These are great cars when they've been taken care of. Very comfy, roomy, plush, reliable, and fast. I wouldn't buy one without any service records though. It help's tremendously to have them. Repairs can be costly if you dont know the cars history. My glt is definitely my favorite of all the car's Ive owned. Also the styling on these S70's were way ahead of their time. Most people think my 98 is a much newer car. I do almost all of my own maintenance on it which keeps the cost of ownership down considerably. I'm not a certified mechanic so that should tell you they are pretty easy to work on. Plus the online Volvo community are always very helpful when I run into something I'm not familiar with during repairs. I would recommend buying a 98 model if you want a true swedish made Volvo. In 99 Ford took over Volvo and made changes to the engine management system's. They also changed them over to a wireless throttle system and a five speed auto transmission. Both were ridden with problem's making the cars unreliable. I hope this is helpful. To sum it up the 1998 S70 is a great automobile!!
We had it for 19 years and 190,00 miles, a pre-Ford car. Great visibility, handling and braking. More than adequate acceleration. The only problem, which was a widespread issue with this car, is the dashboard squeaked and rattled. The attachments failed and repair cost was exorbitant, so it rattled for the last 10 years or so. If it wasn't for that, we'd still have it.
(UPDATE) 6-4-18 Car running fantastic with 115,000 miles on it now. Have not had to do anything with it but oil changes. Even took it to a local drag-strip and ran a 10 minute 1/8th mile with it!
Before buying any older Volvo, I strongly suggest that you do a You Tube search for "Robert DIY" and he will tell you what to look for when buying one. I am not him! About a year and a half ago I bought a 1997 Volvo 850 GLT with 65,000 original miles on it for like $3,750.00! SCORE! That is my wife's daily commuter car and we love it. So just a couple months later I bought this very car at a local Iowa lot. [non-permissible content removed] Paid like $3,997.00 for it. There were only 361 of these T5 manual five speeds brought to the US. At around 240 hp and 250 ft lbs of torque it is no slouch! I hardly ever drive it and am modding it out to be even more of a sleeper. Want to end up in like the 450 to 500 hp range, with everything else looking stock. : )
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
Good interior storage space, nice leather, good seats
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.
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.
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.