We're planning to buy a new car soon. Currently I drive a '93 Honda Civic coupe which is running great but we need a sedan to accommodate other passengers (like my parents, who have a hard time climbing into the Honda). Comfort is one of our main priorities for road trips and for my long commute to work. Gas mileage is important too, but we are willing to compromise a few MPG for comfort.
We've driven the 2006 Civic, Accord, Mazda3, and the Volvo S40. We liked the Civic a lot but they are virtually non-existent on the lots, and totally non-existent in the color + features we want. The seat in the Accord was adequatly comfortable but doens't fully support Hubby's very long legs. Loved the Mazda3 but the back seat is comfortable only for short trips (like out to dinner and back home), definitely not for a road trip. However it is fun to drive and the front seats are comfortable (though a little short for us).
Then we sat in the Volvo S40 and didn't want to get out. They let us take one for a test-drive (alone!!) and we loved every minute of it. The 8-way electronically adjustable seats were a dream come true and felt as if they were custom-built just for us. I would watch a long movie in those seats, and the back seat was also very comfortable with plenty of space even with Hubby sitting in front with the seat adjusted for his comfort and almost all the way back.
Of course reliability is also a top priority.
So, can anyone tell me about the reliability of the Volvo S40? Any known big problems? I've read a lot of on-line reviews and a couple of them mentioned a faulty a/c. I'm mostly concerned that the car will be in the shop a lot. This will be my first ever new car and it's very difficult for me to spent a lot of money, so I'm hoping someone can put my mind at ease. :-)