1998 Volvo S80 2.9 SE from Australia and New Zealand


Do not buy one as the resale is horrific because no one wants one second hand S80.


I bought the car second hand with 60,000kms on it. The only problem was a faulty wheel bearing which was fixed under warranty at time of purchase luckily as I was told it would cost around $800 to fix. I used to travel 1,000kms a week to get to work and back. At first the car ran smoothly and was fantastic cruising on the freeway, how-ever my dream run was about to end.

80,000kms: Radiator blew a hole causing transmission fluid to run into the cooling system. Luckily the computer detected a drop in the coolant level and advised me to stop the car immediately. If this had not happened, I would have run transmission fluid through the cooling system and probably blown a head gasket. Cost to repair $700.

90,000kms and onwards: Car would idle roughly when hot. Had this checked by three different shops and they all said nothing was wrong. Also the ash tray kept popping open all the time and had trouble closing. This is great when you use it to store loose change and then decides to pop open when you have left the car encouraging thieves to break in for some quick cash.

100,000kms and onwards: Emission system service light would illuminate and then go out after a week. This went on and on. Also 10 disc CD stacker acts like a roulette wheel. Most times it says CD error, but on the odd occasion it will play a CD even though 10 seconds earlier it said error.

110,000kms: Window regulator bolt on drivers electric window snapped in operation resulting in window being stuck. $1,000 to repair. The other passenger window is experiencing similar problems and bolt will no doubt snap soon. Better start saving another $1,000.

120,000kms: The emission system service light finally refused to go out. I was told to fix it required two oxygen sensors at a total cost of around $1,400 to repair. I was also informed that after doing this repair, the existing engine idle problem had worsened and that the throttle body cable needed replacing. This added another $1,000 and then throw in another $800 for a service, I walked away almost declaring bankruptcy.

130,000kms: One of the folding mirrors refuses to fold in. Why that will be another $650 thanks. I opted to leave it broken.

140,000kms: Surprise, surprise, the emission system service light is back on again and won't go away. Having read other peoples comments I am now wondering if the oxygen sensors ever needed replacing at all and perhaps the real fault was an error in the computer system!

145,000kms: Cooling system hoses burst. Again I was alerted to the loss of coolant and avoided major problems. However it cost $500 to have two hoses replaced.

This is the final straw. I have had the car for sale for 15 months and have had two calls. Nobody wants them so don't buy one!

This car new was close to $100,000 new and I was just offered $10,000 for a trade in and I still owe $30,000 on it.

I figure I'll cut my loses and get rid of it as I know of about $5,000 worth of repairs still to go to fix another wheel bearing, the broken folding mirror, new pads and rotors, emission system (again) and its 145,000km service.

General Comments:

Putting aside the expensive repairs and servicing, the car handled well and was great on the freeway. The stereo system sounds amazing and the integrated car phone solved all the problems not being able to talk on a mobile while driving.

I often had people come up to me to tell me what a great looking car it was.

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

Review Date: 29th December, 2005

23rd Feb 2010, 13:57

That sure sounds familiar... mine chewed through two brand new computers at a cost of $8000 (thankfully covered under warranty). The idler in it stopped working correctly and kept cutting the car out, the spedo would stop working correctly. and If I used different BRANDS of fuel I would get a check engine immediately warning... cut my losses and traded it for $4k for a VW Polo for my partner.

1998 Volvo S80 2.9 in line 6 cylinder from North America


A mechanical and customer service nightmare


Motor Mount broke and was replaced at approximately 20,000 miles.

Throttle assembly broke and was replaced at approximately 40,000 miles.

Transmission broke and was replaced at approximately 50,000 miles.

Fuel pump broke and was replaced at approximately 65,000 miles.

Door lock motors broke and were replaced.

Window motors broke and were replaced.

Multiple safety and mechanical recalls.

General Comments:

The worst car I have ever owned. The most arrogant, dishonest and inept service I have ever seen, from multiple Volvo dealers. This is not a "one-dealer" issue. Volvo dealer topped power steering reservoir with Automatic Transmission Fluid and Automatic Transmission Reservoir with Power Steering Fluid and blamed it on me, even though I have full service history of dealer-only service at each recommended service interval. I paid for the repair and Volvo would not answer my phone calls.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 20th May, 2003

21st May 2003, 05:27

I sympathise, sounds like a vortex of a car and I suspect not a one off either. But isn't power steering fluid and auto box fluid the SAME? It says so on the bottles sold here in Europe (mostly from Exxon Esso note..) Get behind the wheel of ANY Japanesse car and you'll be driving not fuming in a dealer and emptying your bank account too. Good luck!

1998 Volvo S80 2.9 from Israel


A great car, but I will never buy an early production car of a new model again


Four failures of the mechanism that allows the car to be taken out of PARK, turn ignition key (same problem).

Failure of left wheel bearing.

The dealer has been helpful, but the problem occurred four times before it was fixed.

General Comments:

The car has super technology. I have tried the T6, but the extra power was needed by me. The sound system is a marvel (top of the line). The seats are fabulous. The gadgets meet every requirement.

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

Review Date: 15th April, 2000

1998 Volvo S80 T6 2.9 2x turbo petrol from Sweden


Nothing, it's brand new.

General Comments:

A very fun car, could be faster though.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 17th January, 1999

14th Jan 2001, 14:55

Why would anyone who rated something as being nearly perfect not buy from that manufacturer again?

24th Jun 2001, 21:02

The Twin Turbo is a 2.8 liter buddy. The naturally aspirated s80 is a 2.9 liter.

25th Sep 2001, 14:14

I bought my S80 in Sweden and saw the factory, and for people who say that Volvo quality control is bad, think again. If there are bad problems with the car, the dealer will tell the managers at the main factory in Gothenburg and the management will get on to the team of around 6 people whom built the car, and they'll be fired... my S80 is a 2.9L and for people who say it's slow, go to Germany and do 146mph like me. It's quite nice and worth a try. Plus the S80 is more spacious than the 5 Series, Lexus GS and Mercedes E-Class, so what do you think?

Buy Volvo.