looking for advice on purchasing a Volvo XC70!

mapper

Explorer
XC70 is very nice road trip car. I don't use mine much as I have 2 large dogs now and I try to keep it as the "clean" car. I bought mine with a rebuilt title at 64k. It now has 90k and has needed only maintenance (filters and fluids), a fuel pressure sensor, a tie rod end and one lower control arm. I have done a few other items related to the previous accident but that is fixing others mistakes, not a Volvo problem. It still drives like a new car and much nicer than even the newest Subarus I've been in. If I keep speeds reasonable I can get nearly 30+ mpg hwy on a trip. Driving interstate +8 mph (my usual speed) I'll get about 27-28 on a trip. I've done all the work myself and the car was very easy to work on. I also repaired a deer strike myself. I took the entire front end apart twice now, once to inspect previous repair work and once to do my own repair work. It was a straightforward process.

If you like the xc70 there are a few things you must know. Avoid 2001 and 2002 models. Beware of 2-3rd gear shift flares (though usually fixable with a valve body). Only use proper Aisin Warner fluid (from Toyota or Volvo) for the transmission. Live somewhere where there is a good independent shop with the Volvo (vida/dice) scanner. The volvo computer logs tons of diagnostics so pinpointing failure points is very easy for someone who has the right equipment and knows how to use it.

Another nice feature of the xc70 is the active Volvoxc.com forum. That combined with the other forums for the P2 chassis cars (v70, s60) offer of wealth of useful information for the DIYer. If I could get the car with a manual transmission it would probably be my daily driver...but since I can't...and I still really like rowing gears, I end up driving my passat.
 

_luke

New member
Probably too late for the OP, but I've had a 2002 V70 cross country for the last 5+ years. Bought it with ~100k miles on it, and it has 180k now. No maintenance issues outside what you would expect with a higher milage car (some oil leaks, replaced tie rods). My only real complaint is that small things are expensive to fix (i.e. the hood release cable is over $200). Overall I really like it, and find it to be a great mountain/road trip/camping car. It's comfortable, fast and great in the snow. On the other hand, it's not great on milage (about 22 MPG long-term average).

We have a good, honest local Volvo shop, which I think is pretty key.
 

peneumbra

Explorer
@martini.ss: You don't want anything as mundane as a Volvo. You want a car that's really... esoteric:

A Citroen.:Wow1:
 

Jack Stilts

Subaru Ambassador
Hoping to add on to this to get some more input. I'm also a potential buyer of a 2004~ manual trans V70R or the automatic XC70.

Obviously all cars have ups and downs / pros and cons, but is there anything obvious? I've seen so much varying information and such critical reviews online, so it almost seems like asking for more information on an online forum is counter-intuitive. I'm torn between a Volvo and a Subaru for different reasons. I want something safe (Volvo) but reliable (Subaru) and comfortable (Volvo) but easy to work on (Subaru). This is going to be a daily driver / baby transport / winter beast. Nothing crazy, no rock crawling.

Options right now are the V50R, V70R, XC70 vs the Legacy Outback or Forester, both manual transmissions.

Any input would really be appreciated.
 

calicamper

Expedition Leader
I'll just share what a friend told me who has run his own high end custom car shop for years. The only I repeat only brand they refuse to work on is Volvo. For one simple reason, the electrics are the lowest quality crap they have ever seen in a vehicle period. He actualy threatened me with bodily harm if I bought one. And he is one of the most chill guys I've ever raced sailboats with. We could be sinking and going down fast and hes as cool as it gets.

My daily driver is a 2010 OB cvt. It replaced a 5spd MT Legacy gt limited. The OB isn't sporty the cvt is a great match but took me months to get use to. My other ride is a 2007 Sequoia and my wife just replaced the 2001 1.8t 5spd with a Fusion Titanium hybrid plugin.
 

calicamper

Expedition Leader
The v70's suffer engine failure due to oil feed issues. I recall 70,000 -80,000 miles and total engine failure is very typical. The 7 passenger thing with the funky 5cylinder is a joke, piss poor mileage and all the house poor soccer moms have them.
 

WagoneerSX4

Adventurer
^ I dislike post-ford Volvos as much as the next guy but all that is untrue.

They 5cyl engines are extremely reliable, they aren't the issue. Like any turbocharged unit they need regular oil changes with quality oil and the only failures have to do with neglect in that area.
 
The 5 cylinder V70/XC70 are very reliable cars. The next door neighbor and a prominent member here has over 250k miles on his and all the has done is replace an alternator. With the V70 fuel milage was in the low 30's on long stretches of freeway. In the mid 2000's when Volvo was equipped with the Ford engine things went south. I would highly recommend the V70 with the 5 cylinder if you want a reliable car. They also have those cool child booster seats which always come in handy if you have kids. The booster seats are different then the rear facing seat.
 

WagoneerSX4

Adventurer
Volvos have never had ford engines. Ford has used Volvo engines in fords, but not the other way around.

Ford did do some parts bin scavenging but never in the engine department. Some of the driveline choices (S80 T6 and XC90 T6 used a GM sourced 4 speed which was utter garbage, and the angle gears in just about every AWD model were weak) were questionable, some electrical gremlins (xc90 and S80). They purchased Volvo for their safety tech. There was talk of making Volvo their new "luxury performance" brand but they already had jaguar at point.
 
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WagoneerSX4

Adventurer
Must be something outside of the North American market. We had no 4cyl options except for in the S40/V40, and those were Volvo units.

Besides the newest models of course.
 

freshlikesushi

Free Candy
Few reasons.

Not really reliability. They tend to run forever.
However, the electronics and associated parts are mediocre and have known issues. ESPECIALLY in the "modern" era where they are loaded with electronics, but it was the early times of it.

Aftermarket support is limited to one or two springs (badswede i think?) and thats about it. everything else, you are in the same boat as me with fabbing it.
The height in the rear cargo area isnt great, a fridge will barely fit, and its just not a great layout IMO.

I was looking at XC70s before i settled on my subaru.
 

Jack Stilts

Subaru Ambassador
Few reasons.

Not really reliability. They tend to run forever.
However, the electronics and associated parts are mediocre and have known issues. ESPECIALLY in the "modern" era where they are loaded with electronics, but it was the early times of it.

Aftermarket support is limited to one or two springs (badswede i think?) and thats about it. everything else, you are in the same boat as me with fabbing it.
The height in the rear cargo area isnt great, a fridge will barely fit, and its just not a great layout IMO.

I was looking at XC70s before i settled on my subaru.

Thanks for the info. Not planning on building an overlander. This will be daily driving / winter wagon. Hopefully an 03-05 will be early enough to avoid those "modern" electronic problems.
 

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