"We bought this V70T when we knew we'd be moving to NYC. I don't drive it that much, but use it mainly for weekly trips to my other office, and for Sunday shopping, but it has also been good on vacations, and when we had a country house. It's the most comfortable car we've known. It's a teen-ager now, but it still looks nearly new. It has less pick up than it used to, but with all Volvo maintenance over the years (expensive, but thorough) it runs great, and we always feel as safe as one can on these crowded highways."
Cons: "Ho-hum acceleration and mileage from the 2.5"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I'm the first to agree that Volvos of this vintage aren't always the poster-kids for reliability. I am the 2nd owner of my XC70 - and a major reason I purchased it was because owner #1 had recently replaced the bushings and other suspension components that are prone to failure, and are pricey to replace.
But given that -- I am a few years in as owner #2 -- and am often amazed how flippin' comfortable and drum-tight this wagon truly is -- even though it's 14 years old. As a freeway runner, it is silent as a bank vault, and soaks everything up without getting unsettled one bit. The comfort and support of the seats put the ones in my much newer Honda to shame. The 2.5 turbo of this vintage struggles a bit with the greenlight derby. But on the other hand, there is enough torque for decent mountain climbing and passing. And the transmission is clicking along just fine, compared some of the horror stories out there.
Sure -- there are always bulbs to replace on this thing, thanks to the daytime running lights feature. And there is an electronic bug-a-boo on occasion. A power lock that sticks etc.
But good luck finding other vehicles that can remain so inherently solid, pleasant and reassuring after 14 years on the road."
Pros: "Great handling and cargo, fast, 7 seats, pretty"
Cons: "Dealer maintenance is pricey, turning radius"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I bought my 2001 V70 T5 for chump change about a year ago, due to a transmission problem. Fortunately I was able to fix this myself for $30 (there was an unperformed but necessary update). Since then, I've put well over 30,000 miles on the car, and it's been a great road warrior. It has a cavernous cargo area, handles much, much better than pretty much any other wagon (and certainly than any SUV), will leave most sport sedans in the dust thanks to the high-pressure turbo motor, and looks MUCH newer than its actual vintage. It's a plus that it will hold a couple grandkids in the tailgunner seats. The black leather interior is in nearly perfect condition 240,000 miles down the road. All in all, this has been my best automotive purchase for the money (other than maybe that Opel GT for $50). I do twist my own wrenches, and would recommend that this isn't necessarily the right car for those dependent on the local (?) Volvo dealer to maintain - though that proviso holds for most brands. I've found the car to be reasonably low maintenance - I replaced the control arm bushings, the CV axles, and a few other items over the last 30,000 miles. I also had to do a rube goldberg fix on the A/C compressor (restoring the proper spacing to the compressor clutch using a bit of wire).
In the end, this wagon is faster, handles better, looks better and is probably more comfortable than what you're driving now. It does great in snow or ice. They sell for peanuts because people are scared of the maintenance - but if you find a well-maintained example it should run for many hundreds of thousands of miles."
"Transmissions are very weak, when they go (and they will) expect to pay over 6k to get a new one. There are no good ones out there in parts yards, that's the major reason they end up there. Constant electrical problems, very frequent check engine lights. Throttle bodies are know to be junk, Volvo originally was forced to replace them for free up to 100k, after that expect to pay 2k plus programming. Not your typical Volvo, either go back to pre01 v70's (old Style) or jump way ahead to around 07 when they finally stopped selling these cars new with the above flaws."