What can I say that has not already been said.
Very noisy dashboard,
pathetic acceleration.. Air conditioner decides to stop working after its been working fine all day,
power door locks not working, and the locks in the back are at the rear of the door, very tough to reach...
The need to always have the code reader in the car, just in case!!!
Very poorly design throttle-body.. gets dirty really easy causing most drive-ability problems..
MPG not good for a small 5 cylinder with 5 speed manual low-mid 20's..
my 99 e320 with a v6 and auto 27+ mpg...
On the plus sides.. The car is sized right,
It has pretty good handling.
the seats are ok with some adjustments.
back seats fold down..
there is room under the hood for most repairs..
maybe hire a japanese or korean company to design and build your computer, wiring, sensors..
and anything else made by Bosch...
Always told Volvo's were reliable cars. This one has had problems since day one. I have gone through 2 sets of O2 sensors and its ready for a 3rd, used both Volvo and OEM before. 02 sensor harnesses. Replaced throttle body. Oil breather box, emissions system, and PCV needs replaced. Replaced ball joints and tie rod ends. Steering still makes noise. Power steering fluid leak. Cam seal oil leak. 2 heater cores replaced. Ate 2 sets of breaks and rotors in 50K. Turbo needs rebuilt. Fuses and bulbs go out all time. Electric seat motors are going out.
Cup holders are poorly designed.
On the rare occasions it ran properly it was like driving a sportier car.
Overall, being a high-school kid who has parents to pay for silly things like $1000 repairs once every few months, I love it.
Sometimes the dashboard warnings light up like a Christmas tree, and other times it tells me everything is running fine.
Sometimes I feel like I'm in a sporty sedan, other times, I feel like I'm in an old boat that's about to fall to bits.
Be ready for repairs.
When it's running as it should, it's a sportier car than you would ever guess by looking at it, and the driver's seat is a nice place to be.
The turbo sounds as it should.
It can go 130+ mph, even in its old age, while still feeling stable.
It's definitely unique.
Somehow, the speakers still have excellent bass... and that's coming from a high-schooler who plays music loud on a daily basis.
The leather is nice, the brakes are good, I hear it has tons of airbags, and the police never suspect anything from an old Volvo.
Even the little things like the sound of the square doors firmly shutting, or the feel of the key in the lock are so nice.
After driving a 1993 Honda Accord, my Volvo is a huge, huge improvement in every way except reliability.
Yeah, I just tried to think of another way, and I couldn't... it's just reliability.
The Volvo dealerships where you need to go for a lot of those repairs don't make it any easier either.
first of all, for everyone whining about the thing breaking, it's a 15 year old car at this point.
You HAVE to stay on top of the maintenance AND preventative maintenance.
Failure to do so will mean small things can add up to big problems.
That said, if you take care of the car, you will enjoy it.
I had a 98 T5 and still have my 99 T5 and both have been trouble free and dirt cheap to own.
At this point in their age, a check engine light is not a big deal.
Everything that CAN go wrong with the car is documented on google so the mechanically inclined owner can fix most stuff at home and save a lot of money.
Powerful T5 engine responds well to an aftermarket exhaust and ECU tune.
Will yield nearly 300hp.
The last era of classic swedish angled volvo design.
Distinct and timeless.
Incredibly well engineered.
Aside from typical wear and tear items (rubber hoses, spark plugs, etc) the parts for these cars are dang near bulletproof.
Manual transmission can easily handle over 450 hp.
I don't like that volvo went to an electronic throttle in 99.
My 98's drive by wire cable setup was much simpler.
Numerous changes happened under the hood in 99 making them more difficult to work on and diagnose problems.
If you have the choice, the 98's are FAR more desirable.
When I sold my 98, a guy drove half way across the country and paid far more than KBB value.
The biggest drawback if you are planning on making more power is the connecting rods are a bit weak.
The car will be able to handle around 300 hp to the front wheels before the rods are at risk.
If you can find one in good shape that has been properly maintained and don't mind taking good care of it, they're great cars!