It was the Summer of 2005 and I was feeling the urge to sell my Nissan Almera (which I've covered here recently enough on CBG.ie). Where would I go next? What would it be? My heart was telling me I wanted a Coupé, and the one that stood out most for me was a beautiful car from Volvo. The C70 - what a brilliant looking set of wheels. The interior was button-full, the seats were leather, the centre armrest was vast, and this coupé was a real head-turner. It wasn't for me though. I was in my early/mid twenties and every insurance company I rang to try and cover me a in car with a 2.0 litre engine laughed at me as if I was losing my marbles - oh how they cackled.
One thing was for sure, I liked what Volvo had to offer, so I went for something with a smaller engine and I settled for a four-cylinder 1.6l petrol Volvo S40 from the year 2000. The interior was incredibly spacious for my needs, it looked great in black and for the year and a half I had it proved to be very reliable - not letting me down even once.
The S40 kept me happy and, for the time, it looked the business - the way I like it. Even now I would consider the S40 of this era to be a good looking machine. With this car I discovered a few comforts that I have never possessed in a car of my own since - this car had bum warmers in the seats.
In terms of handling, it suited my needs perfectly. It was nice and smooth on motorways, it wasn't too large for the city and it was economical enough.
As I've already said, I had no problems with this car although from searching forums I have noted that some people have complained about the engine mounts wearing too quickly and the turbo intake seal having to be replaced.
This car gave me a lot of trust in Volvo as a brand. So much trust that my next car was a 1999 Volvo S80 - my vanity got the better of me - this was the worst car I ever owned, a story for another day.
If you are considering a first generation Volvo S40, or indeed any other second hand car, I always advise to bring a mechanic with you to ensure you are not being sold a lemon.