24th Feb 2008, 16:48

I have owned a 1998 S70 since purchasing from local Volvo dealer's used car lot (stickers on car indicated that it was formerly a Hertz rental in L.A.) with 20,000 miles on it.

It now has 185K on it and has performed well, though it has not been trouble-free. All service work has been done by a couple of local Volvo dealers, and has not been cheap by any means. Most problems have been minor (e.g. ABS sensor, EGR valve) but some have been larger (e.g. A/C compressor clutch).

Preventive maintenance is important to longevity (e.g. brake fluid flush/bleed refill). I have bought many regular maintenance items (e.g. ignition cap and rotor, Mann oil filters, brake pads and rotors) from IPD USA, who are Volvo performance specialists. I have used Mobil 1 synthetic exclusively, and the correct OEM oil filters which have anti-drainback valve built in to prevent dry starts. Don't go cheap on oil and filters, change the oil at specified intervals and the 5-cylinder engine will run and run and run. Mine is normally aspirated (non-turbo).

I recently installed a set of Bilstein HD shocks, IPD premium front brake pads/rotors, and a set of Goodyear Eagle Responsedge tires. This combination is fantastic, and the car drives better than ever. Smooth, quiet, composed. I'm determined to keep this car and drive it to at least 300,000 miles.

Summary: If you don't mind investing in periodic maintenance items and also in some (mostly minor) unanticipated issues, you will be rewarded in the long run. My S70 still looks beautiful and rides better than at 20,000 miles. The engine does not smoke or leak oil, and still gets 25+ hwy MPG (over 400 miles per tankful).

And as an added bonus, it has been paid for for many years. Even with maintenance costs, I'm still many, many dollars ahead from purchasing a new car (even a Toyota or Honda!).

2nd Mar 2008, 15:42

I have owned two 1998 Volvo S70 vehicles. The first one non-turbo, the second one GLT (small turbo) LOVED both and only regret selling! After reading the comments, I have to say that anyone can be taken advantage of... my Volvo sedans (both bought used) were virtually trouble free - I have an excellent mechanic, and I also hunted for deals... need I say more? Both were purchased as a second car for winter driving and were excellent!! Can't say enough about how much I enjoyed my Volvo's...I am now looking for another!!

28th May 2008, 20:55

I live in Brisbane Australia.

We bought our 98 Volvo at 6 months old.

We have owned Fiats, Lancias, BMWs, and Volvos.

We have had absolutely no problems with our S70.

We have serviced it as per the book, and replaced things at times. Nothing like the horror stories I've read on your site.

We have done 106 000 K's and have no intention of parting with it yet. It's good for at least another 100 000 k's according to our Volvo mechanic.

It's a great mix of reliability, safety, responsiveness and pure driving pleasure. Jenny and Brian.

12th Jun 2008, 07:22

I've owned a 98 Volvo S70 for 8 years which is now at 112k miles. Mechanically, the car runs great. Never had any engine problem, though the check engine light has been on for quite some time. However, this car is absolutely the worst when it comes the electronics and lighting. I can't remember how many times I had to take this back to the Volvo dealer because the headlights or interior lights stopped working. The CD player has stopped working. And just the other night every time I stepped on the gas the instrument panel light kept going dim. The swedes are terrible with electronics. They should just hire some Japanese automotive engineers.

Also, the AC had stopped working so I popped in some r134a and its working great so far.

I'm not sure if I'll ever buy a Volvo unless they get the electronics straightened out.

2nd Aug 2008, 17:20

Bought our S70 back in 2002, now it's got about 100k miles.


1. Most beautiful Volvo up to date, boxy but very sporty

2. Very roomy both inside and trunk

3. The standard 5 cyl engine and tranny is also very reliable

4. Safety, Volvo is still number one

5. Very decent stereo system.

Cons: (wow where should I start)

1. My dash board looks like Xmas lights (check engine, ABS, maintenance, Airbag) you name them, all are on most of the time.

2. AC is shot, for a car with 100k mile it's a little disappointing.

3. Suspension is getting there. You can here the CV joints clicking from a mile away and my shocks are dying really bad.

4. Master cylinder replaced at 75k mile and now acting up again.

5. Cup holder is probably the biggest joke, broken and replaced twice.

6. Light switches (recall by Volvo)


My wife was the sole driver of the Volvo since purchased 5 years ago, we really loved the car a lot, sporty, safe and best of all it was thousand cheaper than any other imports at that time. The car has been pretty much trouble free since the purchase, but now with a little over 100k miles it seems like it's going down the hill, and parts and repairs for S70 are not cheap.

Last week I ended up buying a 91' 740 Wagon with working AC for my wife to drive just for the summer, but honestly, I'm falling in love with Volvo again!! This thing is 17 years young with everything functioning as they should, my kids love the 3rd row seating, anyway, if you're looking for one of of the S70, I really think they're good bargain, being how affordable they are now a day, but get ready to keep up with the maintenance, and to some that might seem to cost a lot more than many Japanese cars out there, but in return you'll be getting a sporty, timeless styling, and world renown VOLVO SAFETY.

3rd Oct 2008, 16:17

Hello, I'm in the market for a good used car and am a bit torn as to what to buy. I've found a 98 volvo s70 t5 that looks immaculate and the seller claims they've not had any problems with the vehicle and have kept up on all maintenance. Yes, it does need brakes which I can do my self however the vehicle has 180,000 miles on it which makes me leary. They are asking 3,000.

Would you buy it, and how many miles would you expect to get out of this vehicle?

30th Oct 2008, 22:15


Have it inspected by a Volvo specialist.

Any older car has to have maintenance and many of the "problems" complained of are normal consumable parts such as pads, rotors, filters, fluids, hoses, ball joints, bearings, dampers, bushings, etc.

My S70 GLT will be 12 years old in January with well over 100K miles. I still often receive compliments on its classic style. It is a touring sedan that is brilliantly designed and engineered.

The 850/70 series are good cars. Base your offer on the FMV less costs for repairs that you would expect to have been completed based on the manufacturer's maintenance schedule.


13th Dec 2008, 13:29

I have a 98 S70 basic with 213,000 miles. Bought it used with 16,000 and have had very few repairs with it.

I change the oil/filter every 5K. When I had the timing belt changed last month, the garage replaced the water pump. I also replaced front struts at 200K.

Yes, the right door leather has pulled out, but so what! It starts with the first turn of the key, and gets 29 mpg on the road. This is the best Volvo I've had (the ninth) and I expect another 100K at least from it.