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.

General Comments:

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

1997 Volvo S70 TDI 2.4 turbo diesel from Portugal


A perfect car


Steering pump died.

Vacuum pump noisy.

Rattles all around.

General Comments:

Do you want a solid and reliable car that can make you smile every time you drive it? Buy a Volvo S70.

The TDI is very reliable and has lots of torque on a short gearbox.

Sure it has its traditional Volvo faults such as buttons not working, and rattles and squeaks all around, but it's classy and a driver's car.

Too bad it isn't RWD.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th March, 2015

1997 Volvo S70 2.5 10v from UK and Ireland


Safe, reliable and comfortable


No major problems, just small faults that occur at this age. These faults can be sorted quite easily. Mainly aesthetics.

Exhaust mounting snapped, can be welded back on.

General Comments:

This car was bought as one of my previous cars was a Volvo, I thought I would get back in to the brand.

I've owned the car just over a year now and there have been no breakdowns or faults that have occurred during my ownership. This was one of the main reasons I went back to Volvo.

The engine is a reliable unit, but isn't mind bogglingly fast, although this isn't what the engine was designed for. I have to say though I do like the noise it makes.

Being the auto, it's very smooth to drive and is very relaxing on the motorway, especially due to the lovely leather seats. The ride is firm though around town, one of my main gripes I have with the car, if it wasn't for the fantastic seats, then this can get annoying very quickly.

Interior wise, it's built very well. The dash is very well thought out with everything falling to hand easily. It's the detail that sets it out, the buttons being large enough to operate whilst wearing gloves. There are a few squeaks and rattles, but that's more down to the age again. Plenty of space in the cabin and boot so no problems there.

The only components I've had to change on the car are regular service items and consumables. It isn't the cheapest car to own, owing mainly due to it's weight and engine size averaging around 29 MPG. But I didn't buy the car to run on a shoestring, as I wanted something safe and reliable.

Overall the car is very well built and comfortable, and if you don't need the estate and the price premium that commands, the S70 is a decent car to own.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th January, 2010