1998 Volvo V70 Base 2.4


Solid and long lasting. Always little things wrong with it. Great road tripping vehicle


I've had it for exactly 100k miles. Did one or two basic tuneups and generally kept up on the basic maintenance schedule.

Starting to need a major tuneup. Need to replace the shocks and struts etc badly. They probably needed to be replaced before 200k.

It is starting to burn a lot of oil. Close to 2 quarts per 4k oil change cycle. The previous owner was a senile old man who died and did not take great care of the car. I doubt he kept up on maintenance that well. It burnt a little oil when I first bought it, but it is getting worse.

There were a lot of touched up scrapes on the car from where the previous owner hit things. The driver's door and possible the driver side passenger door as well as the driver side fender had been replaced. The whole car might have been in a major accident, because I could never get the doors on the driver's side to line up just right and water would drip, drip in in a big rain storm. The center console also weirdly is impossible to line up and was pressed hard against the driver's seat.

The check engine light is on and there is something wrong with the charcoal canister, or maybe the gas cap is not sealing correctly.

The fake leather liner on the inside of the doors has lifted away from the foam it was glued to in a small spot on all doors. It was like that when I bought the thing. The interior hard plastic is very dry and brittle. Plastic things break easy.

The driver's heated seat went around 200k. Have a replacement switch from the junkyard. Still haven't actually installed it. Maybe I'll do it tonight!

Replaced the inner and outer tie rods at 200k.

Replaced control arm and ball joint assembly around 200k.

Around 190k replaced a couple of small, cracked, dried out rubber hoses leading into the intake manifold. The car went from getting 20 MPG to 25 MPG! Average mixed driving with canoes on the roof.

A/C went at 180k. Still haven't fixed it. Tried charging it, but it lost the charge overnight. It is most likely the heat exchanger/radiator evaporator thing under the dash, but it would cost around $700 to have someone to replace it. I haven't had the time to attempt it myself. A non OEM replacement part is around $250.

Replaced exhaust manifold, catalytic converter and entire exhaust at 175k. Also replaced rear oxygen sensor.

Rear wiper motor went at 170k.

Replaced front oxygen sensor at 160k.

Replaced interior plastic bits here and there over the years.

The shifter button broke at 150k.

There is something electrical wrong when taking the car out of park, so I have to use the manual shift override button. I think it has something to do with the shift position sensor. The reverse lights sometimes don't work, because somehow the computer doesn't know what position the shifter is in. Still haven't fixed it. It started to slowly go wrong around ~150k miles.

General Comments:

Nice car. Has heated leather seats and is fairly comfortable to drive long distances for being such a small car. The back seats are pretty much useless for adults.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th March, 2017

20th Mar 2017, 19:46

The bizarre thing is that the V70 is classed as a large family car over here in the UK!

26th Mar 2017, 03:38

Close to 2 quarts of oil in 4,000 miles isn't too shabby for any vehicle - especially an older vehicle.

27th Mar 2017, 12:14

2 quarts in 4000 miles is serious oil consumption or leaking. My car with 152,000 miles uses less than half a quart between 5000 mile oil changes.

Your experience must be limited to worn out beaters?

1998 Volvo V70 GLT 5 cylinder high end turbo


Drivability, comfort and reliability are good. Plastics poor in all regards. Too many Asian parts


Bought after the head was rebuilt, thought all was well. Rebuilder put a cheap water pump in, which failed after 10,000 miles. When the water pump shaft sheared, the engine imploded. I replaced with an identical engine from a wrecked car with 100,000. Installed a rebuilt turbo on the replacement engine. Runs wonderfully now, better than with the original engine and turbo. I have rebuilt the suspension, A/C system, replaced the catalytic converter and recycling system.

General Comments:

Compared to recent 5 cylinder Volvos, the interior squeaky dash is horrible. Getting ready to pull the dash and rebuild the connections. Plastic quality lower than in old models, the leather has pretty short wear life, but the sheet metal and paint are good. A/C system is much improved over 70s and 80s models.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th May, 2016

10th May 2016, 23:30

Plastics (especially interior) have been garbage since the 80s (remember the broken door pockets on the 240s?).

Tail light plastics, front signal lights etc. all have the same pattern of cheapness.

So much for "superior Scandinavian quality!"

11th May 2016, 08:23

Well if there was ever a general statement that was it! I assume you haven't sat in a Volvo since the 80's then? LOL!

12th May 2016, 05:28

Nope, and from reviews like this it seems like things haven't improved ROFL.

13th May 2016, 22:56

Well, nothing wrong with any of the plastics used in the Volvos I drive... not brittle, in fact very hard wearing and of very good quality (or so say many of my passengers over the years!)... as good as any premium car these days anyway.

14th May 2016, 17:21

I've owned eight Volvos (two 164E, two 240T, two 240, 760, 780 (still have that one)) and plastic like all else requires upkeep. However, my wife's Lexus LS hands down beats the build quality in all regards, including interior materials...

15th May 2016, 20:41

I agree. Better built cars like Lexus and older BMWs tend to have more durable plastics.

15th May 2016, 21:52

You can't compare an 80s Volvo with a much newer Lexus! Try sitting in an 80s Toyota and compare!!! Our V60 has superb materials in comparison to many rivals in my opinion.

14th Aug 2018, 21:26

When looking at a used car, we always look around on the roads at what is still running after 15 years of age, BAM, end of story. I guess that is why "Volvo for life" was used in the 90s (let's not include the french powered V40 things, as they are NOT Volvos).