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Volvo V70 Wagon Experience



  • My family is making the decision between these two cars. I was hoping someone on this board had experience with both and would share that with me. Both of the cars we are looking at are similarly equipped 2004 certified pre-owned. The VW has 11,000 miles the Volvo 20,000. The Volvo includes two routine services ($650 value according to the dealer) and the Volvo would have about 16,000 more miles in warranty.
  • The news lately has had several comments (Click and Clack column, Consumer Reports, etc, making comments about the problems with VW reliability.) I would go Volvo.
  • Can anyone advise when the new design will come out? If a new design will change soon, the pressure to lower the price would be greater. Thanks.


    I checked the edmunds fair value for used car. But from a personal point of view, what do you think a fair price would be for a 2004 XC70 at 20k miles, excluding options? Thanks.
  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    Figure 2 yrs at least.


    Also, new models rarely cause big price drops w/ Volvo wagons, too much demand for them.

    Figure a used 04 will run high 20's to low 30's depending on mileage and pedigree.
  • We went with the Volvo, thanks for your input.
  • We did have a bit of a drop w/ 00 XC's when the new models came. How about down there?
  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    Some drop yes, that was due to a completely new body for 01 and the incentives on the 00's.

    A current body used wagon does pretty well here.
  • Ditto. Wish the 80's stayed as strong!
  • just need as much info as I can get.

    We are looking at a '98 V70 XC with 61k miles. It's going to the Volvo dealer for some maintenance work (timing belt, check engine light...) The price is good, $10,995. And the car is in relatively good shape. Consumer reports didn't give this model a great reliability report. I've heard Volvo's are as good as the amount of money you spend to keep them running. I am not interested in putting a lot more money into this car. Is this true? Does anyone own one? Any common problems? Any info would help. Thank you.
  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    Most of the 98's were just fine.

    A few had tranny and driveshaft problems.

    I'd look at the maintenance records and see how it has been cared for.


    Volvo being a European car, maintenance is somewhat more expensive than a Ford or a Honda.

    Get yourself an extended service contract if at all possible.
  • stevewastevewa Posts: 203
    On all the XCs (pre 2002 or so) watch out for viscous coupling wear. If PO did not keep tire pressures correct and didn't rotate tires correctly it's possible the VC could be on its way out. Get the car on a parking lot (warmed up), roll down the window and make some tight turns at slow speeds and listen for excessive tire scrubbing. If you can hear scrubbing or feel binding in the movement of the car the VC might be starting to go. When they go they ususally seize up which is not pretty.


    At least the 98s did not have the infamous electronic throttle module.


    We owned a 2000 XC which we bought new. It's a very nice car, but the fuel economy driving around town is terrible (16 mpg) so we just traded it on a Ford Escape Hybrid. It does everything we needed the Volvo for, cost less brand new, and gets almost double the mpg. Certainly the XC was a safer car, but improvements in all cars have pushed the state of the art forward. I suspect the Escape is safer than the last of the 240 series cars, for instance.
  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    Seen too many Explorers end up mangled, I'd rather be in the 240.
  • stevewastevewa Posts: 203
    Remember the Explorer was (is?) a traditional body on frame design. The new generation of SUV (especially the smaller ones) are unibody design and are really more car than truck.
  • ytjkytjk Posts: 9
    This is my second volvo, my first was a 1986 240-- lovely car that.


    I got this car through the Overseas Delivery Programme. Nice.


    My wife drove it for 5 years. Now, with the third (and last) child, she moved onto a minivan, so the '86 had to go, and I moved into the Station Wagon.


    I like it-- solid 30.5 MPG to work. 66 Miles round trip, so it's real good.


    Here's my problem. I idle at about 875 or so. When braking, right before the car stops (2-7 MPH or so) the RPM's sometimes retard down into the 500-650 range, almost stalling. I occasionally get a loss of power braking assist, it's so bad.


    Anyone have an idea?? It also "chugs" pretty good on startup in the mornings-- if I don't drive it for more than 1 day.


    I did all the MX on the 240 myself, I look at this V70, and it's greek to me.


    The V70 has been dealer maintained up through the 45,000 miled service. Ready to can them. It has 56,000 on it now.


    Any advice?? I don't see a V70 MX board here...



  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    Yes, still they are small vehicles made of cheap materials, no high strength steel.

    None of the chassis reinforcements, made simply to pass govt safety tests.

    Even if you only get rear ended, no anti whiplash protection.

    They are not bad cars, just nothing that you can hold up as a credible alternative to a Volvo.
  • stevewastevewa Posts: 203
    If it happens on braking I can think of two things that might be happening. 1. a vacuum leak, or 2. a tranny issue.


    I'd look at the vacuum leak possibility first, it's usually the cheapest to fix anyway. There's also a possibility the computer might have stored a code, if you have access to an OBD-II scanner you might learn more (you'd know at least as much as the dealer tech at that point!).
  • stevewastevewa Posts: 203
    Perhaps. But much of Volvo's safety technology is appearing in other Ford models. The new Escape has side impact and side curtain airbags, it has the Haldex AWD system, and the hybrid technology could be seen as an offshoot of the Environmental Concept Car of the 1990s.


    Volvo, meanwhile, is clearly heading in the opposite direction. The fact that Volvo's answer to $2/gal gasoline is a bigger engine in its SUV, and a bigger engine in its "entry level" model speaks volumes on the shift from one of their core values, care for the environment. I've owned 5 Volvos (2 PV544, 1 244, 1 855 and 1 V70XC) and with the exception of the 855 wagon, each has been a step backwards with respect to fuel economy. The V70XC, even though it was 5 model years newer than the 855, had a higher pollution index.


    Someone said "Without a liveable environment all other considerations are irrelevant". The crash safety of my car doesn't mean much if I can't breathe the air.
  • Hi, I am debating if I should get a 2003/04 XC70 for $27-29k or so or a Mercedez C240 wagon for $25k, for Metro DC use. Both are less than 10k miles. My thinking is the XC70 is bigger, but it may repeat the path of Audi Allroad (eventually decommissioned), at least newer model will come sooner than the C class. There are not a lot of info (regaridng reliability on XC70 as it is not too popular). Also, I know MBZ better as my family has always used MBZs. I know nothing about Volvo. Your insight on this debate would be appreciated.
  • ytjkytjk Posts: 9
    Thanks Steve--


    I'll start trying to track down the vacuum system. I'm sure nothing is as easy as it was on the 240, but as I move into the "MX required" years of the car, I guess it's about time to get under the hood.


  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    Airbags alone are not a measure of safety.

    If the underlying structure isn't strong enough an airbag won't be enough.


    As for Volvo's and the environment. A 244 pollutes more just sitting than the ULEV II V8 does running.

    A PV544 is nowhere near as efficent as an S40 T5.

    Time and technology have allowed for more performance and better efficency.

    The 855 vs Cross Country argument is flawed. If you were to compare an 855 to a V70 that would be better. The V70 is more powerful, more refined and more efficent.
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