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Volvo V70 / XC70



  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    You might want to check out the Volvo XC70/V70: Prices Paid & Buying Experience discussion.

    tidester, host
  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    Actually, the P2 cars have done very well in the side impact test.
    The new S40 will be recieving 5 stars in the side test as well.
  • wmquanwmquan Posts: 1,817
    Actually, the P2 cars have done very well in the side impact test.

    But I was specifically referring to the IIHS test. No Volvo has ever received the IIHS side-impact test and had its results published. That is the same test that the Subaru Legacy sedan did poorly on.

    So the results from other side-impact tests aren't validly comparable.

    The IIHS side-impact test has the distinction of using a larger, heavier barrier than the side-impact tests conducted by the NHTSA. The IIHS's idea is to better approximate being hit by a larger, taller vehicle, like an SUV or minivan. Thus the IIHS side-impact test may well be the toughest, public, side-impact test in the world now.

    In contrast, the NHTSA's side-impact test approximates getting hit by something the size and shape of a Corolla. It's easier to get 5-stars in its test. Even the new Subaru Legacy sedan might get 5-stars with it.

    I'd assume the V70/XC70 would do very well in IIHS's side-impact test. But for now we can't say for sure if it would do well, and whether it'd do better than the Legacy would.
  • rsorganizersorganize Posts: 131
    Look, I'm really reluctant to get back into this discussion, but....

    The comparisons are just not that easy to make/sustain/defend. They are both good, safe cars. Pros and cons both ways. Can't imagine that these kinds of issues can be definitively resolved. Mea culpa for raising some of the issues/heat out of my frustration with my XC experience.

    The Volvo has never undergone the IIHS test, but some assume it will do better than Subaru. The Subaru scores the highest ranking ever in Australia - including a perfect score on the side impact tests and outscoring the Volvos (inclduing the XC 90) - but, for some, that is irrelevant. Camry gets a higher score than the Subaru on the side-impact test, then on Monday of this week they announce a recall of 130,000 '04s because of failures in the deployment of side airbags (NY Times).

    It looks like the Australian NCAP test is similar, if not identical, to the the IIHS test. Here's what they say on front and rear testing (

    "...The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), recognizing the limitations of the full-frontal crash test used by NHTSA, uses a frontal offset crash test similar to tests used by the Australian and European New Car Assessment Programs (Euro-NCAP and ANCAP). Offset tests challenge a vehicle's structure more than full-frontal tests do, providing more information on passenger safety in the most common kinds of collisions.

    The IIHS begain using its 40% offset, 40 mph test in 1995, ranking results into four categories based on the amount of protection from serious injury...."

    (On Side Impact:)

    "...Compared with NHTSA's test, the Institute test produces higher risks for occupants of side-struck vehicles: In the Institute test, a moving deformable barrier strikes the driver side of a passenger vehicle at 31 mph. The barrier weighs 3,300 pounds and has a front end shaped to simulate the front end of a typical pickup or SUV. In each side-struck vehicle are two instrumented dummies the size of a short (5th percentile) female or a 12-year-old child, one positioned in the driver seat and one in the rear seat behind the driver. This is the first consumer test program to use a dummy that represents small women.

    The federal government's side impact test uses a barrier representing a car's front end. In this test, there's no chance that the heads of the dummies in a struck vehicle will be hit by the intruding barrier. But in serious real-world side impacts, people's heads often are struck by intruding vehicles, especially if the striking vehicle is a pickup or SUV with a high hood. The Institute's barrier is taller than the government's to mimic the high hood heights of SUVs and pickups...."

    (and, this on the Euro and Australian NCAP side-impact tests:)

    "...Side impacts are less frequent than frontal collisions but their consequences are often more serious. In the Euro-NCAP side impact test, a stationary vehicle with dummies seated in the driver's and front passenger's seat is rammed by a moving trolley (with a crushable aluminum face) going 50 km/h (30 mph) directly centered on the driver's seating postition.

    There is a new provision in the Euro-NCAP protocol for a side impact pole test to be conducted at the manufacturer's expense. This only applies where a maximum head score is achieved in the side impact barrier test and a "head protecting" side airbag is provided. Until all vehicles are pole tested, we will not add this test to's ratings...."

    BTW, the Subaru DID undergo the 'pole' test and, as a result, reached 5 Stars. Subaru achieved a perfect score on this side-impact test, which looks to be essentially, if not actually, the same as IIHS's test.

    Very few of the cars tested in Australia achieved the 5 stars that Subaru did and, remember, Subaru recieved the highest total ever.

    So...can't this issue be laid to rest, for now?

  • wmquanwmquan Posts: 1,817
    How can the issue be laid to rest so quickly when it was only announced on Sunday that the Subaru did so poorly in the IIHS side-impact test? When there is a standing "marginal" score, and a number of 04's waiting to be recalled?

    That crosses the Legacy and probably the Outback from my list. Sure, we don't have proof the Volvo would do better, but it wouldn't be off my list like the Subaru. I wouldn't be the only person to do so based on the "marginal" side-impact crash test score.

    It looks like the Australian NCAP test is similar, if not identical, to the the IIHS test.

    The offset frontal crash test is highly similar, as you pointed out. But if the Australian test is now using EuroNCAP procedures, it means that the Australian test has a higher-standard for chest compression injuries than the IIHS offset frontal crash test.

    Where the Australian NCAP test differs greatly than IIHS's is their respective side-impact tests. The IIHS's side-impact test is considerably more demanding than EuroNCAP's/Australian NCAP's. The IIHS side-impact barrier is intended to simulate a larger vehicle, whereas the Euro/Aussie NCAP barriers are notably smaller.

    That is why Euro/Aussie NCAP employ the pole test -- their smaller-sized barrier cannot adequately test the head-protection airbags. Whereas IIHS's larger barrier tests the head-protection airbags, such as when the first Legacy tested didn't protect the head, revealing a manufacturing problem at Subaru and prompting a recall.

    Thus if a vehicle scores 5-stars in Australian NCAP's, but relatively poorly in IIHS's side-impact test, one should pay much more credence to the IIHS side-impact test. It's more demanding. And, frankly, it's more realistic to be t-boned by an SUV or minivan than it is to slide sideways into a pole. (Not that the latter doesn't actually happen, but wouldn't you rather drive the vehicle that survives the SUV collision better?)

    In fact, IIHS had conducted some limited pole tests several years ago, but elected to go with a more realistic side-impact test.

    Why do I think Volvo would do better? Volvo simply places a greater emphasis on safety, which includes extensive design, internal crash testing, and post-production verification. You'd be surprised how many manufacturers don't put their vehicles through intensive internal crash tests. It's a very expensive process, and a single design change can force an expensive re-test. Realistically, only Volvo and Mercedes-Benz put their vehicles through as extensive crash testing. They test scenarios far beyond what various public and quasi-public agencies try. They include tests that are not survivable by many other vehicles (e.g. crash tests far above 40 mph).

    It's certainly admirable for the Subaru to do so well in the Australian NCAP tests. But that's easily offset by its poor performance in the IIHS side-impact test. One unfortunate, and purely speculative, possibility is that Subaru, like a number of other manufacturers, have set up specifically for public crash tests but less so for real-world collisions. The EuroNCAP/Aussie NCAP, NHTSA, and IIHS (offset frontal only) tests have been around for years and are really well-documented. Quite a few Japanese manufacturers now excel in those tests, and some have demonstrated taking measures to do well in those specific tests.

    Meanwhile, the new IIHS side-impact test is quite new, and most manufacturers haven't been able to "rig" their vehicles to shine through in those tests yet. Again, this is where Volvo and Mercedes-Benz shine, because they don't seem to engineer their vehicles specifically to do well in crash tests.
  • rsorganizersorganize Posts: 131
    Ok, so 'one should pay more credence' to the IIHS side impact test (that Volvo hasn't undergone), rather than the Australian test that both Subaru and Volvo have undergone? And, Subaru's highest-ever Australian NCAP tests (plus Subaru's good results from past US tests on previous models) are 'offset' by this single IIHS test?

    The Japanese build for the tests and Volvo and Mercedes build for safety? I also suppose, then, that the substantial lead that the Japanese manufacturers enjoy in the reliability ratings are also skewed by their propensity to build their cars to get high reliability ratings, as opposed to companies like Volvo and M-B who don't 'engineer' their cars for reliability but, rather, for some pristine, European standards of 'quality'?

    So, do you lend any credence to the similar front offset tests...and the fact that, overall, the Subaru outscored all of the Volvos tested? Probably not...probably 'offset' by the IIHS test. The same test that gives the Toyota Camry it's highest rating, although Toyota then announces the recall of 130,000 Camrys for faulty side airbags?! I'm sure I would feel great about the IIHS side-impact rating on my Camry after my side airbags failed to deploy. Must be those sly Japanese manufacturers building to the tests...?

    I gotta get out of here....I'm in over ny head, Too technical for me. Really.

  • wmquanwmquan Posts: 1,817
    I understand that you're upset that the vehicle you selected did poorly in the IIHS side-impact test, and I sympathize. But there's no need for sarcasm.

    Some points in response:

    - The Subaru doing well in Australian NCAP is commendable, sure. Its offset frontal crash test performance is excellent.

    - The Subaru does better than many other vehicles in Australian NCAP, but it only does incrementally better than the others. It isn't a very large amount ahead. "Highest-ever" tends to be a factor of the newness of the model and the manufacturer's improvements in general. And yes, sometimes deliberate attempts to do well at the test.

    - In the IIHS side-impact test, the Subaru performs significantly worse than some other vehicles tested, e.g. the Camry and Accord with side curtains. This is a much larger difference than the "highest ever" difference in the Australian tests.

    - Please note that a Subaru Forester did much better in the same IIHS side-impact test.

    - The IIHS is the most demanding and realistic side-impact test in the world, whereas the Australian side-impact test is not as realistic.

    - So yes, the IIHS side-impact test results offsets the Australian side-impact test. It's more realistic, and the Legacy falls down in the test.

    - I raised the engineering-for-crash-tests as a possibility, not a fact. But it's definitely a possibility. It's already been documented that Toyota has added some changes to do well specifically in certain IIHS tests. It is a possible explanation for the Subaru's performance, but not proven.

    - Regarding the Camry recall, it's a poor show by Toyota, no doubt. But let's also face the fact that Subaru did a similar screw-up with the side curtain not being "folded correctly" at the factory. In the first IIHS side-impact test, the curtain failed to protect the head and the barrier slammed into it. It was only after this test that Subaru corrected the issue, to a "marginal" test result.

    If IIHS had waited to conduct this test, how long and how large would that Subaru recall have been? Not as large as the Camry, of course, but still significant.

    Obviously both Toyota and Subaru screwed up royally.
  • rsorganizersorganize Posts: 131
    Sorry about the sarcasm. Just seems to me that people are getting carried away with this single test result.

    Actually, I am extremely happy with my choice of vehicle. I am not 'upset' nor do I feel any buyer's remorese, as a result of this test. I really do have every expectation that my new OB VDC will be a completely safe vehicle. Overall, the multiple test results re-inforce my comfort with this purchase. The whole package - VDC, awd, bags, curtains, engineering - along with an excellent record as safe cars, make me quite content with my decision.

    As I've written before, my problems with Volvo have everything to do with quality/reliability - and cost - rather than safety. Fortunately, I never had to test the safety features of the XC, but drove the car with a pretty secure feeling. And, I actually enjoyed the driving experience a great deal...when I wasn't worrying about the next function light going off, my awd system breaking down, my AC collapsing in the midst of the hottest week of the summer, etc. Oh, and the over-charges by the dealer for repairs. In the end, I just couldn't bear the incessant expenditures for repairs that a true 'quality' car should not have required. From roughly 65,000 mi on, I averaged nearly $4000 per year in repair costs. From my research and anecdotal evidence (first-, second- and third-hand), while this certainly wasn't a universal experience it was definitely frequent enough for both consumers and auto experts to lose some confidence in Volvo re: quality and engineering. If they ever re-match safety AND quality/reliability/cost effectiveness, I would certainly take another look at Volvo.

    So, I am indeed happy with my OB VDC wagon and, especially, enjoy the angst-free driving. I am not worrying about repairs OR my/my families' safety. (I'll get back to you after 65,000 mi and let you know if the repairs/$$$ start adding up). I'm happy. I hope you're happy. I'd love for everyone in the world to be happy.

    You have my word: this is my last word on this. I need to spend less time on this and more on social and economic justice, the environment, peace...

  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    Actually, the Ins Institute did do a side impact test on the S80.
    Look at the news releases section under Dec 14 2000.
    They ran a pickup truck into the S80 with and without the side bags deploying. They also did a pole test w/ the X5 and the S80.
    The gist of it was that the side air curtains were very necessary for ocupant safety. At the time of this article only Volvo and Mercedes had full size side air curtains in their vehicles.
    Side air curtains+ a well designed safety cage= survivability. With the Subaru side air curtains by themselves weren't enough.
  • jaa37jaa37 Posts: 67
    I haven't gone back to old discussions, so I don't know how extensively this has been covered. My parents are looking to lease an AWD wagon. They were planning on going for the XC70 but were wondering if anyone out there thinks there are other AWD wagons that are 1) slightly less money and 2) do not suffer in terms of quality. Any thoughts? They're not into the Subarus, unfortunately. Thanks!
  • wmquanwmquan Posts: 1,817
    I guess technically you could say that IIHS did a side-impact test on an S80. And the S80 did well in it.

    However, it's not the SAME side-impact test (that was applied to the Subaru Legacy and other vehicles). They were still in the process of developing the new test. So it's not really apples-to-apples and not a valid comparison. The test you mentioned could have been tougher or easier than the current test.

    Though, at the risk of getting emotional responses, the S80 would likely do well in the new test.
  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    Considering that they hit the S80 w/ an actual 1/2 ton Chevy pickup how much harder could it be????
    An antique 1/2 ton chevy at that, which is certainly heavier than the current 1/2 ton chevies.

    My point w/ the Subaru is that even after they fixed the airbag issue the chassis wasn't capable of fully protecting the occupants. Volvo would never accept that kind of damage to a test dummy.(Neither would Mercedes)
  • I know someone who is looking to sell a xc 70 with 6600 miles that is about 7 months old. It is silver with grey leather, and has a moonroof, 2 booster seats, and the third row seat. She's selling it because she just got a company car and doesn't need this one anymore - i.e. nothing wrong with the car...

    At first glance, this looked like an awesome deal, but now it looks like people are getting brand new wagons well below the invoice price.

    The other thing I have to consider is an 8% tax here in the Chicagoland area. So, it's really like getting it for $28,703.

    Please let me know your thoughts. Thanks!
  • wmquanwmquan Posts: 1,817
    Considering that they hit the S80 w/ an actual 1/2 ton Chevy pickup how much harder could it be????

    The point of public crash-testing is to apply the same external conditions to multiple vehicles, in a consistent fashion. Slamming a pickup into one vehicle model doesn't provide a valid point of comparison.

    In the pair of pickup tests against the S80, the S80 was moving forward at 18 mph, and the dummies were an SID H3 in the front and a BioSID in the back. The driver dummy didn't even record abdomenal compression.

    In the new IIHS side-impact test, the target vehicle is stationary, and both dummies are small SID-IIs units.

    Thus extrapolating results from one into the other is pretty impossible.

    I'll note that the S80 wasn't unscathed in the pickup test:

    Injury measures taken from the dummies' torsos were similar in the two Volvo S80s, with and without head protection. In both cars, these measures were low except for abdomen compression on the rear-seat dummies, which were at levels at which a person could sustain serious, though survivable, injuries to the spleen, kidney, or colon

    The driver dummy didn't record abdomenal compression.

    My point w/ the Subaru is that even after they fixed the airbag issue the chassis wasn't capable of fully protecting the occupants. Volvo would never accept that kind of damage to a test dummy.(Neither would Mercedes)

    The specific IIHS side-impact test do seem to bear this out. Very disappointing in an otherwise excellent package (that the Subaru is).

    The IIHS side-impact test definitely dismisses the Australian NCAP side-impact test. The latter test uses a barrier similar to a compact car, which comprise only a small percentage of total vehicles on U.S. roads. Plus the Australian NCAP test uses larger, SID-II dummies which are, ostensibly, "tougher" dummies.
  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    The problem with relying on tests is that you are limited by the conditions of the test. A test sled can't fully approximate a real car or truck. Hitting your car with a real vehicle is always more informative than hitting it with a sled. Volvo does this quite often in their new safety center. Testing and simulation will only get you so far. Real World experience is invaluable.

    My point with Subaru still stands. A well engineered car no doubt, but not as well engineered in the safety arena as a Volvo. Subaru simply doesn't do the same amount of legwork.
  • wmquanwmquan Posts: 1,817
    I don't disagree with you about the limitations of crash testing. But my point is that unless you hit all tested vehicles with the same "real vehicle" you can't directly compare the tested vehicles together. And as I pointed out, it's not like the S80 hit by the real vehicle was unscathed either.

    It's great that Volvo does all the internal crash testing, and it does make their vehicles better. "How much better" can't be empircally measured because of the lack of more comprehensive, public tests.

    I don't disagree with you about the limits of Subaru safety either, especially compared to Volvo and Mercedes-Benz. Just like I think Volvo and MB quality/reliability has limits compared to Subaru and others.
  • wmquanwmquan Posts: 1,817
    The Subaru scores the highest ranking ever in Australia - including a perfect score on the side impact tests and outscoring the Volvos (inclduing the XC 90) - but, for some, that is irrelevant. Camry gets a higher score than the Subaru on the side-impact test, then on Monday of this week they announce a recall of 130,000 '04s because of failures in the deployment of side airbags (NY Times).

    There are two major fallacies in this line of reasoning.

    You've mentioned the Subaru gets better scores than vehicles like the XC90 (and, in other forums, the M-class, Land Rover, etc.).

    You have to read the fine print of the offset frontal crash test -- the results are not directly comparable to vehicles in different weight classes. So a big vehicle like an XC90 getting a lower offset frontal crash test score than a smaller vehicle like a Legacy, can be meaningless because of the weight difference. There's a technical explanation for it, but it's pretty obvious because a heavier vehicle smashes itself harder into a stationary barrier. An XC90 in its test encounters heavier forces than a Legacy does. Heavier forces = more damage.

    The Subaru does indeed get a higher offset frontal crash test score than vehicles in its weight class, and it deserves credit for that. But it does not deserve credit for outscoring an XC90 and other larger vehicles.

    This is getting off-topic, but the IIHS test can't be discounted for not finding the problem on "130,000 Camry's." Toyota has noted that the problem does not affect all the vehicles they recalled. If the vehicle the IIHS tested did not have the manufacturing defect, IIHS would have certainly caught it, as would have other agencies' tests. The IIHS did get one of the Subarus with their manufacturing flaw, and fortunately this was done early enough in the production cycle or else Subaru would have made tends of thousands of vehicles with the potential issue.

    Similarly, the Aussie NCAP test can't be blamed for not finding the defect on the Subaru it tested, probably because the unit it had, had okay airbags.

    Obviously one of the flaws of crash testing is that it can only apply consistent exterior influences. If a manufacturer like Toyota or Subaru screws up, the vehicle will behave differently.
  • Wow, I can't wait to sell my V70 XC. It's a good car, however it does need parts from time to time.

    I live in Montana. I know we are backwards, but we do have several auto parts stores, none of which carry or even have access to a GE parking light bulb that Volvo uses. Not even Walmart had it. When I found out that even Champion didn't carry the bulb in their warehouse, I knew it was time to sell.

    I also got tired of the gas filler door falling off in my hand and the ele. door opener(in the car going out at a cost of $500.00 to fix.)

    Get smart, buy american and make sure they have a dealer in your town. My town is 100,000, but not many people have Volvos. I wonder why.


    My fault. I should have never bought a car with no dealers closer than 200 miles.
  • lancerfixerlancerfixer Posts: 1,308
    My fault. I should have never bought a car with no dealers closer than 200 miles.

    I learned this when I owned not one, but two Acuras in Rapid City, SD while stationed there. Luckily, the local Honda dealer was pretty good about getting parts for me on the rare occasions I needed them.
    You know, "volvossuck," you COULD, like, you know, use this wacky little invention called the "Internet" to find the parts (like bulbs) you need at places like

    and I've never had a problem finding sundy items like bulbs at my local Wally World (I, too, live in a city of a little over 100,000, in Iowa.
    As it happens, though, there's a Volvo franchise and a few very competent independent Euro mechanics here in town.)
  • I bought my 2004 xc70 last december and so far seems the best of the three I owned. I loved my 98 and probably should have kept it, but bought a new 2000. I had vibrations problems with that one and dealer had the car more than I for the first three months and then finally they got the ok to give me a new car which I went down to Il. to pick out since my dealer didn't have any at the time. I have to say the dealer here bends over backward to please me. Anyway on to your vibration problem. I have not had any so far, so would think it would be the tires. Assume you have the Pirelli Scorpions on yours as do I. Could be the belts have let loose, but that should have shown up on the spin balance machine if the mechanic was looking for high spots while spinning.
      Other than that I did read on the site one time that one owner washed his car after long trips on the highway when the disk braks were warm yet and warped them with the cold water just as a point of information if that be the case here. I have not had any problems with this XC and hope I can drive it a long time. I have three other GM cars and have to say they have all been great cars for me. The XC is a good fit for me since I travel a lot and it is great in the snow and this one gets me great mileage; just over 28 for most trips counting in city loops but primarily trips over the 2000 mile range over a span of several weeks.
  • Currently listed under Incentives for the 2004 Volvo V70 R Wagon is a $4000 Factory-to-Dealer incentive. Am I right in assuming this means that if a Dealer sells this paricular vehicle, Volvo will pay/credit the Dealer in the amount of $4000?
    If so, is there a way to use this information to my advantage when haggling over pricing for this car?
    I own a 98 V70 T5, like it a lot, but really, REALLY like the new V70 R. Would it be reasonable to make this kind of an offer to a Dealer: "Tell you what, why don't we split the Factory-to-Dealer incentive and you apply my share to the purchase price of this new V70 R?"
    Crazy? Fair? Could use some feedback from you folks.
    Thanks very much!
    Salem, Oregon
  • Scott,

    I'd go one better than your offer. Why not ask the dealer for the FULL $4K towards your new car.

    It doesn't hurt to ask, but if you don't you'll never know!! Deduct the $4k from the price you have in your mind and negotiate up from there, if they're not willing to part with all of the $4k.

    Let us know how you make out as we will be looking to get an '05 V50 (base) towards the end of this model year and right as the '06's come out.
    (Talk about knowing what you'll be doing in 12 months!!!)
  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    Chances are, if the dealer has the car you want in stock they will be willing to part with some or all of the incentive.
    The keyword is in stock.
    Most everyone is almost out of 04's at this point.
    V70R wagons were very rare to begin with.
    Good luck
  • sdufordsduford Posts: 577
    I've been trying to ascertain how much ground clearance difference there is between the V70AWD and XC70.

    The XC70's ground clearance was easy to locate: 208mm, but I can't seem to find the V70AWD's clearance anywhere!?!

    if it is below 160mm, then I have to go with the XC (I live at the end of a bad dirt road).
  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    Well, don't know about mm, but the XC70 ground clearance is 8.5", V70 @ 5".
    Are the V70AWD's still being offered in Canada?
    Volvo dropped that model in the US for 2005.
  • jaa37jaa37 Posts: 67
    My mom's auto-dimming rearview mirror is awfully dim all the time, even during the daytime. Has anyone else had this problem? Any suggestions, besides taking it back to the dealer and asking them to look at it?
  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    Its a warranty item so I would have the dealer look at it.
  • sdufordsduford Posts: 577
    Thanks Volvomax. 5" is too low for me :(.

    Don't know about the 05 MY, but they still have a few 04s left.
  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    The XC70 is much more desirable than the V70 AWD anyway.
    The extra ground clearance is a definite bonus.
    Good Luck
  • sdufordsduford Posts: 577
    The XC70 appeared to be a much more desirable car until I tried one. But I found that it handles more like a big American car. On the BMW-Buick handling scale, it is a lot closer to the Buick than it is to the BMW!

    Even my Toyota Highlander is more directionally stable at highway speed and has less understeer and body roll than the XC70!

    I was quite disapointed as I am used to Volvos feeling like they are "mounted on rails".
  • In 2000, we bought a new Volvo V70 GLT. I have never had a car with so many problems, both large and small. When we picked it up we noticed a crack in the molding around the interior door handle and a crack on a molding around the shifter. Less than 48 hrs. after we signed the papers my daughter shut the seatbeat in the door because it retracts so slowly and dented the door well. Little did we know the fun was just beginning.

    As Gilda Radner's SNL character used to say, "It's always something." We have had to replace the entire headlight assembly just to replace a broken lens: cost, $1,000 for a piece of glass. The AC compressor has gone out. Brake rotors have had to be replaced. The check engine light comes on intermittently. Apparently, Volvo says, my catalytic converter is going out: cost, $1500.00. We have spent and spent on this thing. I won't need to buy a Christmas tree this year--I have all the lights I need right there on the message panel on my car! And because Volvo knows that boredom can strike at any time, the lights change daily. It is not as though we abuse this car or fail to maintain it. It is pristine, inside and out. It just is poor quality.

    The real kicker is this: Volvo sent us a survey about 4 months ago. I pulled out my many service receipts and listed every problem we have had with this car, and although I wanted to curse and be very sarcastic, I refrained because I knew I needed to sound businesslike for my complaints to be taken seriously. Do you know that Volvo has not even contacted me after all this time? I took the survey seriously and really expected Volvo to take it seriously as well. Obviously, I wasted precious time.
      Well, my "Check Engine" light was only on two hours today, so it's been a good day. Something else good happened today, too. I went to an Acura dealer and test drove a MDX. There is life after a Volvo. My Volvo's lack of quality has been a huge surprise and disappointment.

    There--now I feel much better. Think twice, thrice...before you spend your hard-earned money for a Volvo. They are safe, but your wallet won't be!
  • Does anyone know if the rear side airbags in the Volvo XC70 will be harmful to my child who is still in a booster seat? I have heard that they are of the curtain type, and therefore not a danger, but I wanted to hear from all of you.
  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    They are curtain bags, if the child is properly restrained the child is unlikely to come into contact w/ the bag.
  • I own, and thoroughly enjoy, a 2001 V70XC. So far (only 38K) I have had no major problems with the car. One thing that annoys me, though, is the Service Reminder Light that comes on every 7K or so. Does anyone out there know how to either reset the thing, or, better still, turn it off entirely, without damaging anything else in the car's electronics? I have my car serviced at an independent garage, and the mechanic there tells me to take it back to the dealer when the light comes on. I service the car every 3K, more than Volvo recommends, and I resent having to pay the dealer $60 to turn off a renminder light I don't need or want.
  • Isn't there a small button on the dash that you can press to reset with the end of a ballpoint pen (similar to resetting the trip odometer)? Or did Volvo eliminate that in one of the V70 redesigns?
  • Thanks, Tom. If there is, I haven't been able to find it. The owner's manual simply tells you what it does - not a word about resetting it! Anone else know more about this?

  • mel6mel6 Posts: 1
    I have an '01 xc70 bought new with appr. 66k highway miles on it. last week I had the unhappy experience of spending 1650.00 for repairs for the following things: replaced the left, front axle as the outer cv boot had split and all the grease had leaked out; replaced the left inner tie rod and steering rod; replaced both upper spring seats; replaced a turbo o-ring and gasket.this car has had all scheduled maintence done and the mileage is mainly trips from Seattle to Portland, not exactly covered wagon trail. has anyone else had this kind of problem with a broken axle? Supposedly the other problems were not unusual for "high" mileage. These seem like excessive problems to me. Just wondering about others experiences with any of these items.
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 8,863
    As for the axle: if the boot was cut and the grease was contaminated with debris, replacing the axle is your only option.
  • toddwtoddw Posts: 7

      Apologies up front if there's already been a discussion on this and my searches haven't revealed it (I'll welcome a pointer, if there has been one).

      We have a 19 yr old Saab and a 7 yr old VW Jetta, and we're thinking it's time to replace the Saab (sniff, sniff). We'll be moving around a couple of sub-5 year old kids and would like to take a step up in reliability, gas mileage and safety. The V70 (or perhaps the 850 GLT) seems like a good candidate.

      We'd like to stay under (possibly well under) $10K and there seem to be some options for 1998-1999 V70s (or 1997 850s). I'm wondering a few things, though.

      First, how significant have various improvements been between model years in the late '90s (focusing here on the GLT Turbo FWD or AWD models)? Is there little difference year-to-year, or was there a year when things got significantly better/worse feature/quality wise?

      Second, is there a place where I can learn what the major service points are for these cars, in terms of years or mileage? In other words, at what year/mileage points should I expect to have to fork over a lot of money for a repair?

      Many thanks,

  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    There were HUGE differences between the 850 and V70's.
    Go for the V70 if you can. Consumers Reports likes to dog the 98's but they were my fave's.
    Better steering and quicker acceleration.
    The 99-00's had more flaccid steering and were slower due to the electronic tranny's.
    Major service intervals were evey 30k mainly sparkplugs, timing belt every 90-100k.
  • My 2001 XC just dumped it second load of power steering fluid at 43,000 miles. Will I need to pay $50 again????
  • For what it's worth - I finally was able to find out how to reset the service reminder light - it's easy:
    1) Press and hold the odometer reset button
    2) Turn the ignition switch to the second position
    3) Continue holding the odometer reset button until the service reminder light blinks a couple of times.

    It should then be reset.
  • I am a single mother interested in purchasing a 2004 Volvo V70 wagon. My number one concern is safety, but I am also dumping my 2000 Passat XLS due to excessive service issues too numerous to outline here. The guys in my office are telling me to forget about a wagon & to go with an Acura or an Infiniti because those cars have good crash test results and service records. Any off the cuff reactions out there? If you had it to do again would still buy the V70?
  • My wife and I decided to take the plunge and I am going to be ordering a 2005 V70 today or Monday. Grey Metallic paint, with the premium package and climate control (also adding booster seats and possibly 6 CD changer). Came down to this or the Passat TDI wagon, and I just felt for the money, and the very fair deal I believe they are giving us (Stadel Volvo, central PA), this was the best way to go (by far). Also, I liked the Subaru Leg/OB GT/XT, but the size difference was substantial.

    Looking forward to sharing my experiences here with all and hopefully a long term relatinoship with Volvo!

  • larscalarsca Posts: 60
    Acura or Infiniti huh? Well, around where I live (SoCal) Infiniti seems to be the way to go since they offer free loaner while servicing your car, and Acura does not. Also, pricing out the Acura vs. Infinti it seems the latter is slightly better as far as keeping costs down (insurance, taxes, maintenance, etc.)

    However, these are Honda and Nissan cars. Nissan/Infiniti does NOT hold an especially good reputation for safety. Their engines are great, but the rest... (My opinion of course.)

    Honda/Acura has lately started to "sell" their cars using safety as a marketing tool, but they are YEARS behind Volvo or MB.

    Volvo has a not all too good reputation for reliability. I don't know where it's coming from though. I'm from Sweden, and there we don't consider Volvos premium cars. They're just your average run of the mill kind of car, like a Dodge or Chevy. However, they are known for their reliability, so why things are different here I don't know. Personally I don't give much credit to it.

    The V70 is, in my opinion, the best wagon out there. It's cavernous enough for most everything, comfortable, and nice looking. Anytime you buy a car, you may or may not get a Friday afternoon car no matter what brand it is.

    I'd take another closer look at the V70 (test drives, that sort of thing) before making up my mind. And as you will find out, it's a huge difference between the V70 and the Passat.

    Good luck. Buying a new car is never easy, and I don't know about you but I always end up with buyer's remorse for the first week of ownership.

    Oh, one last thing. Take a look at what's on the road today. Do you see a lot of 10 year old Acuras or Infinitis? Or Volvos? Now, you have to take into consideration how many cars these manufacturers sold ten years ago too, but it seems there aren't that many Acuras or Infinitis around. Quite a few Volvos though. Of course, ten years is a long time and all manufacturers have gone through changes since, they have new models out and so forth, but still...
  • toddwtoddw Posts: 7

      Test drove my first used XC70. Local dealer has a 2001 XC70 with about 53K miles, heated seats, sun-roof, leather, CD/cassette, good exterior and interior condition for $17,500. 3 month/3000 mi warranty. Doesn't have the second row child seats or rear-facing third row, but aside from that could be interesting.

      BUT, when driving it, there was a very loud vibrating hum into the cabin. It varied with road speed, not engine speed. Sounded like those tires you hear on big, custom trucks, usually designed for 'off-road', but when you're driving on-road.

      Didn't notice the tire types, but spoke with a different dealer later. He said that 'early' model XC70s were sold with a more off-road tire that was louder, and then they changed them with later models.

      Could this be the cause of the noise? Has anyone else had this experience? How much quieter could I get this car to be? With which tires? Or, what else could this be?


  • aegaeg Posts: 23
    I have a 2001 x-country with 67,000 miles. The original tires were Pirelli Scorpion's. I replaced them after 35,000 miles. They were quite noisey and could account for the noise you described. However, they were pretty much down to the end of their usable life. It is possible that the same scorpion's were put on the car when they wore out I don't think those tires could last that long.
    Otherwise it is a great car. No problems to speak of. Steering is a little imprecise but I am used to it. I am now looking to get another volvo and keep the x-country. Hard pressed to find another volvo I am interested in.Good luck.
  • jrosasmcjrosasmc Posts: 1,711
    My parents have decided to take the plunge and purchase a great used '01 V70 2.4 (base). This one is a one-owner car, automatic, most options, with only 47k miles. Is this a good buy for them? (It's being offered for $19.5k)

    Also, since you know so much about safety, what is your take on the new-generation Dodge Ram pickups? ('02-present) My neighbor just got one and he claims that it has good safety ratings.
  • volvomaxvolvomax Posts: 5,274
    The V70 is being offered @ retail book.
    Is it Volvo Certified?
    If it is its probably a decent deal.
    If not, you probably have some room to negotiate.
    Low mile Volvo wagons don't come cheap.

    Any body on frame vehicle is going to be suspect in certain crashes. I'm sure the Dodge does fine in the Gov't tests, but in the IIHS or real life I don't think it does as well. The best big pickups from a safety standpoint are the Toyotas.
  • jrosasmcjrosasmc Posts: 1,711
    To answer one of your questions yes the V70 is Volvo Certified. We've bought both our current Volvos this way and we think it's awesome.
This discussion has been closed.