Volvo V70 Wagon Experience

christopher8christopher8 Member Posts: 1
I am very interested in buying a 2000 Volvo V70
Wagon (with cold weather package, touring package
and sunroof/leather package) but have heard some
negative things about recent Volvo models --
particularly the 1998 V70 (and the new V40). I
have also read some less than positive stuff in
Consumer Reports. I have never purchased a Volvo
before and have some questions that I would
appreciate any help with:

1. Has anyone experienced problems with their
2000 Volvo V70 (or S70)? Are they reliable? Would
you recommend a different wagon? I would also be
interested in hearing any problems with the 1998
and 1999 models.

2. In general for a Volvo (the V70's and the
840's) what are the average maintenance costs on an
annual basis? Do you regularly go through the
dealer? How much a a mark-up on parts does the
dealer charge?

3. Can someone who recently purchased a V70 tell
me what they were able to get the dealer to come
down to?

Any help would be appreciated.


  • rbirns1rbirns1 Member Posts: 311
    I just received in today's mail a brochure about the "All-New Volvo V70 Wagon". Apparantly this is a redesigned version which looks a little better than the old V70. The windshield is raked back a little more, giving a sleeker look. Rear taillights have a look somewhat like the new S80. Interior also looks more like the S80.

    Is this the car you're considering?

    Regarding costs, I have a 97 850 sedan. Maintenance has been just regular oil changes. My local tire shop does them for $15 (dealer charges $30). Repairs included a new alternator, which died resulting in a tow to the dealer. Fixed under warranty. Same thing happened to my father's BMW 740 two weeks later, so it can happen to even the most expensive cars. I also had to replace the battery about a month later, obviously weakened by the dead alternator. Also replaced under warranty, including towing both times. Had a piece of door molding come loose, and a short in the traction control dashboard light both fixed under warranty.

    Otherwise car has been pretty reliable. I need new brakes, but the lease is up next month, so I've been avoiding it. Don't know what the bill would be.

    Good luck with your quest.
  • tom123tom123 Member Posts: 15
    We bought a '99 V70AWD last summer through the European Delivery program. Price was pretty fixed so I can't speak to dealer bargaining tactics personally, but web talk suggests that with the 2001 models due, you should be able to get within $500 of invoice, no problem.

    ** After 5k miles we have found these flaws: the car was delivered with a slash in the seat of the front passenger-seat leatherwork -- poor pre-delivery inspection -- but we had the seat replaced before we left Sweden and they were very nice about it. There is a terrible, almost painful wind-buffeting effect when you crack one or the other of the rear windows at speed -- it's a function of the car's exterior shape and there's nothing you can do about it. An anti-theft feature of the ignition occasionally malfunctions, letting you turn the key 360 degrees in the lock before it catches and starts, but it's not reproducible so we haven't done anything about it. And if you don't get fog lights, the plastic vent plugs in the front air-dam area are not secured very well and fall out now and then. New ones are $9. via mail order from one of the Volvo parts suppliers that advertise on

    ** Maintenance will certainly be more expensive than with a Ford or something. Our 5k service was $70, and the fees go up from there. Service interval is either 5k or 7.5k miles depending on who you talk to.

    ** I think with Volvos the character of the dealer is everything. We are lucky to have a good one (Northwest Volvo in Lynnwood, WA) which does customer care really well. Others who complain about their Volvo ownership experience are at least as angry about dealer and VCNA arrogance as they are about the bugs in their car.

    Overall we are very happy with the car and would buy it again. Would not buy a 2001 V70 though -- I think new Volvo platforms need a year or two to work through teething problems before they're genuinely reliable.
  • sunlinersunliner Member Posts: 36
    We bought our S70 base (non-turbo) almost exactly a year ago, and have about 18,700 miles on it. Non scheduled maintenance:

    Passenger door's window switch came apart and was replaced under warrantee. Once, a month or so after we owned it.

    Headlight bulb burned out about 2 weeks ago, and I bought a bulb for $15 at Pep Boys and took a whole minute to pop the old one out and sock the new one in.

    Other than those two separate problems, we've had nothing but pleasant motoring. We get 29mpg on the freeway at 75mph over hill and dale, and have gone over 450 miles on a tank repeatedly. 'Course we have a stick shift and no turbo.

    We have the dealership perform the scheduled maintenances at 7500 mile intervals, and supplement with an oil-change midway between that. The dealer maintenances seem to run about $50-100, though I'm not looking forward to the intensive 30k mile checkup.

    We did have to have the car repainted, but not through any fault of the car. We got the driver's door keyed one night as the car sat under the carport, and then two nights later the entire passenger side took the brunt of a tornado-driven hailstorm and put about 5,000 little dimples in the body. The Pewter Silver Metallic paint was a bear for the shop to mix up ("I suppose there are 14 pearl coats in THAT") but the end result looks like it came from the factory. Insurance paid for it, but the pricetag was about $1600, parts and labor.

    Here are the two parts that I know the cost of:

    A headlight assembly...the whole schlemeer with the bucket, adjusters, reflector, bulbs and glass front, is about $300.

    A new front fender from the factory in primer is about $500, I think.

    When we bought (ordered from the factory) the dealer offered us $500 over invoice...or $300 over invoice if you use his figures. I talked him down $50 (long story, but it was unfortunately necessary) but it was essentially a no-haggle deal. We got a finance deal when we took delivery that knocked $1000 off the purchase price, so we got the car for $500 UNDER invoice.

    We've been very satisfied with our car. The square shape means you can pack it to the gills with stuff, and the seats are astoundingly comfortable. It still feels like it was machined from a solid brick of steel, and the only rattle inside it is from the front license bracket that we never installed, and have sitting in the glovebox.
  • dardsondardson Member Posts: 21
    sorry to say i just traded my 98 turgo wagon for a toyota.....finally gave in and bought something from small problem after the other with the Volvo...battery exploded (making a nasty mess of the garage floor and who know what kind of problems under the hood)...headlight switch conked out leaving us with no lights....rattles, first here, then there....seemed to float around but never any one place so we could take it to the dealer for a fix....sunroof problems and the leatherette began separating from the door panel.....very unpleasant from a 36k automobile....finally @ 17,000 miles all four tires had a tread separation problem and after replacing two tires decided to replace the car. I say SORRY as it was absolutely the most fun to drive i've had, beautiful, easy to love...great car but there are quality issues and part of the deal with a high priced car is it needs to be reliable. And when Con.Reports put it on the "don't buy" list, i had to move on.
  • pchiupchiu Member Posts: 72
    I'm driving a 97 859 Wagon GTA (base 2.4l engine Auto). I used to gear down one gear when try to slow down before traffic ligth, i.e. from 'D' drive to '3', in other cars. but in this Volvo 850 when I do that, it just wo'nt slow the car down, as some say using the engine brake. I complaint to the dealer 3 times already, the best they did is to reprograme the 'shifting' programe to the factory default again, of course with no real problem solving, it still NOT slowing down. Anyone has that experience ?

    The other thing is the oem Michline tire wore out on the edge (really only on the outer edge of the tire only) the center (flat contact portion) and the inside edge is prefect. The dealer always say is the aligment, which cost CAD $99 + 15% tax, almostthe same as the brake pad. Again everytime its the same, by the timeI goes back to complain, they say aligment is not guarantee. And I notice at the third (last) fix, they put back the steeering wheel back to the not horizontal way when I am driving straight, which was exactlly I complain the car was out of aligment ad tell them to fix it (end up charge me fro $99, which I did not expect). Am I getting ripped off both for the wore out oem tires which I don't think I can use it anymore for (40,000 km which I have winter tire to rotate. ie may be only 20,000km on that tire only). Again anyone has that same problems. If we have enough responses, we may make a case to the Volvo !

    Peter Chiu
  • muffimuffi Member Posts: 1
    Just wanted to add to the comments that tom123 made about Volvo needing a year or two on their platform ... The new V70 for 2001 is actually built on the S80 platform, that is why you can see commonalities between the S80 interior and exterior in this new car. Since the S80 has been out a couple of years now, it is looking like the wagon will be a wonderful car ...

    I am going to see it at the local Volvo Family Experience event here in Dallas the weekend of 5/13. The car is longer overall and has a couple of inches longer wheelbase than last year's V70 and the turbo version is supposed to be rocket. I drive a 1999 S80 T6 and have nothing but praise for this safe, encapsulated rocket ship.

    I do my maintenance at the retailer to make sure there is no chance I will void my warranty, although oil changes and the like are probably okay done outside if you keep all the receipts.

    With 7500 mile intervals, though, you aren't going that often unless you drive a lot ... so why not be sure everything is done correctly!!!
  • andact2andact2 Member Posts: 1
    Just purchased a V70 T5 and finish is lovely but I'm disappointed in the responsiveness of the drive train when hitting the accelerator..this is a momentary delay (.5 sec or so) Anyone have a similar comment or maybe just a simple adjustment will fix it.
    talk to me..Art
  • fectosfectos Member Posts: 1
    Prospective 2000 x/country v70 wagon buyer: Cut a good deal upfront because you'll need the extra cash to cover repairs. I have a '99 cross country with under 14,000 miles that has been plagued with problems (brake repairs, check engine lights, electric door problems, auto shifter sticking, three headlights!, one tail light, gas leaks, etc)
    I essentially like the car when it is running and the dealer, perhaps because I see everyone there so often, has been friendly but the car has been a pain, a constant repair problem (and I've owned Peugots). Remarkably, whenever i bring the car in for another service visit, the Repair Guys say "yeh. . .that's a common problem." Then they fix it. Then it fails again. When the warranty's up, we're trading the beast. perhaps the new version will be better. good luck. chicago
  • jmott38jmott38 Member Posts: 5
    Like Fectos, I love the car when it's running. But I sure am dismayed by the UNreliability and Volvo's customer service (for details on what has gone wrong, visit my webpage, Repair issues are one thing, but when the company OUTSOURCES the initial point of contact for corporate customer issues, you have to wonder how much they care.

    When the transmission on my 1986 sedan went at 66k miles, I wrote the president of Volvo NA and even though the car was past warranty, he authorized it's repair - because the company knew that I hadn't bought a Volvo to have the tranny go at 66K.

    With this V70 wagon, we haven't suffered really major stuff, but I've had to go back to the dealer EIGHT times in 15K miles?

    By the way, when the sedan went, I bought a Camry.
  • volvo18volvo18 Member Posts: 3
    After having many problems with our '93 850 GLT Sedan, I was set on going to a Mercedez or Lexus. To make a long story short. After a month of trying different cars and with 3 children, we went with the new '01 V70 2.4T wagon. Love the design - integrated booster seats, rear-facing bench seat, unmatched safety options and luxury refinements.

    So we're a week into with less than 300 miles! I have to take the car back on Monday to get it serviced because of a popping noise when accelerating into a turn from a stationary position and the electronic door locks and passenger side window doens't work.

  • bgkannebgkanne Member Posts: 25
    Other than a reputation for safety (undeserved since the competition has matched and done better in actual crash tests) I can't think of a good reason to buy a Volvo. They are not up to snuff in the reliability department, styling and ergonomics almost always seem to be lacking and the only engines in their line up that seem to perform require the annoying hassle of a turbocharger. They also tend to have inferior ride and handling. Maybe with Ford's help they will develop a proper V6 and get their act together.
  • lmeyer1lmeyer1 Member Posts: 215
    As I understand it, the Saab 9-5 bested the old V70 in European crash testing.
  • rollierollie Member Posts: 337
    Regarding post #15:

    lmeyer1, the Saab 9-5 is a very very safe car. It ranks #1 or #2 against the Volvo S80 in most tests. In Euro NCAP tests it was the Saab 9-5 and Volvo S80 with the highest marks. In IIHS rear-impact tests, the S80 holds the benchmark for neck and spine injury ratings. In NHTSA side-impact tests, the S80 is the only car with 5-stars for both front and rear passengers. In recent IIHS frontal impact tests, the S80 was one of 3 cars to earn the top rating (along with BMW 3 series and Cadillac Catera). The Saab 9-5 didn't far as well but did quite good. While the Saab is very safe, it is the Volvo S80 which consistently rates the best scores in tests around the world. The new 2001 V70 and S60 (coming out tomorrow) are based off this same platform so they should do quite well I believe.


    [email protected]
  • bgkannebgkanne Member Posts: 25
    Safety: A few years back Volvo got in trouble with the government for an advertisement where their cars were stacked up to show supposed resistance to crushing. The fact was the cars were reinforced and the test was faked. Volvo allowed this to be published, which shows a distinct lack of business ethics, at the time. I believe this was a 240 series car, which is no longer mfgd. Volvo crash safety is fine; they just don't perform any better than equivalent BMW's, Mercedes or Audi's, for example. In the past, Volvo lead in safety development, but this is no longer the case. US government crash tests are more likely inferior to European tests and neither can accurately simulate the real world. Only death and injury statistics (if accurately compiled) would mean anything, if these are available.

    All around ratings: Can't say I have seen a comparison test of the S80, but the auto mags and Consumer Reports have never picked any Volvo (that I recall) as their number one choice in any comparison test.

    Engine: V6 or straight six, either design can work well, however, a straight six is a dumb design for front wheel drive cars, which is why it is rarely used. BMW has the best straight sixes (and they almost never use turbo's) which any enthusiast magazine or driver will attest to. Turbo's are an expensive maintenance headache and for most people should be avoided. I must admit, Ford has made some lackluster V6's except for some that have been outsourced. Their current V6 used in the Lincoln LS (and new Jaguar) is nice, but lacks power for the time being. Audi has similar problems; only their turbo V6's perform well, for some reason.

    Ride and handling: Every magazine test I have seen always faults Volvo's in this area. If they handle well, they usually ride poorly. Volvo tends to put tires that are too low profile on their top performance models, which severely hurts ride characteristics. They just haven't had the engineering capability (which means financial resources) until now to get the results that BMW, Audi and Mercedes have.

    Ford and Volvo: Future Volvo's will share platforms with Ford products. With Ford's money and expertise, they should manage to develop some top notch products. The Lincoln LS for example, (which shares it's chassis with the new Jag) has ride and handling that is world class, something Volvo has never been able to achieve.
  • twoof1twoof1 Member Posts: 308
    You title your response "Volvo Facts and Fantasy"
    yet once again all you post is your opinion. This is your OPINION and should be taken as such. Not one FACT is presented. This is a free and open board, anyone is welcome to post. However coming in with your OPINION, trolling for a response is ruining your credibility.
    1. Safety:
    Some ad Volvo did 10 years ago in your mind apparently means it is a less safe car. Hardly a convincing argument. Show me the data!!
    2. V6 VS Straight 6:
    Why is it dumb to put a straight six in a FWD car? It is a superior design over a V6 because you don't need to rely on balance shafts and counter weights to make it smooth. You are correct in your assesment of the BMW I6 I have one in my Z3 and it is a pleasure to open up. This however is not a 6 cylinder conversation. All the V70's are built around a bullet-proof 5 cylinder turbo motor. Your OPINION of turbo's being a "maintenance headache" is just that. You have no data to back it up.
    3. Ride and handling:
    Edmunds new review of the V70 T5 states: "So, it's an attention-getter, a great handler, reasonably comfortable for four adults, and loaded with standard and optional amenities."
    Car and Driver July, 2000 V70 review states: "I can't recall any Volvo, or any sedan or wagon for that matter, coming so close to matching the exemplary ride of a BMW" and "the T5's chassis is responsive and stable, even when you are exploiting every bit of its formidable capabilities. With an excellent balance of acceleration, handling, and braking, you can cover ground very rapidly without much effort in the T5." and "the V70 T5 is easily the quickest station wagon you can buy short of the very rapid BMW 540i, which stickers just north of $56,000, more than 20 grand above the T5's $33,975 base price."
    Road and Track said of the previous V70 Cross Country: "On the highway, the Cross Country's stature and aggressive tread are hardly noticed, the XC having Volvo's typical Learjet-like combination of plushiness and precision."
    I could go on, but you get the point...
    4. Future platforms: You got it backwards. It seems that Volvo will be sharing some of it's platforms with Ford. Rumor has it that the next generation of Taurus/Sable will be based on the Volvo S80 Platform.
    I repeat my questions from my original post which you still have never answered:
    I am curious to know what you think is the value leader in the Luxury sport wagon class?
    Have you ever driven a new or previous generation V70?
    Remember: Opinions are like as*#@les, everyone's got one. You are entitled to your opinions even though the FACTS discredit them.
  • rollierollie Member Posts: 337
    Regarding post #17:

    In addition to twoof1's excellent reply I thought I should add some information.

    The commercial you referred to was shot by an advertising agency that decided to fudge things supposedly for safety sake. They definitely should have put out a disclaimer with the ad but that fault was theirs. Volvo was at fault for using them.

    Your knowledge of Volvos is quite lacking. You are correct that death and injury stats are the real telling factor for a car's crash-worthiness. The most comprehensive study ever conducted was a 5-year study by the U.S. government concluded several years ago in the 90s. The government studied and tracked every model car on the road that was available for all 5 years. Guess who made the only car with a 0.0 death rate?
    Further, regarding safety, you should do some detailed reading. Mercedes and Audi build very compelling cars in their own right but neither has made top marks in any of the recent European or U.S. crash tests. The current and outgoing C-class scored 2 of 4 stars (vs. 4 stars for the Volvo S40 - the only one with 4 stars) along with the Audi A4 in Euro NCAP tests. The Mercedes E-class and Audi A6 scored above average marks but neither made top rankings. The BMW 5 series and 3 series have scored very well and have made top marks in a couple of tests. The marque you left out that actually is on the same level as Volvo in many respects is Saab (the 9-5 in particular).

    Volvo turbos are not a maintenance headache by any standard. In fact they have proven themselves to be extremely reliable in the FWD cars. These Mitsubishi units are very hearty and I've not read more than one failure in the past 6 years online as I recall.

    Your conjecture about inline 6 engines is poor. Volvo's entire line of 4,5,and 6 cylinder inline engines were developed with Porsche and they work very well for their platforms. The future of the inline 6 is very bright. In fact, GM recently announced they will be relying heavily upon them for their future production cars. Yes BMW makes some nice straight 6s but in general they are a bit underpowered for me and BMWs in particular don't mesh as well with their GM transmissions. I would rather have the Volvo inline 6 with a turbo (although the S80 2.9 and BMW 528 are quite comparable in engine response). Of course unlike you, I happen to think the best inline 6s come from Porsche and are in their cars.

    While you were correct about Volvo suspension setup at one time, you are simply off for current models. Early to mid 90s 850 turbos came with 50 series tires and since they were not regulated in the U.S.and would actually hit 150 they were setup for high-speed runs (much higher than we ever drive here) and did indeed have a harsh ride with decent handling characteristics. The current S70 is much better by comparison. Of course I shouldn't say current since it is now out of production and its replacement,the S60, is scheduled for introduction today. The S80 T6 rides very well and handles very well to boot. The new 2001 V70 T5 is an astounding handler for any car and the fact that it is a FWD wagon just makes it all more the more impressive.

    Ford has no stated desire to add Ford platforms to the Volvo lineup. They had negotiated the right to put the Volvo badge on a behemoth SUV (larger than the Excursion) when they acquired Volvo Cars but that plan has now been scrapped. The 2004 Taurus was to be built on the current S80 platform but Ford has reportedly run into problem trying to figure out how to make the platform cheaply enough for the Taurus so it may be off. Regardless, Volvo is still setting new sales records and with the recent introduction of the new V70, Cross Country, and S60, they will continue to do so. Unless their numbers start falling you can continue to look for a hands-off approach from Ford as regards Volvo.

    Again, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. If you don't like Volvo's that's fine but don't try to offer something as fact without a reference please. I realize from your profile that you are looking for a Saturn so I would guess that you aren't looking at new Volvos. However, if only for the sake of a better information exchange, I would highly encourage you to take a new Volvo or two for a test drive if you can spare the time and then give us your more informed opinion.


    [email protected]
  • lancerfixerlancerfixer Member Posts: 1,284
    Excellent post, but one minor correction: Porsche has never used an inline 6 cylinder of their own. The Porsche 6 is a horizontally opposed unit.

    An inline 6 is superior in every respect to a V-6 except in one requirements. An inline six produces more torque and is more naturally balanced than any V-6 could ever hope to be. Volvo's on the right track with the inline 6. Heck, Even lowly GM is seeing the light and producing an all-new inline six for its SUVs.

    I wouldn't worry too much about Ford "ruining" Volvo. They've pretty much let Jaguar continue on its course, as well as Aston Martin. In fact, I see this as a good thing. Volvo now has significant capital for new designs, and everyday Ford cars will, in a few years, be much safer-- even if platforms are not shared, IO'm sure safety features will be.
  • bgkannebgkanne Member Posts: 25
    Edmund's has a test of a 2001 Volvo T5 wagon which anyone can read. The car has an inline 5 cylinder turbo. No one is currently using an inline 6 cylinder in a front wheel drive car. It creates too many packaging problems when mounted sideways. It's fine in a car with the engine mounted north/south. The car tested listed for over 44K. Obviously with less equipment it would be around 40K, which puts just BMW, Mercedes and Audi with more expensive wagons. Here are just SOME of the problems Edmund's found with this car:

    Engine: Turbo lag, stumbles off of line, lethargic with higher outside temperatures, no power until 3000 rpm. Lousy 18.1 mpg average. May perform better with manual trans, but isn't available in US.

    Steering: lacks feel, torque steer

    Brakes: Pedal sinks, inconsistent response

    Ride: No comparison to a BMW

    Interior: Odd Swedish leather odor (better to get cloth interior). Badly positioned power seat controls, flawed GPS system ($2500!), cramped rear seat only suitable for children, cheap interior materials and numerous squeaks, creaks and rattles (totally inexcusable).

    In summary, the person who wrote the article felt the his reason to buy the car was it's safety features, which he admitted is his personal bias. He recommended the superior and far less expensive Volkswagen Passat GLX 4 motion.

    If BMW, Mercedes, Audi or Volkswagen made a POS like this, heads would roll. Virtually every major area of this car, besides safety, has serious flaws. And at the price Volvo is asking, the car looks even more ridiculous. The reason is Volvo's lack of engineering breadth and lack of money for product development. Until now, safety was the only area Volvo obsessed on. This should change with Ford's ownership. Anyone who buys a car like this has got a very strange decision making process and must be obsessed with Volvo's safety image. Sorry to burst the Volvo bubble. The above FACTS speak for themselves.
  • twoof1twoof1 Member Posts: 308
    While I own a '98 Volvo XC, I am not under the illusion that Volvo is the perfect vehicle. There isn't one. Whatever works for you. I am in the market for a new wagon right now, and I am driving everything I can get my hands on. So far the Volvo T5 looks like the winner. This afternoon it's off to drive an Audi A6 Avant. I just want the truth portrayed instead of someone slamming a car just for the hell of it without any facts to back it up. The truth will be heard.
  • lancerfixerlancerfixer Member Posts: 1,284
    The S80 has a 2.9 liter inline 6. Also, the manual transmission is available on the V70, but only on the T5 model. Five minutes spent on Edmund's own site would have revealed these facts to you.
  • amazonamazon Member Posts: 293
    is available with 5 sp. manual overseas.
  • bgkannebgkanne Member Posts: 25
    Rules of road tests

    1. Any publication which depends on advertising revenue, must have their road tests taken with a grain of salt. This applies to Car and Driver, Motor Trend, etc.

    2. Any test where the vehicle is supplied by the manufacturer must be looked with suspicion. Special preparation of these vehicles may have taken place which may make certain qualities of the vehicle seem better than regular production examples.

    3. Qualifications of the writer must be examined. Who are they and how was their test conducted? Who pays for their writing?

    4. Publication from Maine is likely biased as Maine (and New England) is an extremely important market to Volvo. A bad review could be a disaster for Volvo in that market.

    5. When I see a unbiased report on this vehicle from someone like Consumer Reports, I can make an accurate evaluation of the car. Consumer Reports buys their cars on the open market, takes no advertising and is highly experienced in testing of these vehicles. I recently drove a lower cost competitor to the Volvo V70 and found Consumer Reports to be right on with the flaws they found.

    It is interesting to note the wide range of performance found on this vehicle. One test said 0-60 on this car is 6.7 seconds and another test said 8.4. This indicates someone really didn't test the vehicle thoroughly, the car was specially prepped or inaccurate testing procedures were used. Also, it has been common for Volvo (and other manufacturers) to drop manual transmission models from the US market due to small demand and possibly increased emissions. Only BMW has been successful selling stick shifts as a high volume manufacturer in a similar price category. It is very difficult to sell (in volume) a station wagon with a manual transmission, particularly with the excellent performance offered by many automatics.
  • FREDERICKFREDERICK Member Posts: 228
    I love our 96 Volvo Wagon, and I'm no newby. I would buy another in an instant if I had to replace the one we've got. It is the perfect primary form of transportation for us.

    We had a 99 Saab 9-3 for seven months before I rolled it out in the California desert late one night. The Volvo is a totally different car than that Saab but it is exactly what we need. The Volvo outshines Saab in several important areas.

    Volvo's handling is exceeding crisp, liniar, and the brakes are phenominal, the erganomics are the best available in a wagon. The Volvo's handling is very flat and assured while Saab's is a little soft for me. I've not driven a MCB or BMW Wagon because the extra $20K+ is beyond my ability.

    I don't think that there is honestly another wagon out there that meets the Volvo equally on price for overall utility, handling, safety, ergonomics, and power. Volvo are in that unique midrange that as of yet I don't think any other manufacturer has yet touched.

    I would not necessarily buy another Saab, but I might consider moving up market to a BMW if I had the $'s but I most certainly wouldn't even consider going down market for a wagon. I like, no I love, the car and I think that they're doing an excellent job hitting that middle market.

    I don't think I'd buy a Volvo Sedan though, because the reasons aren't compelling enough for me to look at them. The wagons are exactly what I need and want.

    These are my opinions and experiences, they constitute nothing more. I know Saab, I know Ford, I know GM, but I love the Volvo.
  • twoof1twoof1 Member Posts: 308
    After alot of exhaustive research, we finally traded in our '98 XC for a 2001 V70T5. I researched and drove the following:
    BMW 528it: Great car, terrible for storage space in the rear, sky high price.
    Saab 9-5: Hated the seats (just couldn't get comfortable, it's a personal thing) good car although a little too quirky for me.
    Passat 4 motion: Great car for it's price range. I felt it did not have the style or comfort features of the higher end wagons. Pretty soft and gutless. Subaru Outback: This one was a surprise to me. I liked it although it was tight on space, kinda clunky, did not like the muscle boy cladding, funky styling and weak engine. The model we drove was full of rattles with only 50 miles on the meter.
    Audi A6 Avant: This one was a tough call and ultimately it came down to a 2000 A6 or a 2001 T5 I reallly like this car. Beautiful interior, lots of room, good ergonomics, 4 year 50,000 mile service included and all the creature comforts I wanted. The only downside was that the dealer was about 35 miles away, and the engine was pretty weak.
    Volvo V70 T5: I love the new styling. The ride, handling, build quality and ergonomics are vastly superior to my old V70. I went with the T5 with Geartronic and the 17" wheels. I don't notice any harsh ride at all. However I should state that I am a fan of tight handling automobiles. I could see if you were used to the ride of a typical American car, you might be think the ride was rough. One recent poster said you could feel a quarter if you drove over it with this car. To me that is perfect. In fact one of the car mags did a review of sports sedans a couple of years ago and that was one of the criteria for a test they did (the BMW 3 series won) Having said all this, I really love the car. I know it is still the honeymoon phase. I hope this car stays rattle and squeek free for a long time. I will post more as the car breaks in. Right now I am babying it as the turbo motor takes about 3-5,000 miles to loosen up.
  • twoof1twoof1 Member Posts: 308
    respectfully, your post above is talking out of both sides of your mouth. I one post you were ripping on Volvo because of what you read in the Edmunds review. Now you say that all automotive publications are biased because the advertisers pay their salary. You can't have it both ways.
    If I was in the market for a toaster or a microwave, I would look to Consumer Reports. If I am looking for professional reviews and opinions for a new car, I will continue to read the auto mags.
  • monument1monument1 Member Posts: 1
    I have recently become enamored with the 2001 XC. I love the new styling, curtain airbags, etc. and hope to go for a test drive soon. Should I really expect the maintenance headaches and poor quality that I've been reading here? Is the 2001 any better than past years? Is service all that bad? Any experiences in Colo Spgs or Denver? Please give an objective opinion.
  • rollierollie Member Posts: 337
    Regarding post #30:

    If recent history is indicative, you would be prudent to wait 6 months or so for ANY new model car from ANY manufacturer. Volvo S80, Lexus GS, Audi A6, Mercedes S-class,etc. - all had some problems in their first few months of production. The new Cross Country is built on the same platform as the now debugged S80 and it does use a fairly mature engine so it might not be as much of a risk but if you can wait a few months to see the severity of issues that crops up on the topics here you will have a better indication of early build quality.

    Good luck.

    [email protected]

    p.s. - Had we still been living in Boston (moved 2 weeks ago to Southern California) we would have opted for the new Cross Country in lieu of the 2001 V70 T5 we bought. It looks like a real winner on paper and based on looks.
  • crosscountcrosscount Member Posts: 2
    To any pricing gurus out there: Think most Volvo dealers are just taking orders at MSPR for the 2001 XC Wagons? Wondering if I can shave a grand or so off, if threatening to walk would have any teeth in this market. I'm in Minneapolis. Thx for any advice.
  • rollierollie Member Posts: 337
    Regarding post #32:

    crosscount, my guess is that you won't get much more than $500 - $800 off at this point. Once inventory starts to build up that will change. You could try to bargain against the dealer price by mentioning that you are considering going the Overseas Delivery route (where you pay factory invoice for the car and MSRP for options). For a dealer with cars in stock (and hence inventory finance charges) this might get you a better deal but I'm guessing that since inventory is tight it won't work at this point.

    Good luck.

    [email protected]
  • lmeyer1lmeyer1 Member Posts: 215
    When I was still considering the 2001 V70, I had two Connecticut dealers that were willing to go one to two percent over invoice.

    We never really got down to brass tacks, so I don't know exactly where we'd have ended up. But I' sure it would have been substantially below MSRP.
  • crosscountcrosscount Member Posts: 2
    Thanks, rollie and lmeyer1, for the pricing responses. I asked one of the salesmen directly what sort of pricing he had in mind relative to MSRP; he said he'd "make an offer" but hinted it would be close to or at MSRP. I'll let you know how things work out if I proceed.
  • dunkadunka Member Posts: 17
    Using Autobytel via Edmunds I put in a price request for a 2001 V70 T5. Much to my surprise a very agressive dealer from NH is willing to deal, I don't have all the figures in front of me but for Sunroof, Auto/Geartronic, versatility, leather, cold weather pkg, 17" wheels they are coming in under 36,900, which is close to invoice. Perhaps the T5 is not in demand in our colder climates but a set of winter tires, traction control and some prudence behind the wheel (at least when its snowing) and i'm not worried. Note I have not closed this deal yet so things could still get "weird" but based on my interaction with these folks they are real - my only concern is I'm in metro Boston and they're 70 miles north and I do like my local Volvo dealer, don't know if they will match the deal yet.
  • lancerfixerlancerfixer Member Posts: 1,284
    Would that be Volvo of Keene? They've got a very good reputation.
  • dunkadunka Member Posts: 17
    Lovering in Concord. As far as deal getting "wierd" everything is still in tact although my original contact at dealership has changed - so far so good.
  • pk14pk14 Member Posts: 4
    I placed an order for a 2001 T5 on July 14th (very good deal - at invoice) and was informed at the time that there would be a 6-8 week wait before taking delivery. Just entered the 6 week window and the salesperson said it would be mid-October! Any one experienced similar delays?
  • rollierollie Member Posts: 337
    Regarding post #39:

    pk14, what options did you add to your car? Did you add anything like the wood steering wheel or integrated cell phone? Some of the less common options will get in short supply from time-to-time as new models roll out. The same thing happened with the wood wheels and RTI navigation system on the S80 back in late '98 to early '99.

    Good luck.

    [email protected]
  • pk14pk14 Member Posts: 4
    The reason I special ordered was due to the fact that the dealer stock either was one option shy or had a few too many options present that I really didn't need and would push me out of my budget. I ordered a Silver T5/ Taupe sport leather package, Cold Weather package, Geartronic, Sunroof, 17" wheels, 3rd seat versatility package, Integrated booster seats, fold-away table, and 4 CD changer upgraded stereo. The only major things I wasn't interested in were the GPS navigation, DSTC, and Security package. I didn't think any of the above were rare options. In the one instance where the dealer had a car close (DSTC in lieu of the upgraded stereo), I didn't see a significant advantage in getting the DSTC over waiting 6-8 weeks for exactly what I wanted. I have a 4WD Suburban for the wintery stuff around Northern VA. That is a good question to ask the dealer, though. I don't recall exactly where I read a post concerning a potential July work slowdown due to vacations over in Sweden, but the dealer certainly didn't know anything about that rumor. As a matter of research, I asked a more local dealer how long special orders were taking now, and he indicated delivery by the end of October - two weeks later than my order which was placed 6 weeks ago.
  • esquire5esquire5 Member Posts: 2
    what is the difference between the DSTC traction control and the STC traction control. There is a big price difference between the 2. Are each low-speed or all-all speed?

    Has anyone seen the nav system? is it easy to use?
  • rollierollie Member Posts: 337
    Regarding post #42:

    esquire5, STC is an all-speed traction control system as I recall. DSTC is an all-speed traction control system combined with an all-speed stability (yaw) control system. The latter is designed to keep you from sliding off the road by applying individual brakes to bring a car back in line with where you are pointing the steering wheel.

    The navigation system in the V70 is the same as it is in the S80. As far as navigation systems go, it doesn't get any easier (3 buttons on the backside of the steering wheel hub are all you use and the screen deploys from the middle of the dash top so your eyes stay on the horizon and hands on the wheel when you use the system).

    If I can answer any additional questions let me know.


    [email protected]
  • volvo18volvo18 Member Posts: 3
    Resolution for Response #12. In turns out the the S80 platform had a problem with the sub-bushing o-ring. Volvo made them too small. The result is a engine knock noise when cornering, etc.

    There is an easy fix but I had to visit the Volvo dealer at least 3 times before it was resolved. They simply install larger o-rings. The problem has been resolved.

    Response to #30, Monument1. I live in Littleton and this is our second Volvo. I was not going to even think of buying a new Volvo after the problems I had with our '93 850 GLT. Were they major? Not really. More annoying than anything. Rearview mirror breaking off. Paint chipping easily. Doors not closing correctly so you had to slam them. Engine slipping into winter mode for no reason.

    However, after looking for several months at everything under the sun, the '01 V70 2.4T won out due to styling and the fact that Volvo has young families figured out - safety, integrated booster seats, rear-facing bench seat, water bottle holder, folding card table, homesafe system, auto retracting windows if obstacle is encounterd (read children's limbs), inflatable curtain, 3 12 volt sources, front wheel drive, retractable netting to keep luggage from rushing forward in the event of a sudden stop and pockets in front seats for maps, etc.

    Timing was an issue for us or we would have bought the XC but I can tell you that the 850 which was the 1st front wheel drive vehicle from Volvo did very well in poor weather conditions.

    I got 3% over invoice from Rickenbaugh within the first several weeks that they got them in for whatever that's worth.
  • prob1293prob1293 Member Posts: 4
    For those of you considering a Volvo...

    I've had an '00 V70 for just over a year now, and my "Initial Customer Satisfact Rating" is extremely LOW!!! With respect to the components of the car, the basic rule is this: If it runs on electricity, it stinks. So far (remember, one year) I've had BOTH head lamps burn out, one turn signal light burn out, and the light that illuminates the "PRNDL" when you turn the headlights on is finicky, at best, unless you hit the gear-shift box in just the right spot - oh, and one manufacturer's recall. I've owned Geo Prizms with fewer problems!!!

    Other problems (ergonomically speaking) include the inability to get change out of that little tray without hitting my knuckles and opening the ashtray, always hitting the Hazard Lights when I put the car into "Park," no place to put a cell phone (the manufacturer even assumes one will be in the car, since you don't even get a cigarette lighter - just an empty 12V outlet), shall I continue???

    The utility of the car is great - trips to the dump with autumn sticks and leaves are as easy as a night out on the town - and I'm not ashamed to give the keys to the valet. Not to mention trips to the beach with 2 kids and all that goes along with that.

    I still question the relative value of my base V70 compared to a fully-loaded VW V6 Passat Wagon - at about the same price and interior cargo room. My only recourse is that I leased the vehicle (39 mos.), and I get to turn the car in at the expiration!!!
  • prob1293prob1293 Member Posts: 4
    Oh, as for wind noise, you can't even drown that out by turning up the stereo, because the sound system sounds like it was develped for someone with tin ears.

    The car does have one option - the Touring Packag, which include a one-disc CD changer, and much to my dismay upon delivery, only the driver has an electronic adjustable seat, the front passenger, must rely on manual controls.

    Noticeable "knocks and pings" are also evident from the engine even if you try to slip just one tank-full of 89 octane into the engine - tough when gas is $1.80 per gallon.

    That should be it.
  • raf6raf6 Member Posts: 1
    I test drove a V70 2001 wagon and was surprised to notice prominent reflections in the windshield of a large (maybe 7 or 8 inches square)perforated panel flush-mounted in the center of the dash. It was especially bothersome at certain sun angles. I even looked at V70 models with different color dashboards but found none without prominent reflections. Apparently the panel covers a center mounted loudspeaker, part of the premium sound system. I am interested in learning if owners of Volvos with this panel find its windshield reflection to be distracting .. or if they think this is something that I soon would learn to ignore.
  • rollierollie Member Posts: 337
    Regarding post #47:

    raf6, we've got this speaker grill on our S80 T6 and '01 V70 T5. Both are cars are dark inside, which probably makes some difference, but we never notice the reflection in the window. It's there but I can assure you that you won't notice it once you get permanently distracted by things like great acceleration (which tends to make you focus on the horizon), great stereo system , etc.

    Good luck.

    [email protected]
  • rollierollie Member Posts: 337
    Regarding post #70:

    newdog, '98 70 series wagons were plagued by two prevalent problems - early bulb failure and dash rattles. The bulb failures were cured by a replacement of the bulb sockets at the dealership. It's a simple job that takes less than an hour to complete and fixes the issue (and is of course free). Those cars that had rattles are a different story. It seems some owners found success and other didn't. I would highly recommend that you get the dealership maintenance records for the '98 and review them in detail. Then take the car out for an extended test drive to see if there are any rattles. If your review doesn't turn up any serious or recurring problems and you don't detect rattle I would highly recommend the '98 V70 over the '97 850 Wagon. Both are fine cars overall but the V70 benefits from a fresher design and about 1400+ refinements according to Volvo.

    Good luck.

    [email protected]
  • bert99bert99 Member Posts: 5
    Hi All,

    While the Volvo XC '01 seems to have everything going for it, I've been real concerned with the comments in Consumer Reports about reliability problems with the V70. Now, I'm told that the '01 XCs are now based on the S80 model; but, argh, Consumer Reports relays similarly bad reliability information.

    It seems a shame if this is true. I'm hoping it's more of an anomaly. Anyone have any thoughts?

    By the way, our alternative (a wagon with AWD, curtail air bags, etc...) is the Passat-- and I find their leather seats to be really uncomfortable, a far cry from the comfy XC.

  • nitchnitch Member Posts: 1
    I have a '98 V70 which I got 1 year old, and I have suffered the aforementioned bulb problem (fixed so fast I didn't even have time for a test drive of the new '01 while I waited) -- and the headlight burnout, which I also experienced with my '93 940. My all-volvo mechanic maintains it's because of the daytime running lights, and I think $20 a year in bulbs is a small price to pay for the Volvo experience. A nicely loaded base '98 won't even set you back 25k -- I plan on keeping mine until my 2 year-old can take it to college or they outlaw combsution engines!
  • ridgewood2ridgewood2 Member Posts: 1
    I am debating between the new xc wagon or the s60 - the wagon would be a good replacement for the Ford Explorer we will lay to rest - but am also very interested in the new sedan, as i love the s80, but not the problems i read about it - has anyone heard anything about this new model?
    Should I be leary of a new volvo model the first year or so (this will be our first volvo).
  • rollierollie Member Posts: 337
    Regarding post #53:

    The new S60 was introduced to the world by Volvo several weeks ago. Since then we have also learned there will be a T5R version next year that will have 300 hp and AWD. The S60 and new V70 are all based on the same platform as the S80. As they've ironed out the bugs from the S80, the latest models have benefited as well. In general you should always be leery of ANY new model car from ANY manufacturer. In this case I would recommend at least waiting a few months to see if any common serious problems crop up here or on the BrickBoard.
    For additional S60 information you should check the 60 series forum on

    Also, as a great compromise for someone getting rid of an Explorer, I would highly recommend you test the new '01 Cross Country. It is also based on the S80 platform. It has received great reviews overall and surprisingly has been praised for off-road ability (it has more ground clearance than an Explorer which helps).

    Good luck.

    [email protected]
  • dotconraddotconrad Member Posts: 1
    Currently considering the new XC as well as the new SportTrac. Trying to justify the extra 7-10k for the XC. We take trips to Home Depot two or three times a week for building supplies and landscaping stuff. Also thinking family some time soon. Can the XC be equipped to tow a trailer to haul?

    Have test driven both, and very impressed with the XC as well as the SportTrac, but am concerned with all the negative press regarding the general stability of the Explorer family. In the Chicago area, so Winter weather handling a plus.

    This will be our first new car and the last one for a while, so we want to make the right decision. Anyone have any other suggestions or advice? Would be much appreciated.
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