1998 Volvo S70 Consumer Review: Horrible, totally unreliable,

1998 Volvo S70 - Consumer Review

Average Consumer Rating

109 Total Reviews

Base Sedan (2.4L 5-cyl. 5-speed Manual)

Build Quality
Reliability Value
10 of 18 people found this review helpful
Horrible, totally unreliable, prone to failure
By jschwaber on


1998 Volvo S70 4dr Sedan


Steering failed, developed an oil & radiator leak past 100k. ABS/TRACS failed immediately.

The door hinges on driver and passenger both failed. One pangs loudly at every catch, the other swings like a household door with no catch. The hydraulics in the trunk have failed completely.

Speakers were wired poorly- all flicker on and off (not blown out). The stereo has you change CD's in the *trunk* (of all places)

0-60 time is longer than 11 seconds on the base model, but still gets terrible MPG (21 average for the automatic, even when babying it)

Three star safety rating in the '90s, so it's not even very safe

e-brake broken

Good interior storage space, nice leather, good seats

Best Features

I liked the interior. It was generally quiet, the seats are well-made and comfortable. Electric seats and heated seats were quite good. The stock stereo comes with anti-theft password protection, the sunroof is reliable and nice. The 4 disc Brakes work pretty well. The three driving modes is a neat feature. Good visibility. I like the equipment on it, it was pretty reliable. Heated seats, heated electric mirrors, power seats, etc., all worked throughout the life of the car.

Worst Features

Mechanically, this thing has spiraled downwards in every way imaginable. The workmanship is just horrible, but the transmission/engine just won't quite die, the performance just takes a horrible dip quite early in the life span. Despite being front wheel drive, it's pretty horrible in the snow. Admittedly, the ABS and traction control unit is dead, but they were made without heat syncs, so the chip failure is near-inevitable, even if replaced. To any future owners, there is a guy out there who will replace the chip with a unit with heat syncs he welds on after fixing the unit for around $100. To Volvo, I recommend fixing the whole heat sync issue in the first place.
Recommend (10) (8)

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