2001 Volvo XC70 5-cylinder gas, low-pressure turbo from North America
All round competent car with some quirks
No major service/reliability issues. Unlike my 2001 V70, this car had no problems with check engine light or throttle.
Car was solid, drove well in most conditions (recommend real snow tires for winter driving with Volvos, even with 4WD/AWD), and was reasonably reliable.
A major caution: like other post 2001 "Cross Country" V70 models, this one had a tendency to act erratically in sharp turns/lane changes - weight shift seems to be accentuated by the AWD system, compared to the front wheel drive V70 wagons (car also has a higher center of gravity). This can lead to diving and excessive body roll. The car recovers, but this can be unnerving.
In our case, I believe it also led to an accident - my 18-year old was driving the car and lost control of it in an "S" curve on wet pavement, hit a tree sideways and died in the collision. Volvo reviewed photos of the car and claims it performed as designed, but for a relatively low speed (35 mph) impact, body cage deformed significantly. Side impact air bags deployed as designed, but the fixed grab bar over the driver's side door hit the driver's head, resulting in massive head trauma.
Moral of this story seems to be that the AWD designation inspires more confidence than it should in this car's handling and safety characteristics. Scenes of XC70's flying through alpine scenery in Volvo commercials should not be taken literally.
Final note: Volvo redesigned the body cage in the current series V70s to add a structural cross member under floor in the front seat area (in the 2001-07 series, the crush resistance is supposed to be "enhanced" by a transverse steel tube in the front seats).
I would still buy this car, and own a 2004 XC70. Be extremely careful to have the emissions evaporative recirculation system checked out if buying - some cars in this series, including my 2001 V70 wagon, have been nightmares in this respect.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 2nd February, 2011
24th Nov 2012, 21:32
I have the misfortune to own a 2001 V70/XC -- should have looked before I leaped, otherwise I might have known:
2001-2003 (I think) have a very high rate of transmission failure. Ours burnt at 45K, not unheard of for this unit.
The notorious throttle position sensor, sort of the opposite problem of the Toyota electronic throttle problem; you go suddenly from highway speed to a crawl.
These are the common problems. We had our very own, such as this weekend's death of the turbo, at 65K.
And all of the many other electrical problems that continue to plague it.
On the other hand, for a price, the dealer is always happy to provide a software upgrade.
16th Dec 2014, 01:21
Sounds like you didn't keep up on maintenance. $20 says your front sway bar bushings were worn down and the bar was moving, back and forth. Hence the squirrely handling. Pretty common; it's just a piece of rubber.
And as for the evap codes, it's a rubber hose on the exterior of the car. It can't be inside the vehicle. What rubber lasts forever? Even the rubber hoses under the hood wear down, right?
19th Sep 2017, 20:20
Wow, I have a 16-yr-old 2001 XC70 (not the turbo version), and it's wonderful, at 225k miles and counting. No major engine or transmission problems yet.
The biggest pain is one others have commented on -- light bulbs (front and rear outside) going out way more than on any other cars I've ever had (combined!) over 40 years. But I'll take the little problems over the big ones any day.
The only other issue is replacing the items that just wear out when owning a car so long, but I'm only spending about $1000 per year on maintenance.
Very comfortable and practical car, also. I don't see that Volvo has anything now remotely close to the quality of this old car, sadly.