Sunday, January 01, 2017

Volvo S40 versus Ford Focus SES

This isn't an in depth review. Just my thoughts after renting a S40 for 5 days, owning a Focus SES, and being an enthusiast of both Volvo and Ford cars.

I was quite surprised when my "compact" car rental on a recent business trip ended up being a S40 with about 3k miles on it. I was expecting a Corolla at best or something like that. Very happy to get the S40. I'm assuming it was the low end model, I didn't have much time to check out under the hood, there was no manual.

Typical of Volvo, the doors and trunk felt solid, more solid than the Focus.

The most surprising thing is that the S40 felt gutless, really gutless. My SES is quick to accelerate and feels much faster. Very surprising actually but aligns with a friend who says their V50 is gutless. There are times when I accidentally peel out driving the SES, it really takes off. It's fun to drive.

The S40 proximity sensor key for the S40 is weird. I would lock the car, then pull the handle and it would open. Was the car really locked? I returned later without the key and couldn't open the door. I'm not sure the proximity unlock is a good or even safe feature. I'm not sure if it can be turned off.

The S40 cloth seats are a little nicer than the SES but the dash area is similar. Some reviews of the Focus complain that the dash and console is ugly, I never thought that and the S40 isn't that much different.

There are some blind spots in the S40 that I never really got used to.

I think the SES handles better.

It was raining a lot and the wiper interval adjustment was a little confusing in the S40. Although, having a manual for the car would have helped.

Both cars have a moonroof and low profile alloy wheels.

I couldn't really figure out the bluetooth in the S40. I think I've gotten lazy with the excellent SYNC system in the SES.

Here's the specs for both cars (Volvo S40, Ford Focus).

Overall, I'm really glad I got the SES instead of the S40. The speed, handling, features, and price make it a winner. Recent Ford quality is underestimated while Volvo's is overestimated. Plus, the SES is more fun to drive!

1 comment:

hubba_bubba said...

So where's the pics of your SES? And what's up with the Volvo in your profile still?