v version. A quick look online will reveal plenty of cases of turbo failure and related issues with 8v versions of this engine. I'll agree that for some reason problems are less common in the Volvo and I wonder if this is down to any changes they've made or just better standard of servicing by their dealers and/or a higher likelihood of Volvo owners maintaining a dealer history. The trade are however rightly wary of this engine and this shows at auction. I fully accept you can be lucky and see 100k upwards without trouble but equally you could be left with a crippling bill at a surprisingly low mileage. I'd buy the petrol or stump up the extra for the later Volvo 2.0.

Edited by SLO76 on 29/09/2017 at 19:29

Volvo V40 - Alternatives to a Volvo V40 - catsdad
Thanks for all the feedback and good advice. He will probably rule out anything high powered such as the ST on insurance grounds. And actually he is not a fast driver.

I hadn't realised that the 1.6 petrol in the V40 had that reassuring ancestry

While I am reinstating it as the front runner I am astounded at the V40 prices. At this time of year I think in terms of 2018 so add a year to age. £12k for a soon to be 4 year old car is a lot. Especially as I could buy a base model new via a broker for under £16k Thats a little beside the point as he doesn't want to spend tbat much but it does point up the high prices for used examples.

I will discuss it further with.him. We have a few weeks to look around. He shares my tight grasp on his wallet so maybe when it comes down to it he will baulk at the prices and save a few bob by buying one of the alternatives.

At least I am not having to talk him out of exotica. What are the youth cming too when their vehicle of choice is a Volvo?

Edited by catsdad on 29/09/2017 at 16:52

Volvo V40 - Alternatives to a Volvo V40 - Engineer Andy
The T2/3/4 1.6 petrol motors in the V40 are descended from the excellent Yamaha designed Zetec SE engines that Ford started using in 96. There's no reason why they shouldn't be totally reliable and I'd happily recommend one. It's worth paying a bit extra for a car he likes, it'll save his sanity and wallet over the longterm. As for alternatives that are a little more exotic than a run of the mill family hatch and noting that he's no fan of my usual suggestions (Civic/Mazda 3) I'd tell him to look at the Seat Leon 1.4 TSi FR and possibly a Focus ST. Both are great fun to drive and to date are reliable. The Focus uses a turbocharged version of Mazda's L series motor so it's unlikely to go wrong if looked after. Some issues with coolant leaks on them so watch levels otherwise they're pretty tough. Buy only with full Ford service history and look out for crash damage and faked histories. Fast Fords are always easy to sell on if looked after properly and kept standard. The Seat is an attractive model in FR spec. Cheap to insure, sporty to look at and goes very well while still hitting 50mpg with a light right foot. The later belt driven TSi motors are proving reliable so far and from what I can see on their specification there's little to fear from a dealer maintained car.

A shame the OP's son doesn't like the current shape (I'm presuming - I can undestand it if he was referring to the mk2, rather bland inside and out in comparison) Mazda3, as its just the reliable but great handling car on a budget he's looking for. The (bit) more sporty 165 model is quicker but I'm not so keen on the firm ride on the 18in rims of the Sport Nav models - far better on the 16in rims of the well-specced/priced (most sought-after) SE-L Nav models. If they aren't keen on the external looks of the 3 in hatch form, try the less common fastback - nicer looking (essentially a small Mazda6), but check that the far narrower boot opening is sufficient for their needs.

I too like the Leon, and of the different shape variants (the 1.4TSI FR is, I agree, the one to go for) the slightly smaller, but better-looking 3dr SC as opposed to the 5dr model is the 'young person's' car. To me it resembles and goes a bit like the early 2000s Civic Type R (also 3dr) and still has the 380ltr boot of the 5rd model, just a bit less leg room in the back. Nicest in black, silver or bright (Emocicon) red, preferably on 17in rims (earlier 140PS models); 18in later (150PS) models still ok but check it out on the test drive to see if its too firm a ride. When I was in the market back earlier in the year these were a real bargain compared to the similar Golf GT 1.4TSI 150 - not so nice dash but serveral £000s cheaper for essentially the same car underneath.

Volvo V40 - Alternatives to a Volvo V40 - nellyjak

Nowt wrong with a Volvo, Catsdad...I've had 3 over the years (a 260..a 760 and a V70) and they have all been really good, safe and reliable cars...but yes, I guess it seems kinda strange that it would be the choice for a young guy when so much exotica and bling is available these days.

Perhaps he just has a streak of commonsense..lol

Volvo V40 - Alternatives to a Volvo V40 - RobJP

I owned a number of volvos over my younger years.

My first was a 360 GL. 2.0 litre, and a lot of fun. Moderately quick too, and capable of giving a fright to an XR2 or XR3i.

My second was a 440 GLTi, the 1.7 unit from (I think) Renault ? Quite a nice car.

Then I had an 850 2.0 20V GLTi saloon. Comfortable, and quick.

And then I saw an 850 T5-R saloon. In yellow. And I fell in love.

Come to think of it, there wasn't a lot of 'commonsense' going on with that lot, was there !

Volvo V40 - Alternatives to a Volvo V40 - SLO76

I owned a number of volvos over my younger years.

My first was a 360 GL. 2.0 litre, and a lot of fun. Moderately quick too, and capable of giving a fright to an XR2 or XR3i.

My second was a 440 GLTi, the 1.7 unit from (I think) Renault ? Quite a nice car.

Then I had an 850 2.0 20V GLTi saloon. Comfortable, and quick.

And then I saw an 850 T5-R saloon. In yellow. And I fell in love.

Come to think of it, there wasn't a lot of 'commonsense' going on with that lot, was there !

I grew up with a series of Volvo's. A 1981 340 GL 1986 340 GL 1.7 4dr 1989 240 GLT 1990 440 Turbo Then I ran a series of 440's as company motors. None were exactly drivers cars but childhood memories and rose tinted specs and all that. I'd love an early 440 GLT or 480 ES with the Renault 1721 motor. Weren't well made but they were mechanically pretty robust.
Volvo V40 - Alternatives to a Volvo V40 - nellyjak

Good stuff.....I always bought the big engined beasties...and the V70 with it's 5 cylinder symphony was always a delight to drive.

Tried to find a nice T5 but never really came across one that I felt comfortable enough to buy...would have bought a nice 960 too had I been able to find one that suited.

Edited by nellyjak on 29/09/2017 at 20:39

Volvo V40 - Alternatives to a Volvo V40 - Engineer Andy
The T2/3/4 1.6 petrol motors in the V40 are descended from the excellent Yamaha designed Zetec SE engines that Ford started using in 96. There's no reason why they shouldn't be totally reliable and I'd happily recommend one. It's worth paying a bit extra for a car he likes, it'll save his sanity and wallet over the longterm. As for alternatives that are a little more exotic than a run of the mill family hatch and noting that he's no fan of my usual suggestions (Civic/Mazda 3) I'd tell him to look at the Seat Leon 1.4 TSi FR and possibly a Focus ST. Both are great fun to drive and to date are reliable. The Focus uses a turbocharged version of Mazda's L series motor so it's unlikely to go wrong if looked after. Some issues with coolant leaks on them so watch levels otherwise they're pretty tough. Buy only with full Ford service history and look out for crash damage and faked histories. Fast Fords are always easy to sell on if looked after properly and kept standard. The Seat is an attractive model in FR spec. Cheap to insure, sporty to look at and goes very well while still hitting 50mpg with a light right foot. The later belt driven TSi motors are proving reliable so far and from what I can see on their specification there's little to fear from a dealer maintained car.

When I looked at the V40 in petrol form (either a T2 or [preferably a] T3) earlier in the year, I got very confused at what car had what engine in it: I don't remember seeing (and just checked here on the car-by-car section) on Volvo's website any 1.6 petrol engine, only what looked to be, at least at one time, T2s with either 1.5ltr (presumably a turbocharged version) or 2ltrs (possibly not) AND the same again for the higher powered T3. Those on sale now for each of these engine 'specs' seem to have changed yet again, with both 'versions' 0.5sec slower to 60. I had no idea which engine was a turbocharged version, and frankly why all the chopping and changing between engine specs. Any ideas which are which and what are they like? Very confused. :-(

Volvo V40 - Alternatives to a Volvo V40 - SkodaIan

How about a Lexus CT200H? Would fit in the same 'Smart' medium hatchback' category as a V40. Not the most exciting to drive, but really comfortable and rock solid mechanicals.

Volvo V40 - Alternatives to a Volvo V40 - Avant

Indeed, or perhaps an Auris hybrid? As Catsdad's son (Cat, presumably) isn't a fast driver, it might suit him well.

But otherwise I agree - he should go for a V40 if that's what he feels happiest with. He should look at Cars for Sale on this site.

Volvo V40 - Alternatives to a Volvo V40 - SLO76
"When I looked at the V40 in petrol form (either a T2 or [preferably a] T3) earlier in the year, I got very confused at what car had what engine in it."

It's very confusing and all related to the sale of Volvo by Ford to Chinese firm Geely a few years back. The V40 is based on the Ford Focus and initially used the 1.6 Ecoboost motor in three specs 120PS, 150PS and 180PS plus a Volvo 5cyl in the T5 with 245PS. All are turbocharged and the 1600's are based on the original Yamaha designed Zetec-SE. Good engines and likely to give no trouble at all as long as you avoid the terrible Powershift automated manual box used in some examples.

Now here it gets complicated. Volvo brought out their own 2.0 turbocharged engine to replace these again with similar power outputs T2 122PS, T3 152PS and T5 250PS but the 1.5 is a downsized (but no less powerful) 1.6 Ecoboost from the Ford Focus which is used in conjunction with the Powershift gearbox and is thus best avoided.

For the budget we're talking about here it'll be the 1.6 motors he'll be looking at.

Proviso... Volvo specifications are hugely confusing so I could be wrong on details here.

Edited by SLO76 on 29/09/2017 at 20:59

Volvo V40 - Alternatives to a Volvo V40 - catsdad
Thanks for the latest comments, especiallly for the clarifications on the petrol engine options. I had seen various specs in ads and now I know why.

The Lexus suggestion is a good one that, rather surprisingly for me, my son is going to look further into. It turns out he is open to the idea of an auto, at least in a hybrid. There are a few around in his price range, including from main dealers.

Volvo V40 - Alternatives to a Volvo V40 - SLO76
Thanks for the latest comments, especiallly for the clarifications on the petrol engine options. I had seen various specs in ads and now I know why. The Lexus suggestion is a good one that, rather surprisingly for me, my son is going to look further into. It turns out he is open to the idea of an auto, at least in a hybrid. There are a few around in his price range, including from main dealers.

Tell him to take a good long test drive before committing. They're very well made and utterly reliable but CVT gearboxes and hybrid powertrains do not a good combination make for the spirited driver. The ride is a bit firm too particularly on early models and on anything with bigger wheels. Plus they're really only efficient in short local driving, on longer runs you're simply driving a petrol engined automatic with a heavy load of batteries and electric motors being hauled along with you. Remember also that batteries degrade over time and by 6-7yrs will be heavily down on capacity compared to new. These cost thousands to replace and thus dealers are wary of older hybrid motors and value them accordingly.
Volvo V40 - Alternatives to a Volvo V40 - Ganesh Vaidyanathan

The CT200h is a lovely car. We had one for six years, it never put a foot wrong and we were very sorry to see it go. It is very different to a V40 though, very chalk and cheese I would say. The V40 is sporty looking and great fun to drive. The CT200h on the other hand is more understated and suited to a sedate style of driving due to its CVT gearbox. If that suits your son, buy it with your eyes shut and you won't go wrong.

Volvo V40 - Alternatives to a Volvo V40 - Engineer Andy

Also a shame that the styling of the Lexus is not exactly great.

PS. regarding the V40, note that it doesn't have a foot rest for the left foot (even the updated version) - some people, including myself (and some other Backroomers), who has back problems, need such a decent size foot rest, especially on longer journeys. The seats in the V40 are very ergonomic and comfortable, but they've made, in my view a glaring mistake in leaving the foot rest out. Its not as though it doesn't have the space for one. Its the reason why I excluded it from my list of possible cars to buy ealier in the year (in the end I didn't change my car).

Volvo V40 - Alternatives to a Volvo V40 - barney100

C class, £8-£11k will get a decent one.

Volvo V40 - Alternatives to a Volvo V40 - Engineer Andy

C class, £8-£11k will get a decent one.

Unless the OP can afford MB running costs (presumably not on an £11k budget), then I'd give them a miss. MB servicing and parts ain't cheap.

Volvo V40 - Alternatives to a Volvo V40 - catsdad
Thanks for the latest views. I've chatted the options through with him and the ball is back in his court. I think it will all go quiet for a bit while he shops around and actually tries a couple out.

I will update the panel in due course.
Volvo V40 - Alternatives to a Volvo V40 - Ganesh Vaidyanathan

I have a lovely 2014 V40 D3 SE LUX Nav with 30.5 K miles and full Volvo history for sale. It falls within your son's budget. Only selling it because we needed a bigger car. Please let me know if your son would be interested.

Thanks

Volvo V40 - Alternatives to a Volvo V40 - RobJP

I have a lovely 2014 V40 D3 SE LUX Nav with 30.5 K miles and full Volvo history for sale. It falls within your son's budget. Only selling it because we needed a bigger car. Please let me know if your son would be interested.

Thanks

Unfortunately, catsdad's son (that sounds confusing) is after a petrol car, not a diesel.

Volvo V40 - Alternatives to a Volvo V40 - Ganesh Vaidyanathan

Hi Catsdad,

Further to my previous message, here is the advert:

www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/20171009013...1

Thanks

Volvo V40 - Alternatives to a Volvo V40 - catsdad
Hi Ganesh
Looks like a nice car at a good price but its a bit more than he now wants to spend and he is looking for a petrol. Good luck with getting a sale.
I will update the forum when my lad eventually moves towards getting something.....he's gone wuiet on it over the last few days. Probably means I'll get a call out if the blue to look at something urgently.

Edited by catsdad on 17/10/2017 at 21:53

Volvo V40 - Alternatives to a Volvo V40 - catsdad
Just an update to say that the purchase has been made. The Volvo proved too expensive so it became a search in the £6-£8k bracket.

He's bought an immaculate Approved 2012 Mazda 3, black, 1.6 petrol, full service history, years MoT with new pads and recent tyres. Its got a Mazda backed 12 month warranty and breakdown cover. It had a full Mazda service before delivery.

He paid about £6.5k which is towards the high end but in a month of looking, everything cheaper either had significant gaps in history or condition issues. An Approved Civic would have been another £1.5k and those that came up were sold before we could see them.

Let's hope the Mazda proves to be the good buy that backroomer opinion generally suggests.





 

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