<a class=Volvo S40 Front View" hspace="4" src="http://www.weblogsinc.com/common/images/6448012701267545.JPG?0.06743827497331528" width="200" align="right" vspace="4" border="1" />As the final day closes on the Volvo S40, I'm left with a number of conflicting opinions. First and foremost, the price is still staring me in the face. Even though over $27,000 on the sticker, a good friend of mine bought an almost identical vehicle at a local dealership for $25,000. That lessens the shock a bit. And if you add the weight, safety features and fantastic interior materials of the Volvo, the price becomes easily justified.

However, I think I?d be just as happy, if not happier ,in a wide array of other vehicles around the same price. I won?t throw in cars like the WRX or RX-8, but other sedans, even the Mazda3, come quickly to mind. Chief among them is the Acura TSX which I?ve already mentioned a time or two here. It?s just got so much more power and performance value than the S40 it?s hard to ignore.

Volvo WheelThe good points about the S40 generally outweigh the bad but I?ve got to point out a few more flaws with the car. When the moonroof is opened for the first time, water from past rain or condensation drips right into the cabin. The trunk has about as much useful space as the Mazda3 because of the oddly hinged lid. One Mazda3 feature missing is the audio controls on the steering wheel. Every car over $20,000 should have these by now.

Ahhh but I still love the seats, the fabric, the door & roof panels, the dash, gauges and the awesome center stack. It?s a tough call. It boils down to whether you?re a Volvo person Volvo interioror not. If you are, this is one of the better products they?ve put together. If you?re not, you?re going to go buy a TSX or Mazda3.

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