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Volvo V70 Wagon Experience



  • stmssstmss Posts: 206
    We have had the third seat in our 99 V70 since new. We have used it as a 'casual' seat only. What I mean is that we limit the use only to when we occasionaly have the 6th passenger, and then it is only suitable for kids. We don't let the kids in it full time and try to stay out of higher risk areas (ie limit freeway use)

    I don't believe Volvo would concur with the advice of the Volvo parts guy. There have been tests on both these rear seats and mercedes eclass rear seats which are similar. IMO, they are no more dangerous than some third seats in mini vans with the occupants head less than 1 ft from the back glass. And isn't Volvo still selling them in the new V70s?

    You can get a third seat for this but may need to go to auto wrecker or ebay. Maybe switch one out from a Volvo owner who no longer needs theirs (kids have outgrown?). A new seat was about $1k option so that is what you should look at tops. Cheaper than a replacement vehicle but not as useful.

    And, if you go with a new vehicle, there are now many minivan replacements with 3rd seats - much more than in 2000 - ie Freestyle, Pilot, Rendevous, Highlander etc not to mention the truck based SUVs.
  • garandmangarandman Posts: 524
    So, I'm at an impasse . . . do I try and find the 3rd row seat for my wagon, or do I go out and buy a new car/SUV w/ 7-pass. seating or, heaven forbid, a MINIVAN!

    We have an 05 Nissan Quest. It has the 3.5l, 242 hp V6 engine from the Maxima family and a five speed automatic. It has a nice 3 spoke leather steering wheel and handles great. The power sliding doors open nearly 3 feet wide, and it's easy to walk back between the first two rows of seats to the 3rd row. If you don't need the middle row seats they fold flat, and the 3rd row folds into the floor. The stereo system has a second controller so you can listen to one source while the kids in the back can listen to something else with cordless headphones. Average MPG for the first 6,000 miles was 22.3mpg.

    I am always puzzled when some middle-aged parent rebels from buying a minivan. Instead they buy a gigantic, unwieldy SUV. Or try to stuff their kids into the "Wayback" of a Volvo instead.

    And I have a question for those parents. Who do you think you're kidding?Whether you drive an SUV Maru, a station wagon, or a minivan, everyone who sees you is going to know you're a middle-aged parent. So why not buy a minivan, enjoy the creature comforts, convenience features, and operating economy. And have fun blowing the doors off the above when you feel like it? What's not to love?
  • stmssstmss Posts: 206
    There are lots of reasons. Here goes some,

    The wagons are cars and regardless of what the manufacturers try to tell you, minivans are not and do not handle, accelerate or ride like cars - especially like the european wagons. Are they getting better - maybe. Anyone who has owned a turbo Volvo or Saab wagon will have difficulty getting back into a minivan - from a pure driving and comfort point of view.

    The wagons generally get better mileage but may depend on the models.

    Wagons have a bench seat across the second row - which is very useful if you have 3 kids. Up until recently, only GM had a bench across the middle row. As soon as you put the third child in the back row of a minivan - you have lost the storage. I understand there are more manufacturers now that offer bench 2nd row.

    Many do not like the styling or sliding doors of the current minivans or prefer to have AWD (not always available in minivans) hence the increased popularity of wagons and crossover vehicles.

    Many don't need the space of a minivan - only when on holidays or going to Home Depot. Normally get around this with cargo boxes or trailers for the times they need extra space.

    Is there an image issue? Maybe in part, but please don't assume that a minivan fits the bill for everyone. For many, it just doesn't suit them - never will.
  • xc70xc70 Posts: 2
    I have spent over $3k on the car to correct a check engine light that is continually connected to the oxygen sensors. Finally went out and bought my own computer ($130) to turn off light when it comes on. No one knows why the light comes on or where the problem is. Like the car enough to keep it. BTW have been told by some old timers that the 98 V70 XC had a fuel tank recall and I almost got one until the district manager stepped in.
  • xc70xc70 Posts: 2
    Many of you may have heard of Victor Rocha, the guru of Volvo ABS control modules. Do you have an intermittant ABS light come on...getting worse? Volvo wants $600-800 to replace these. Victor can fix it (and beef it up where it will most likely last the life of your car) and he only charges $125 plus shipping. Mine acted up for awhile until it started coming on every day. So, this past monday, I took it out and sent it to him. He repaired it and it arrived today (Saturday) and I was able to put it in in about 15 minutes. My ABS system works now and no more ABS light. I don't have stock in his business...I'm just delighted with this guy...very professional, great communication/explanations on how to take it out, put it back in, etc. I would highly recommend him to you if you need your Volvo ABS unit repaired. I found him on Ebay or you can find his website here:
  • matzmatz Posts: 1
    Klaz, I noticed your post in the brickyard also.

    I have a 98 XC that is making a similar noise. Today I got a pal to hoist the car and we listened to the noise from beneath (not something you want to do in the driveway?).

    Anyway, we're in Canada and our bearing supplier didn't have any idea which bearing it might be.
    Do you happen to have a record of the bearing you bought to replace it?
    Any major bearing manufacturer will do.

    Thanks for your post(s). By the way, is this a job I can do in the driveway? If the car is only up a foot (i.e. on jackstands) do you recall there being enough room beneath to remove the drive shaft?
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    I have a Freestyle with the 2nd row bench, tri-level climate, curtain airbags, etc and paid $23K. It gets about 24mpg (20city/26hwy) from calculating manually and I have 18K miles since buying in Feb. Zero problems. Really roomy in all three rows. Not as luxurious as some cars, but it was only $23K.
  • thrvivthrviv Posts: 3
    First of all, thanks for responding to my original post re: the third-row seat. I was wondering why the parts guy would say they're not safe, too, especially since they still sell them in the newer wagons. Maybe it's a model year thing?? At any rate, I appreciate your feedback and candor.

    Thanks, too, for responding so eloquently about reasons why some families DON'T want minivans. You are exactly right when you state that minivans don't handle nearly as well as Volvo wagons -- I've driven one and couldn't wait to get back into my wagon.

    One thing "Garandman" has failed to realize is that his Nissan Quest is more of a crossover vehicle than a minivan. Oh well, that's his problem, not mine.

    Again, thanks for your feedback on the third row seat. I greatly appreciate it!
  • garandmangarandman Posts: 524
    One thing "Garandman" has failed to realize is that his Nissan Quest is more of a crossover vehicle than a minivan.

    I have driven all the new generation of minivans and almost all of the currently available wagons. I own a Subaru Outback - the original "crossover" - and a '98 V70.

    My suggestion is that anyone go and drive the vehicles themselves and draw their own conclusions rather than take the assertions of someone who has not driven any of them.

    If calling a Quest a "crossover" [it is built on the Altima chassis but no AWD version is available] relieves your social anxiety about minivans, it's worth taking a drive to see what the 3.5l V6 that powers them is all about. The foldaway seats; sound systems; and multi-piece sunroof is also entertaining.

    There is nothing mini about the new crop of minivans: they are physically much larger than the Volvo wagons, a significant selection difference. Otherwise, the Ford Freestyle is a much more direct, and formidable marketplace competitor.
  • Thriv,

    Surfing for other things, I found that sells the seat for your year. Not cheap - $975 for the whole kit (new) - not sure on the shipping, and that doesn't include installation (probably time consuming but not difficult to do yourself). I have no experience with this site.

    Another option would be to check the local wrecking yards - if you do that, inspect the mounting hardware carefully to make sure it's not damaged, and install NEW safety belts.

    Hope this helps,
  • I just bought a Mazda6 wagon, but if I had had that much money I would have bought a Volvo hands down. The Freestyle is underpowered, I share your concerns about the battery in hybrids and the Mazda5 (my wife's choice) has had fire problems I almost bought a used Passat, but after reading the complaints on I decided against it. They sell so few cars and the list of website complaining about them and threating class-action suits is quite long. I would have bought a used Volvo, but I am also afraid of buying one that has an unknown maintenance record. So, I bought a new Mazda. I love it, but it is not a volvo with its classic good looks and utility. Buy the Volvo, but be sure to maintain it more so than you do your Honda.

    Good luck and welcome home!
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    "The Freestyle is underpowered"

    Why do you say that? Have you seen the 0-60 times?
    8.2 seconds 0-60 from:

    Regardless of what the text in many review say about the Freestyle being underpowered, the numbers don't lie. It's only a perception of being underpowered because of the CVT transmission but not by the reality the 0-60 times.. The CVT really makes the most out of the available horsepower.
  • Just purchased a 1999 V70 XC with 122k. The car sells itself great handling, nice feel, great safety
    features. Have two other volvos that run well. The reputation Volvo has with our family is depndability. I've done a lot of internet searching in the meantime and have found several references to faults associated with the Electronic Throttle Module. The whole thing reminds me of the unfortunate boy in Lorenzos Oil his symptoms remain undignosed while the family is left trying to understand what's happening. To keep this brief I referyou to for the explanation and turn on your own light.
  • stmssstmss Posts: 206
    I also disagree with this. I have a V70 glt, Saab 9.5 and now an 06 Freestyle. Compared to the two turbo cars, the Freestyle, on initial drive, may seem a bit underpowered but it is just rpm/cvt perception, in my opinion. The engine/transmission match in the Freestyle seem more than adequate. The Freestyle doesn't have the low end torque the turbos give you but makes up for it like any 6 cyl non turbo - by rpm. You just need to get use to it.

    The perception of the Freestyle being underpowered has been propagated by the auto journalists and is not helped by the engine only being 200Hp (or so) compared to some competitors are 250+. But all turbo owners should know that HP isn't everything.
  • mkrsw1mkrsw1 Posts: 12
    looks like the etm on my 99 v70 xc awd w/117,000 miles died
    yesterday. needless to say, i'm unhappy at the prospect of
    spending upwards of $1000 to fix a car that is probably only
    worth $5000 or $6000. just 2 weeks ago, we nearly traded
    it on a new car. oh well. any advice would be welcome.
  • thrvivthrviv Posts: 3
    Hi Pat,
    Thanks for the lead on -- I'll definitely check it out. I've also got feelers out at the local wrecking yards -- all good points in terms of safety.
    Many thanks for your input.
  • My 98 V70 is a great car. Runs like a charm, gets superb gas mileage. Has treated me very well. Except for one annoying problem, a rattling in the front dash board-drivers side. Like the chalk scraping on a blackboard. I have had it checked out--one mechanic said it was a screw mount for the dash that was loose. He tightened it and nothing happened. Kept on rattling. Rattles in hot and cold weather. If I probe further I fear it will be an expensive fishing expedition that won't really fix it. What I want to know is whether there are lots of 98 V70s or other V70s with the same problem and what was the fix.
  • I have driven my car for the last couple of days (after it sat in my driveway for 2-3 months) and the exhaust fumes were bad again in the beginning, then were fine. Boy, it was sure good to be back in my car again. I had cleaned it all out to trade it in, which I didn't really want to do. Even had the seat warmer on this weekend (NICE!). Love my radio (yes, I know, not the most important thing) and after awhile the fumes weren't bad at all. I have not heard anything about a fuel tank recall. And mine is a '99, did it include the '99's as well? I realized the parts I had replaced before were the whole throttle body, which made it run good for a month, and then I started having problems again at the beginning of the summer. Seems like as the cooler weather gets here, the fumes aren't so bad. Who knows? What did you mean about your district manager and you almost got a new fuel tank??
  • Dump it, We have a 2000 XC70 and just lost the transfer case. It is good money after bad. While we have had few issues up until now, there is nothing inexpensive about repairing these cars.
  • what about removing the driveshaft and run the car as front drive only?
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