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!
† Edmunds.com received the highest numerical score in the proprietary J.D. Power 2014 Third-Party Automotive Website Evaluation Study℠. Results based on responses from 3,381 responses, measuring 14 companies and measures third-party automotive website usefulness among new and used vehicle shoppers. Proprietary study results are based on experiences and perceptions of owners surveyed from January 2014. Your experiences may vary. Visit jdpower.com.