We've owned Volvo for years, and traded a 1988 740 Turbo for our current 1997 960 in September 2001.
Our current mileage is 169,000, and other than routine maintenance, our car has been reliable, comfortable and trouble-free.
Yes, the plastic interior bits do tend to fall off and the sunroof leaks, but the car's long-distance comfort, safety, and high spec make it an ideal purchase for those on a budget who desire a safe, solid and agile vehicle.
The key is to find a good mechanic who specializes and let him look after the maintenance.
Running costs are much less than a Mercedes or BMW.
We average 20mpg city/26 hwy.
The '98 V70 is the same car, and the last year for this body style.
rear-wheel drive, long-distance comfort, excellent seats, capacious cargo capacity, good ergonomics, reasonably moderate to service.
plastic bits break, sunroof can leak, brakes can be an issue, but mine have had no problems.