1997 Volvo S70 2.5 20V non-turbo from Australia and New Zealand
Last of the great Volvos
Nothing has gone wrong in my year and a half of ownership.
The S/V70s up till 2000 are, in my opinion, the last of the great Volvos. They have the general shape and feel of a 740/940, but with the larger and more powerful 5 cylinder DOHC engine. They are an improvement on the already strong 850, with slightly more refinement and a move away from the boxy and large black bumper style Volvo. Unfortunately they moved too far away from this old classic style after the S/V70.
I cannot fault the exterior. My car is, at 19 years old, nearly perfect. The paint has held well, nothing has broken, cracked or faded. From the outside it looks quite modern, despite being nearly two decades old.
The only fault of the interior is the glue that was used to hold the lining on the doors. The glue on nearly every one of these cars I have seen has come unstuck, and as a result the door lining inserts start to bubble. Other than that, it is a very comfortable and well appointed car. The leather seats are probably the most comfortable seats I have sat in, including the much newer cars that my partner, family and friends drive. It is a simple and elegant interior.
Performance and reliability are consistent with the "old" Volvo reputation. Apart from an average fuel consumption of 11.6 L/100 KM, I could not be happier with the engine. It is quiet, smooth and feels like a new car to drive. It has plenty of power for normal driving, and picks up quickly when needed for overtaking and alike. The automatic transmission changes up and down seamlessly. Basic servicing is simple, and with the right mechanic, cheap. Timing belt changes (absolutely necessary) are at 10 year or 100k intervals, which is reasonable.
I have also bought and sold a 1997 V70, exactly the same car but a wagon, while owning this one. It was a buy, do up and sell exercise for fun. That car had done 60k more and had a harsher life (from the service history and general wear and tear) and it still was fantastic. If I were to rate that car, I would say the same positives and negatives as this one.
I am an old Volvo person, I have an 82 244 and an 89 740. Love them to bits. I bought the S70 as my "new" car, thinking I wouldn't like it. But a year and a half on I couldn't be happier. It is the perfect blend of new refinement and old Volvo charm and reliability. I will, however, still keep my old Volvos too :).
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 21st July, 2016