Honda Civic versus the Volvo S40?

I’m officially an empty nester now and commute about an hour to work everyday!! I need a car better equipped car for me than my minivan. I’ve narrowed it down to two. I’m trying to decide between the volvo s40 and honda civic. I would love some feedback from others. The price isn’t that much different when I get the civic-ex-l with all the options I want and the volvo s40 with the options I want. Maybe this sounds snotty but you just don’t see that many volvos on the road and they have that high end car name. Civic is a dime a dozen.

The Volvo will cost you much more in maintenance/repairs over time. It goes with the “high end car name,” and it’s part of the reason you don’t see as many Volvos as Civics.

If these are the only two options, I’d take the Civic in a heartbeat.

The S40 is on the same chassis as the Mazda 3, which is a great car. The Volvo, for whatever reason, has “much worse than average” owner satisfaction on the Consumer Reports site. That would concern me. The Mazda’s "better than average’.

The Focus is also based on the same platform, and it rates a lot lower than Mazda 3 as well. These are 3 different cars, they just use the same basic platform design to save design and testing money. Mazda puts in the most effort into quality and good handling. They also have the best electronics. Ford appears to cut corners in many areas.

Volvo concentrates on “Class” and image as well as safety, but the final result is a less than reliable car. Nothing mysterious about that. A well-known US pump company licensed their designs to an Argentina firm. I was in Latin America and heard nothing but complaints about these pumps. I was puzzled until they told me who actually built them.

Volvo Construction Equipment (the equipment company) builds heavy duty trucks in Argentina, and I’m sure these are not up to Swedish standards.

An identical Vokswagen built in Germany, Brazil or Mexco will come out differently for each country.

Yes, it sounds snooty, but I will give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you just don’t want the same old car everyone else has.

That high end Volvo name comes at a cost, both financial, and in terms of reliability. Think of it this way. There are Civics all over the place because they have a proven reputation for being reliable and lasting a long time.

Since you will spend at least two hours of every work day behind the wheel of this car, I say go ahead and get the Volvo. Make sure you also get a AAA membership. You will be glad you did.

Unfortunately, Ford cheaped out on the Focus, it’s using a prior generation of the chassis. The new Focus, coming out in a year or two, will finally be on the same chassis as the S40 (if that’s still made by Ford by then) and the Mazda 3.

Does the new Volvo S40 come with the “free maintenace” promotion that Volvo is currently advertising? If yes, then perhaps the Volvo. If no, then definately the Civic.

If the s40 is on the same basic chassis, then try the Mazda 3 out as well

If I were going to sit in a car for an hour, it would be a 4 cyl Accord before either of your choices. Exclusivity may come at a price in less reliability and more maintenance that Volvo is more known for.
Acura 4 cyl for $29K that could be serviced at a Honda dealership.