2003 Volvo V70 Reviews

2003 Volvo V70 2.4 from North America

Model year2003
Year of manufacture2003
First year of ownership2008
Most recent year of ownership2010
Engine and transmission 2.4 Automatic
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.5 / 10
Distance when acquired81000 miles
Most recent distance95000 miles
Previous carOpel Astra

Summary:

Excellent family car

Faults:

Over the two years I owned this V70, light bulbs were broken a few times. Sometimes the car indicates that a bulb is broken, but then it starts working again. Nothing else.

Timing belt was changed together with the water pump for $700.

General Comments:

Excellent car. Essentially nothing went wrong over the two years. So, I took the car back to Europe from the US. Very comfortable for long-distance rides. Quiet and enjoyable to ride. Mine gives 30-32 MPG on highway (about 7.9 l/100km) driving around 70 MPH (110 km/h).

I think this is excellent for the car of this size. Very big and roomy inside. A lot of space. My wife and daughter are always on the back seat, and they are happy with the space too.

This is not a sporty car. On the other hand, 170 hp is not that bad for this car. I love sporty cars by my nature, but made this choice because of the family. And I am happy driving this Volvo; it makes me feel that there is no hurry, there is no need to rush.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th August, 2010

2003 Volvo V70 2.4 from North America

Model year2003
Year of manufacture2003
First year of ownership2008
Most recent year of ownership2008
Engine and transmission 2.4 Automatic
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.7 / 10
Distance when acquired81000 miles
Most recent distance84000 miles
Previous carOpel Astra

Summary:

It is a pleasure to drive

Faults:

So far, 4 months and 4000 miles driving, nothing went wrong.

General Comments:

Generally I like the car very much. Very comfortable, so far reliable. It is nice to drive for long distances. Having 170 horsepower is good enough for this car albeit turbo would probably be better. The seats are a little bit of the trick and have to be properly adjusted. I found myself comfortable after quite long seat adjustment.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th October, 2008

2003 Volvo V70 D5 S 2.4 turbo diesel from UK and Ireland

Year of manufacture2003
First year of ownership2007
Most recent year of ownership2008
Engine and transmission 2.4 turbo diesel Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.0 / 10
Distance when acquired85000 miles
Most recent distance97000 miles
Previous carAlfa Romeo 156

Summary:

Big comfy swift Swede and 44mpg!

Faults:

Couple of small issues:

ABS warning light came on, required fairly expensive fix.

It's dropping a little bit of oil and the power steering is groaning at low speeds too.

But it's a 100k miles car.

General Comments:

Happy so far. An expanding family and a frequent need to carry them long distances with all our stuff prompted the purchase.

So what does it do well?

I wanted a D5 and haven't regretted buying a Volvo with this engine. It feels like a big lazy petrol engine, lots of torque, smoothish power delivery, surprising turn of speed and quietish with a pleasant 5 cylinder warble when the revs rise. My VW Golf's 1.9 tdi engine feels pretty noisy and lumpy in comparison. But the main point is that I cannot get over how this big, powerful, heavy car returns 40 plus miles per gallon in normal driving. It's amazing.

Comfort is the next plus point. On my first 350 mile journey I suddenly understood why people buy V70s. On a quiet motorway I put the cruise control on, settled deep into the perfect seat, put the excellent stereo on and quietly, effortlessly wafted along at 70mph. In previous years I have tackled the same journey in a range of cars, sometimes driving very swiftly. But it dawned on me that this is the way to tackle 350 mile distances. I stepped out the car feeling fresh and relaxed. Perfect.

Then there's the space. I know there are plenty of big estates on the market these days and that Volvo doesn't necessarily lead the pack anymore. But whether you're loading up for a big journey or popping down to the DIY store, stuff just fits in. Van rental companies must hate the V70.

What does it do badly?

Depends on your point of view. If you yearn for a slick sporty driver's car then don't buy a V70 D5. Despite its power, it's heavy and built for comfort. Its front wheel drive layout means that the torque overwhelms the front tyres in first, second (and recently with older tyres on a slightly greasy road third) gear.

Body control is so-so and it lurches into corners quite scarily if you're not used to it. The steering doesn't help as it's too woolly and imprecise. I'm sure it grips well in the corners, but you tend not to test this too much. The gear change is a bit stodgy too when you need to shift quickly.

But all that bothers car magazine road testers, not me. Yes, a BMW will entertain them more during the time they have a car, but in the real world I'm not a good enough driver to exploit rear wheel drive chassis engineering brilliance, and our crowded roads stop any potential for fun most of the time.

Service costs are a bit of a worry, and there are a few niggling faults which could be very expensive to fix soon. I currently save £50 a month on fuel costs compared to my 30mpg Alfa Romeo though, so this offsets some financial concerns. I also curse myself for buying a V70 which is the wrong colour (burgundy) and has the wrong interior (beige cloth) but you can't blame the car for that and it was cheap...

The V70 will do just fine.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th February, 2008

Average review marks: 8.7 / 10, based on 7 reviews