1997 Volvo S70 SE 2.5 turbo from UK and Ireland


Comfortable, quick, but reliability has been disappointing after my Volvo 740


ABS warning light indicated sensor problem at 93000 miles. Both rear sensors replaced, warning light still came on. Dealer then suggested replacing ABS control unit. This solved problem.

Head gasket blew at 97000 miles.

Coolant problems on and off throughout 7000 miles of ownership.

Sometimes difficult to start.

General Comments:

Very comfortable car seats.

Ride quite firm.

Performance with the Turbo is excellent.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 31st March, 2005

1997 Volvo S70 20-V 2.5L 20-V from Australia and New Zealand


Brilliantly conceived and executed machine for the normal driver


Very little, though front-wheel drive combined with soft brake-pad compound causes fairly high, but even, brake wear.

All minor niggles fixed quickly under warranty by main Volvo dealership which provided free loan car and full carwash whenever this occurred.

At 58,000km -- aircon switch and sensor replaced when unit was regassed.

At 65,000km -- front wheel hub kit was replaced when wheel bearing failed. The problem was due to a faulty original part and not to driving style, but Volvo was unreceptive to complaint since time component of warranty had expired.

At 72,400km -- steering rack replaced due to abnormal wear, again because of faulty original part; cost could not be recovered for same reason as above.

General Comments:

An excellent car for general comfort, handling, safety and reliability which has amply repaid the product research conducted before its purchase. Five other comparable cars were shortlisted, from Mercedes, Audi, BMW, Peugeot and Volkswagen, and I'm convinced the right choice was made.

Power and handling are quite adequate for all normal purposes. This is a true saloon car which will get you there and back in great comfort and with no drama at all; if you want to dice with death or impress your pimply friends, or just risk your licence, go get a fashionable German or Italian car and enrich the insurance company as well!

Superb internal ergonomics -- all's in its proper place, excellent instruments and controls, and magnificent leather seats which only the French makers come near to achieving for support as well as comfort.

Far roomier front and rear than later Volvo models, and more comfortable for long trips -- the Ford influence? This is important in Australian conditions, where driver fatigue kills more than raw speed or recklessness.

Excellent factory sound system is also well tuned to the internal acoustics, but the low-end bass response will not appeal to heavy-metal rock lovers with a mobile-disco fixation.

Capacious trunk which is well insulated against road noise. Plenty of internal storage as well.

The brakes are awesome in their power to stop this solid car without any fade and in a straight line from high speed. High brake-pad wear is a small price to pay for that stopping-power confidence. But then Volvo has always provided the benchmark for active as well as passive safety technology.

The engine note is a purposeful rumble which is comfortingly audible rather than intrusive. Road noise is minimal and wind noise nonexistent. This is no howling banshee, nor a deathly hearse!

Steering is sharp, progressive and very predictable, with the usual amount of torque-steer in front-drive cars. The car handles twisting roads and rough surfaces confidently and well. With a turning radius substantially tighter than in the comparable cars mentioned earlier, parking is straightforward.

Finally, the fit and finish are of a very high standard. The paintwork and underbody rustproofing are exemplary as one would expect from a car designed to survive salty European winter roads.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th January, 2005

1997 Volvo S70 10V 2.0 injection from UK and Ireland


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.