1998 Volvo V70 XC 2.4 turbo from North America

Summary:

This car gives a great sense of quality, luxury, and safety

Faults:

Rear hatch struts were weak before purchase. Replaced for $150.

Had a broken motor mount before purchase. $265 to repair.

Fan motor and resistor housing for climate control had to be replaced. $460.

Check engine light. Engine running rich due to vacuum leak under manifold. $200 to repair.

General Comments:

We have owned this car for one year now and love it. It's my wife's car, and she says it's her most favorite car of all the cars we've owned. It has a fantastic ride, and great maneuverability around the mountain roads where we live. It grips the road like a rock, and you feel very comfortable driving fast, either straight ahead, or around a turn.

Great on snowy roads. The AWD, when I've activated it on purpose or unintentionally, works very well. Not a real off-roader, it's handled every snowy mountain road Colorado weather has given us.

The front seats are very comfortable -- almost orthopedic -- and there's excellent leg room in the front row (good leg room in back).

Cargo room is very spacious. Rear seats fold down easily, making the cargo space cavernous. Great for families.

Finding a good, competent, independent Volvo mechanic will save you $$$ -- or pounds. Example -- My transmission wasn't shifting right one day, so I drove straight to the garage I use. My mechanic had it for about 30 minutes when he came out and said, 'It was the shift sensor. I reset it.' I said, 'How much do I owe you?' He said, 'Nothing'. He said, 'If it goes out again, you might want to get a new one -- $300.' I'm happy to report it has been fine now for 9 months. What a great mechanic!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st December, 2011

1st Dec 2011, 16:21

PS Adding to my post above.

I consider the first two repairs to be part of the cost of purchase. This car had obviously been pampered by the prior owner, and was in pristine condition. Whenever I have purchased a used car, I put aside $1000 for a transmission flush, an oil change with full synthetic oil, and general repairs. With $150 for the rear hatch strut, and $265 for the broken motor mount, I came in under that budget. The $460 for the blower and $200 for the check engine light are the only two post-purchase repairs I've had. The $460 blower repair was big, but I consider anything under $250 to be minor.

1998 Volvo V70 R 2.3 turbo from North America

Summary:

Shop around more

Faults:

ABS flicks on and off.

Check engine light for evap system.

Heater core took a dump on us. Not hard to fix, just very frustrating.

General Comments:

Our last car was a '96 850 turbo wagon. My wife and I loved that car. Unfortunately my wife got into a wreck. With the insurance money, we set off to find another wagon. We found the V70R, took it for a spin and bought it. This is Volvo's upper trim level and most sporty car. All wheel drive, more horse power, the works...

We hate it. Not that it's a bad car, but our 850 turbo wagon was much more fun to drive. The handling is not as good in the V70. I could park the 850 like it was a Metro. I'm sure the AWD robs horse power, but the V70 feels slower. To be fair, I put an 850R ECU in the old car, and Volvo did market the 850 as a sport wagon. The V70 was made to be more subdued, even the V70R.

The layout and controls in the V70 are more difficult to use, and feel cheap over the 850 to me. On the plus side, the sound system in the V70 is amazing. The seats are very nice and plusher than our old car. Cup holders suck in both cars we had.

It gets my wife from point A to point B, but we don't plan on keeping it much longer. Don't fall for the hype. I did, and feel let down. We got the car thinking it was an upgrade over our 850. On the plus side, we got the car dirt cheap for a R model in good shape. I only put $200 into it on repairs I do myself.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th November, 2011