1997 Volvo S70 10V 2.0 injection


A solid reliable Viking ship


1991 one burnt out high tension lead.

1991 new battery.

General Comments:

This just has to be the most reliable car I have ever driven. It's not fun, it's not quick and it won't pull the dolly birds, but:

Nothing ever goes wrong (touch wood). OK one burnt out plug lead in four years and the battery is a consumable item anyway.

It's big, comfortable, will run all day at 70 miles/hour (I'm breaking the law saying any higher) and you can step out at the end of the day with the lumbar region of your back still intact.

My pretty basic model doesn't have heated seats, but from previous experience these break down quite early in the cars life anyway.

Fuel economy is not too bad for a car it's size: 28.9 average miles per gallon and it doesn't seem that different whether that's on a run or around town, however:

Don't use the air conditioning! OK, so I've never had the air con serviced, so it could be my fault, but as soon as you turn it on you are probably running with 25% loss of power and fuel economy. Ouch!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th May, 2004

13th Aug 2007, 10:40

Hey, just wanna say I'm 20. I bought a 97 S70 last month, and I'll never again get another make. I had an Opel Astra before it, and the Astra (1.4) was costing me more on petrol than the Volvo (2.0).

A great car; would recommend it to anyone.

14th Aug 2007, 08:04

I agree! I am 25 years old and run a S70 2.5 CD Auto. Love it. 100% reliable. Just done 2500 miles in a week and half all over the highlands of Scotland and it never missed a beat! After a 6 hour drive back south, I could have done it again. Never been in a car that is so comfortable or inspires so much confidence.

1999 Volvo S70 T5 2.3 turbo


An expensive disappointment


I would first like to point out that this car was only 3 years old when bought on the approved used scheme from a Volvo main dealer. It had only one previous owner and a full service history and the mileage was far from excessive for it's age.

At around 61,000 miles, I noticed a hesitancy and surging from the engine when cruising at steady speeds on light to medium throttle openings. The car was booked in for a check-up, but before the date, the problem worsened into a sudden dramatic loss of power and violent hunting from the engine. I took it straight back to the dealer (I had only had it 2 months), who upgraded the engine management software.

The problem re-occurred around 4 months later and a further visit to the dealer was required.

Around 6 months later it started to happen again, so after a final visit to the dealer, I sold the car as the warranty period was about to end and I was disillusioned with the car.

The cabin heater fan regulator also failed at around 65,000 miles, requiring replacement and the tail-light bulbs blew with annoying regularity.

The alloy wheels were also beginning to corrode, in spite of being regularly cleaned.

General Comments:

I bought this car as a supposed step upmarket in quality and performance. I sold it after a year, disappointed and disillusioned. This is why;

I owned a powerful (170 bhp) 'hot hatch' and wanted something that would be more refined and comfortable, but still give exciting performance.

Comfort-wise, it was spot on; I doubt if I have ever sat in more comfortable car seats, and an 1800 mile holiday to Scotland proved it to be a relaxing long distance car.

It was not, however, as spacious as I'd hoped for such a big car. The boot was fantastic, but in the cabin, it was necessary to move the front seats forward if anyone wanted to travel in the back, this in a car supposedly the next size up from the Vectra/Mondeo class.

I was also amazed that a car costing 26k new did not come with a standard fit CD player (i intended to fit a multi-changer, so it didn't stop me buying), and that with so much power it did not have traction control.

The biggest disappointment for me, though, was the way the car drove. It just did not feel like a 240 bhp car. Head to head on a deserted dual carriageway against a friend's 170 bhp hot hatch, it was only slightly quicker through the gears. Even allowing for it's size and weight, a 70 bhp power advantage should have been more convincing.

The overall impression was that it just did not punch as hard as 240 bhp would suggest it should, and the power tailed off noticeably after 5000 rpm, even though it would rev to 6500.

Worse still was the chassis. How could a car with this much power be set up so softly? The grip was very poor, especially at the front. It rolled far too much and under-steered with very little provocation. A bumpy road would easily upset it's composure and the steering felt slow witted and had no feel. I did not feel I could trust the car during spirited driving (which is surely the intention of giving it that much power?).

On the plus side the brakes were utterly superb, the best I have ever experienced, and I found straight line traction to be surprisingly good given the lack of traction control.

While fuel economy was not exactly frugal, it was not that bad given the power.

Insurance was predictably expensive, but servicing costs were appalling.

I found the dealer service to be poor, and one particular incident left me fuming.

All in all, it was a big let down to experience the problems that I did on a well maintained 'quality' brand car, when my previous 3 cars (all Hondas) gave me faultless reliability combined with a good dealer experience.

To cap it off, when I sold it I discovered the abysmal depreciation it had suffered, the supposed avoidance of which was another reason for purchasing a more 'upmarket' brand.

I would not buy another Volvo.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 3rd December, 2003

9th Jan 2004, 12:00

I purchased my 1999 S70 Volvo new. Have always had problems with the air conditioner. It freezes up and you have to let it defreeze before it can be used again. This problem starts at about 40 minutes of being on the road, so forget any trips in this car. The dealer can't locate the problem, but blames it on the way I use the air conditioner! Also, the material has come apart from the body in the back doors. Dealer told me that the front door panels will eventually do it to. Cost to fix...$1,000 and can't guarantee for more than 12 months. Will I ever buy a Volvo again... no way. I am not one for trading cars. I like to keep them forever, but not sure how long the interior will last on this Volvo. I do not recommend the S70 Volvo due to poor workmanship.