Do you still have this Volvo or have you retired it? It's been a year since your last post (I think). Anyways I found your post very helpful. Thanks.
I would agree with the original poster. My 1998 S70 is up to 140,000 miles and running perfect in every way. A truly fantastic car!
The reviews of the S70 T5 have been great and very helpful. I am more than convinced to get me one of these. I am about to purchase a 1998 T5 which has clocked 151 000km for only ZAR30 000.00. That's about $3500 by today's exchange rates.
I looks like a very well taken care of vehicle and in a few days it will in my possession. I had always wanted an S40 but this came like a gift.
Will update the post on my experience with the vehicle.
This is more of a "PS" on my last comment than anything else.
In just the past few weeks, gas prices have plummeted -- and true Winter has taken over in these parts lately. So, I've taken over the 4Runner for my drive to and from the city (much better late-night visibility), and my wife drives the Volvo on her more local and more "daylight" commute. This means that a tank of gas in the Volvo now lasts almost 4 weeks.
Her assessment: first, she's gotten used to being a bit closer to the ground again, but observes that "things haven't changed", which means that the Volvo is just as responsive, comfortable, safe and predictable as it was when she last drove it more regularly. She is very happy and feels very safe in this great S70 T5 SE.
I should emphasize that this is a very good vote of confidence in this vehicle, as my wife is very critical when it comes to family conveyances. I think she likes the heated seats, which are not featured in the 4Runner -- a great feature when the temperatures do a nosedive as they have recently.
She also *really* likes the "turbo kick" that allows her to pass anything on the road with great safety and predictability.
The 4Runner is a V8 full-time 4WD, and has lots of torque, HP, and stick, so passing in almost any condition is never a problem there either -- however, the lighter and more nimble Volvo, even with "just" front wheel drive, traction control and torque steer that is very slightly evident when things get slick, actually gets the job done with a bit more finesse, which she really appreciates.
To be very honest, I miss driving the Volvo as my daily driver -- I really love this vehicle -- but, for the time being, the 4Runner is fine, too. It also gets the job done and IMHO is actually safer than the Volvo in the bumper-to-bumper traffic I endure every day, simply because the driver's vantage point and perspective is from a higher elevation.
Other than that, though, I think the Volvo is superior -- even just with front wheel drive, it seems to "stick" better to the road in these icy, snowy, and very wintery conditions.
So, having said that, I'm very happy for my wife's safety in "the Swede". Now, if only Volvo and Toyota could get together and design that simpler, more fuel-efficient, and *fun* S70 I've been going on and on about...
Best wishes to all.
Happy New Year to everyone on the list.
This is just a brief update following my last post. Temperatures in SW Alberta have been all the way down to about -30C recently, not counting wind chill. So block heaters have been *de rigeur* and a bit of vigilance has been required re: driving conditions especially following the occasional "warm spell" (all the way up to, say, -20C) when we've had a dump or two of snow.
Anyway, the Volvo has been purring right along, pas un problem. A few weeks ago I added a bit of gasline antifreeze to the fuel, plus an "upper cylinder lubricant" from Canadian Tire, and everything seems perfectly fine.
In my last post I opined that Toyota and Volvo should get together and do something about reviving a new and improved version of the tried and true S70. Now, I should point out that I have *not* had a look at this new vehicle, but Toyota has just at the end of 2008 released the new "Venza", which in V6 form plus requisite bells and whistles, just might fit the bill. If you are interested, you can find a review of the Canadian version at http://www.driving.ca/autoshow2008/story.html?id=8efead65-5d03-47f4-945a-f9efb05c7b28. One fine day I'll drop by the local "stealer" and see what this is all about. I must admit that the idea of a Matrix on steroids doesn't quite do it for me... but if this vehicle in 4Wd trim is even remotely as durable as the S70, then this might be worthy of further investigation.
Anyway, back to the object of our affections -- the 1998 S70 T5 SE is working and running as perfectly as ever (knock wood). If this thing really does have 750,000KM left on the clock before something really major will likely need fixing, well, I figure it's worth hanging on for the time being.
Best wishes and Happy New Year's wishes to all from a very very cool Southern Alberta (-26C not counting wind chill).
Thank you for all your comments on this car. My wife and I are looking to purchase one (S70 5T) as an extra car. My wife owned a Volvo previously and had a good experience. Its great to have the kind of feedback and specifics in your comments about issues with the vehicle; Helped to make our mind up. Thanks from Tucson, AZ (83 degrees-F today!)
I'm glad to hear that Arizona is as warm as I recall - last trip we had down there was a number of years ago, and it was downright pleasant compared to persistent Wintry conditions up here in Western Canada at this time of year. But, we make our choices and accept the consequences, yes?
Anyway, here it is, mid-February 2009, in SW Alberta -- I just had the oil / filter changed in the S70 T5 SE at my "old reliable" shop and of course had the overall checkup as per usual.
Findings: no repairs required, all systems are working 100%, everything is solid as a rock and unfolding as it should, normal wear and tear, tires and brakes in perfect condition, all systems are a "go".
I should mention I had the original Volvo battery replaced about 4 weeks ago (a pretty good run of 11+ years' continuous service of about 250,000KM) after the 3rd cell started "boiling" and spilling over when the car was running. The replacement took all of 12 minutes including re-setting the radio code. Big deal.
So now, with March just around the corner, Spring is emerging. The days are much longer than at the end of December! Yay!! We've already had a BBQ out on the deck, and the remaining snow, although hanging on just in the shadows, is just about gone. Buds are beginning to swell on the trees. The deer are running around in the fields nearby, seeming to be very happy and pumped up about the upcoming Spring. The Volvo continues to perform as it always has... so we'll just keep filling the tank about once per month, changing the oil / filter when the clock comes around again, washing away any salt dust accumulated from the road whenever necessary, and monitor all systems as we continue to rack up the KM (or miles if you're in the US).
This has been yet another in a long line of comments about our wonderful passion red 1998 Volvo T5 SE with black leather interior... which, based on our experience to date, could not receive any more positive commentary. As I've said before, buy one if you can. If it has a good history of proper care and feeding, I don't think you can go wrong.
Cheers to all.