2003 Volvo XC70 Momentum 2.4 D5 from Italy


Generally good car with electronics being a quality issue, seems on a large scale


Electronic issues right from the beginning: warning messages appearing, mostly of the intimidating kind (Anti-skid, Brakes, ABS not working). There was a pattern in it, but this didn’t quite help the mechanics in the shops. Sometimes the car wouldn’t (re)start!

The air con tends to excessively cool down the driver’s cab. I felt the temperature sensor in the dashboard to be too hot (wrong position, a design flaw) - but then again, if it was only this!…

General Comments:

The car handles and behaves well, and is mechanically sound.

Only thing that makes it sort of a lemon is the electronics. Had it many times at the car dealer - it usually wouldn’t take long before I had the same problem again. Becoming ever worse lately. Finally a year ago, they thought that they had found the problem: new software loaded on the ABS/brake-computer. Too bad it worked only for a while before getting back to the old routine. Now it seems clear what the solution could be: All considered it took them over 2 years to figure out that the piece itself might be defective. I find out by myself that this piece is prone to failure (found a DIY-manual published on the website motor-talk.de, German language, which also refers to other people having done it). Warranty?! Rather a design flaw, I’d say!

I refused the offer of having it repaired - simply couldn’t trust them anymore. I’d have a lot to tell, I have written several letters and made even more telephone calls - to both the Italian importer and company HQ in Sweden. I - that is my car - got the best attention from a Volvo dealer in Switzerland. By courtesy of the Swiss importer I have to say (way better than the Italian branch) who substantially contributed to the investigation of the flaw.

I understand that nowadays no car is flawless anymore. So what it all comes down to today is good service marks from the dealers up to the car company itself! Volvo doesn’t really care about that point. OK, there was no warranty on the car any more. But then one buys a car not for that - you want a car that works! OK, they did answer my correspondence, but by always handing it down to the local level (the importer…). Other manufacturers don’t! Or at the same time they brief the local representatives on what to do and at least give technical support.

Anyway - Volvo has lost me as a customer: they’ve become an overrated manufacturer relying on their fame among people. “Heja Volvo”, Come on Volvo! they used to say…

Two things on my behalf:

if somebody wants my log of the car’s problems, there is no problem. Post a reply.

I would be prepared to file a lawsuit against Volvo - anyone with similar problems interested?

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 8th December, 2008

2003 Volvo XC70 XC 70 D5 AWD 5 cylinder diesel 20 valve cdi from Netherlands


A good and reliable car, with nice features and a high level of safety


Almost nothing. Well, one little seal of a door came loose and that's it.

General Comments:

The cars drives very good. The build quality is also very high.

The engine runs smooth, but it is noticeable that it is a Diesel. The car uses about 7 liters per 100 km. The power of the engine is very good. Standard it has 163 Hp and 340 Nm, which is more than enough, but not really fast. Therefore I chiptuned the car. Now, the car goes much faster. It pulls very good, even at 140 km/h.

The road holding is very good. The car has very little body roll and the all wheel drive system helps a lot (when accelerating) in corners. The bumps of the road are noticeable though.

The seats are really very good. The instrument panel is very easy to use. The interior is very useful and the space is good.

The car goes through difficult terrain, but it isn't a real jeep. That's why this car can drive 215 km/h, has a road holding and has much safety features and it uses much less fuel than a jeep.

When it has snowed, it is very much fun to drive this car through hairpin bends and over parking lots. Great slides!

A good car for someone who needs to be on the road mostly, and needs a vehicle that will go through most terrain at ease.

The car is also very safe.

It is practical to use.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st August, 2004

5th Feb 2006, 12:59

Thanks very much for the reviews on the volvo XC70. I planned on purchasing a 2001 from a dealer, but now after reading the reviews definitely will not. While I was test driving it the signal light went out, and I just read that the lights have been a real problem with this car. Also, the wipers were extremely noisy (another comment someone else made). I am so disappointed, perhaps the newer years are better??? I am interested if anyone has had transmission or drive-train problems???

2003 Volvo XC70 2.4T from North America


Nice Comfortable SUV alternative


Squeaky plastic interior parts seem to indicate that the interior fit and finish is not exactly what a new $40,000 car should have. We've had to bring it back to have the plastic fixture around the light switch shimmed to stop noises. New annoying noises/squeaks seem to be starting though.

We have had the engine suddenly rev high and then come back down while driving down the road at a normal pace and holding the accelerator constant. It has happened around a dozen times in the past 7 months that we've owned the car, but haven't brought it to the dealer's attention yet.

General Comments:

Generally this is one comfortable car. Aside from the interior squeaks and noises.

The seats are incredibly comfortable and the cabin interior nicely appointed.

Handles really really well in the snow.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd January, 2004

3rd Aug 2005, 09:14

The revving problem may be due to a faulty throttle position sensor. I complained of this for months on my 1995 T5-R, and the dealer finally found and replaced the faulty unit, which solved the problem. The fault caused the transmission to downshift inappropriately, even when my foot was off the gas and we were going downhill.

Hope this helps.