Last post on Aug 15, 2012 at 7:24 PM
You are in the Volvo S70
What is this discussion about?
Volvo S70, Sedan
Apr 28, 2002 (4:28 pm)
I owned a 1999 Volvo S70 base model. This was touted to be more reliable than the turbos. Not so. The ride was rough, tore through light bulbs, squeaked and rattled, rode like a truck, and left me stranded three times. Each time, the dealer, though they tried, could not identify a problem. No, I didn't hate the Volvo, I just think a $30K car should not have the problems it did. I replaced it with a 2001 Toyota Avalon, and haven't had a problem, or complaint, since. The Toyota isn't perfect, but is lightyears ahead of any S70. At the very least, I haven't wondered at all whether or not it would start. Also, 125K miles seems a little high to me, as is the 12,900 price. Yes, the Volvo is safe, but as tiger8 says, they are "durable" (because you constatntly replace parts), but they have not been reliable. It looks, though, like the S60 might get Volvo back on the reliability track, and recent reports of the 2002 S80 seem OK. Anything from 1998 to 2001 is suspect.
Apr 28, 2002 (8:45 pm)
You were interested in the Volvo because of its safety record. It's true they're safe, but many manufacturers have narrowed or closed the safety gap with Volvo. Again, check Consumer Reports, April issue, for the section on safety and which cars have done well in both the govt. and insurance industry tests.
To repeat, I would not advise buying that car with 125,000 on it. Volvo sales are down recently, I believe, and I think they are being slowly crunched between the reliability of the Japanese cars and the engineering of the German cars. Unless they shape up, they may drift slowly down to insignificance. The Volvo mystique remains its greatest asset, but I believe that is being depleted.
#376 of 1197 high mileage '98 S70 T5
Apr 29, 2002 (4:04 am)
It looks like the consensus is unanimous. I was hoping to hear from an owner of a high mileage S70 that could recommend the car, but that seems unlikely based on your reports. I am aware of the the problems cited by Consumer Reports and was wondering if some or all were addressed by the three recalls and the Technical Service Bulletins. I could almost live with the high maintenance cost, if I could acquire the car at the right price. But I get the impression everyone would stay away from the car even, if the price were $10,000 or less.
I'm retiring a 1989 Acura legend with 105,000 miles that I bought new. It's starting to show some rust, the ABS has failed, CV joints needed to be replaced, water pump needs to be replaced, and the valves have been loud since 70,000 miles. However, it has never left me stranded. I only put about 8,000 miles per year on a car which is why I was considering a high mileage car. Historically, my vehicles have been retired with fully functional engines and drive trains but have failed from either corrosion or collisions.
Ironically, I found out the S70 was a trade in for a new Acura. I suppose that fact alone should tell me the original S70 owner felt the Acura was the better choice.
The other car I'm looking at is a '99 Camry LE with 20,000 miles for $12,500. Not an exciting drive but reasonably safe and dependable transportation. Thanks again folks for the input.
#377 of 1197 no problems
Apr 29, 2002 (8:56 am)
I bought a '98 T5 and have not had any problems. Ok, its true, the light bulbs don't last forever. But, I've only had to replace 2 brake light bulbs in the past 9 months, so I don't consider that a major issue. I bought my T5 used and have put 22,000 miles on it since. I absolutely love it. I too had a few people (here on edmunds) speak out against the 98 S70 as the folks here are doing. But, after doing a lot of searching and reading, i found the problems people complained about to be nothing to worry about and certainly not as wide spread as some would have you believe. A few real problem examples can be found with ANY model car you look at.
Having said that, would I buy a car with 125K miles for $13 grand? No way. I can think of several nice cars for less than that which you can drive for much longer. Look at it this way, if you could get, say, 200K miles out of the volvo, you just spent $13K for a car with only 75,000 miles of life left in it. If you ever decided you did want to sell it, how many people will you find who would want such a high mileage example.
To put it in perspective, I paid $20K for my T5 with 30K miles. If your example has 75K miles of life left in it, mine has 170K. So I paid roughly one and one-half times the price for a car which has well more than double the life left in it. I know its kinda a strange equation, but that's just how I look at it when I'm car shopping. I want to know many miles I'll have on a car when I'm done paying it off, etc. etc.
well, good luck.
#378 of 1197 $13K for 125K is too much
Apr 29, 2002 (9:50 am)
I wouldn't pay $13,000 for an S70 T5 -- or any Volvo -- with 125,000 miles on it, even though I've owned three Volvos and been satisfied with them. Last May, I bought a 2000 S70 SE GLT with about 12,200 miles on it. I paid $28,700 for it. I'm happy with the car, although I think I probably paid about $1,500 more than I should have. Four years ago, I bought an 850 (non-turbo) with about 12,500 miles on it for $23,500. My wife drives this car; it now has nearly 80,000 miles on it and has been very reliable. Based on the miles on the Volvos I bought and what I paid for them, I don't think it's a good idea to pay nearly half as much for a car with 10 times as much mileage.
#379 of 1197 A 1998 Volvo S70 T-5 with 125K miles?
Apr 29, 2002 (10:29 am)
Wow, that's an uncommon figure. I car that's only 4 years old with 125K miles, impressive. I wouldn't buy this vehicle either. Even with the warrenty, you'll be eating a lot of repair costs yourself. Maybe for about $9,000 US I'd consider it, but I'd want to get a through list of parts replaced by the seller. I'd also want to get an independant mechanic to look it over. I don't expect the transmission or the pumps (water/fuel) to last much over 150K. Those items are expensive! Even basic stuff like tune ups (spark plugs, new brake fluid, new fuel filter) is important to the value equation when looking at a high mileage late model vehicle. I wouldn't rule it out, but don't pay more than 10K for that vehicle!
#380 of 1197 high mileage '98 S70 T5
Apr 29, 2002 (1:31 pm)
I was able to track down the service records for the past 20K miles. It looks like the previous owner finally decided to trade the car because it was in the shop every month for the last five months he owned it. 8/01 103K Replaced Blower fan for heat/AC, 9/01 108K Replaced two struts, 10/01 110K Replaced battery and vacuum hose, 11/01 115K Replaced Spark Plugs and wiper blades, 12/01 120K Replaced rear brake pads and rotors. He also did an oil change during each service. It's starting to sound like $9000 is closer to the actual value of the car. However, I suspect the dealer will say he could wholesale the car at that price.
#381 of 1197 high mileage '98 S70 T5
Apr 29, 2002 (2:29 pm)
The dealer just called about the car. It turns out he had the car on Ebay 45 days ago. He says the high bid was $9050 and that four people emailed him $10,000 offers after the auction closed. He didn't accept the offers at that time but he now seems receptive to a $9000-$10,000 cash offer for the car, if he deletes the extended warranty.
#382 of 1197 last 20K miles
Apr 30, 2002 (7:34 am)
well, the only thing on that list that is beyond what should be expected on a car with that many miles is the blower fan. Still, though, I don't consider that to be out of line for repairs on a 125K mile car.
Don't know if I'd give up that 2 year warranty.
#383 of 1197 Traded '00 S70 GLT
May 02, 2002 (7:11 am)
I just completed a deal with my Volvo/Toyota dealer where I traded in my 2000 Volvo S70 GLT for a 2002 Toyota Solara. The Volvo had only 22K miles on it and was in perfect condition and they gave me $20,500. I talked them down on the Solara and got a straight up trade for the Volvo. I really enjoyed the S70, but the final straw was a rear tailight failure that melted the interior plastic housing of the light. I've replaced the headlights 3 times and also had a batter that leaked battery acid twice all over the inside of the engine compartment. I think the Solara is much smoother and quieter than the more expensive S70 and I'm hoping more reliable.