Last post on Aug 15, 2012 at 7:24 PM
You are in the Volvo S70
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Volvo S70, Sedan
Feb 17, 2001 (6:25 am)
I owned an S70 (1999 Base) for 18 months. As I've said in previous posts, the car had many fine points, and I will remember it as one of the more interesting and endearing cars I've owned. BUT, it was not reliable, and I consider it crude by today's standards. The S60/V70/S80 are much closer to what people want today. My S70 left me stranded three times, two required tows, one was on this past christmas eve, and there were no rental cars to be found. I had to borrow a friends car. Although I think the dealership was one of the best I've ever been to, they could not identify the problem. I now own a 2001 Toyota Avalon, and, with the exception of the seat comfort (Volvo is unsurpassed) the car is leagues above the S70 in quiet and comfort. Yes it is boring, but requires little muss and fuss, and will be reliable. I also considered the Acura, which I liked very much, and actually ranked above the Avalon, but because you can't get the acura without the sunroof, it was a confining feeling compared to the Volvo and the Avalon. The Infiniti I30 is also an excellent choice, but dealers are few and far between. I have read that the VW Passat has been average or above reliability, and has much of the euro character people seek. The Avalon, by the way, is safe. If safety is your only concern, buy a Ford Crown Vic or Mercury Grand Marquis. As much as I loved my Volvo, I am very glad I got rid of it. After it left me stranded three times, I always had this lingering feeling whenever I got into it as to whether or not it would start. When I went on vacations (twice last year, each two weeks) I rented a car, one a Ford Explorer (new) and one a Grand Marquis (500 miles). Both were superb cars. I won't go back until I start reading that Volvos are at least as reliable as other euro cars, and approaching the reliability of japanese cars. If you do buy the volvo, get the extended warranty...you'll need it. AND, be prepared to be inconvenienced on a regular basis.
Feb 17, 2001 (11:30 am)
I had a 1998 S70 GLT on lease for 3 yrs. In 45,000 miles I did not have any major problems and my cash outlay for maintenance was minimal. I have also had two Maximas, an /89 GXE and a /93 SE -- the best cars I have ever owned in terms of reliability, fit, finish and integrity (read, no squeaks, rattles or other funny noises). The Maximas were both run to in excess of 100,000 miles and were unbelievably reliable. My father also has a /93 GXE with 125,000 miles -- never a problem! I had (and still have) a love/hate relationship with the Volvo. The S70 had much going for it -- incredibly quick, best seats in the business, great brakes and nice handling. Unfortunately, it also had some annoyances hard to forgive in a $30,000+ car -- numerous squeaks and rattles, as Car & Driver said, a Bush (the first one, not W.) era suspension with a pretty punishing ride over lesser quality roads, and other minor mechanical problems including a/c that went out twice, an ignition switch that had to be replaced, the front sway bar bolts breaking, and a couple of others that I now cannot recall. In fairness to Volvo and the dealer, they cheerfully took care of all mechanical ills (however, they never could trace and eliminate the rattles and squeaks which to tell you the truth were the things that bothered me the most). If you want reliability and very few visits to your friendly dealer, go with the Maxima. You won't be sorry. I am hoping that the S60 is an improvement over the S70 since I need to replace my wife's car that is coming off lease in early May. I have driven about 4 examples of the S60 - 3 were tight and solid with no rattles, but the 4th (which the dealer gave me for a weekend) had some. I'll likely lease one, but I will be sure to insist that before I take delivery and sign on the line, I give the car a through drive over the bumpies to make sure there are no rattles and squeaks from the get-go. I have driven the /01 Maxima SE and I could be very happy with one. The only reason I'm considering the Volvo is that we already have one mid-size Japanese car, a 2000 Acura 3.2TL, and we're looking for something a little different. Good luck with your decision.
#197 of 1197 01 Max vs 99 S70 (base/auto)
Feb 18, 2001 (6:11 am)
Thank you for everyone's help in my decision (used S70 vs 01 Max). I located a 99 S70 base/auto/loaded with all options, 24k miles, silver/graphite leather. It's a clean auction off lease for $23K (not a Volvo dealer)I drove it a few times (20 miles) and it was rather nice but boring. (loved those heated seats) It was slow off the line and it didn't like 'country roads' all that much. It was very smooth on the highway with low wind and road noise. I live in up state NY (sorry) with alot of hills. Compared to the Max, the S70 didn't like hill climbing at slower speeds (30-40mph)and it feels like it needs more HP or torque. But, when shutting the car off in park the motor didn't quit smoothly, it felt like something was 'going on' under the hood. It's hard to describe, but it was like the engine was moving and taking it's time to shut off for a few seconds...Any idea there? Other then that everything worked fine except for a frozen door handle. It's a nice auto but I still can't decide.
#198 of 1197 To boatman7 re:S70
Feb 18, 2001 (6:54 am)
The "shudder" when the shutting down the S70 is "normal" (?--this is what I was told by Volvo). It is almost like a dog shaking off water after a bath. It just lasts a second or two. Reminded me of post-ignition problems on some 70s and 80s cars. This is just one of the little quirks that I referred to above that make this model crude by today's standards. Yes, you can live with it, but why? I frequently visit the forums, and still hang out in the Volvo sections. People consistently list the following reasons as to why they were attracted to a Volvo (1) seats--and again, I must say, there a few that equal or exceed the Volvo seats (2) brakes (3) safety, although the S60/S80/V70 have side head bags and multi-stage bags now, plus safer seats and (4) it's just different from anything else on the market, and they get BORED with a reliable, runs all of the time, refrigerator like vehicle (AKA Japanese). Fact is, there are many cars on the market that can meet or exceed most or all of these requirements, with a lot less fuss, and for a lot less money.
#199 of 1197 To Boatman & Golfnut
Feb 19, 2001 (8:01 pm)
I have had no problems with my 2000 GLT SE and have been thouroghly enjoying the car. Great seats, styling, and stereo. I had the CD changer installed in the glove box, which has worked well. still room for some small items and the manual can go on the lower shelf. The turbos engine is great, and again I have no complaints. I would recommend the 2000 S70 over the american models, Toyota or Nissan.
#200 of 1197 Questions for 1998 S70 Price
Feb 20, 2001 (11:05 am)
I have been checking used car prices on Edmund's site and a few other sites. But strangely, the price for 98 S70 varies a lot. From this site I got the price for dealer retail fro about $17700
but from Kelly Blue Book it's about $21k. I put in the same milage, same options and same condition, still the price for dealer retail varies greatly. Can anyone tell me why is it so?
What's the difference between the websites? And which one is more accurate? Actually I bought a used 98 S70 base already, with 35320 miles and a few options like CD/Tape, leather seats. We paid $19100 for it. Does this sounds like a good deal to you? Thank you in advance for any comments that you might have!
#201 of 1197 Boatman beware!!!
Feb 22, 2001 (11:26 am)
I know your concerns.. have a current lease on a 1998 S70 and have experienced some of the problems that are listed. I am seriously considering a BMW X5 Or ML320. Though another S70 is in the back of my mind. It is really a good car But with other manufactures stepping up with the first 3-4 years of complete maintenance free it is almost worth the extra cash. Read all of the articles here. These forums help alot on making decisions.
#202 of 1197 RE: Transmission Prob
Feb 22, 2001 (9:48 pm)
I, too, had the same prob with my 95 960. It happened 2 yrs after I bought the car. The engine raced up to 3000 rpm like crazy. The dealer stated that was a problem with the engine temperature sensor (!?). The engine had the wrong info and resulted in bad fuel/air mixture.
I still don't understand how that made the engine rev so high.
#203 of 1197 Radio problems
Feb 22, 2001 (10:11 pm)
In response to #139
The switch for the radio/cd reset is on the right side behind the plastic rail. You need to take the radio out and then remove the rail. There is a small hole there where you can insert a bent paper clip and reset the cd player. I went through 4 radios and numerous resets until this last radio. I have a 98 S70 glt; other than this only bulb replacement has been a huge pain in the A**.
#204 of 1197 BOATMAN..DON'T DO IT!!!!
Feb 23, 2001 (11:49 am)
I owned a VOLVO S70 for 3 years and it was a piece of garbage!!! I've owned two VOLVO's prior to the S70 and they were perfect. Something has happened to Volvo's over the years and they're totally unreliable. I was stranded many times with bunches of dead batteries...one right after the other. I bought a 2000 Acura 3.2TL new back in September. I have 7000 miles on it already and it's WONDERFUL. Do yourself a favor and don't by a VOLVO electrical nightmare.