I have owned the V70 and S70 line of vehicles for many years. My 1998 S70 T5 is hands down the best vehicle I have ever owned. After owning one, and wanting a second T5, I drove over 400 miles, round trip to pick up another one. These cars are built exceptionally well. I have never had one leave me stranded. Every vehicle requires maintenance and an occasional part. Parts are cheap if you know where to look. Any mechanic should be able to work on these EASILY. They do not cost more to work on than anything else. If you insist on taking them to dealers out of warranty, then expect to pay. Knowledge and a little legwork will make these one of the most economical cars you can own.
I bought my Volvo S70 in 2000 with 24,000 miles on it, but sadly had to say goodbye to it this week. While it didn't get me to 300K, it did get me to 286,000. The only work I ever had done was sparks plugs & wires, fuel filter, radiator hoses and alternator. The car was rock solid and reliable. I was so impressed with the car, I bought another S70 - hopefully this one gets me over 200K also.
I bought this car while pregnant in 98. My husband & I joked that the baby would drive it someday...and he is! My car has had the usual repairs but nothing unusual. It was garage parked for the first 8 yrs, outside for the last 7--just starting to rust around the sunroof rim. The leather delaminated from the doors within the first year & Volvo didn't cover it--peek in the windows of any 98 S70 and you will see it (thus the 3 rating for interior) Also--if anyone is pulling on the door handle when using the key fob unlock the locks will break. How did that get past Volvo engineers? Other than those 2 things and a cruddy local dealer I have been extremely pleased. No regrets at 190k mi! Update 2/2016: 205,000 mi and still running smoothly. My mechanic has mentioned more than once that if we ever want to sell he is interested........but he will be fighting my children for it. Among other things, I bought a Volvo to save my life in an accident and because they have a million mile club. I take care of it, keep it in good repair, keep it clean, and it still looks new. Repairs may cost $1k/year but that is still less costly than a new car and my car is not in a landfill. Loving my Volvo. Update 2/2017. Another year, another 10,000 miles. I keep thinking that I need to get a new car but honestly, the only reason for that is to pass this gem onto my children. Still loving my Volvo.
Bought this car to replace a '96 850 GLT. The turbo makes this car much quicker than the otherwise similar 850. Volvo did a nice job updating the appearance inside an out. The 5 cylinder engine is a perfect balance of reliable, smooth and economical. The GLT includes all the expected luxury features: leather, cruise, a/c, stereo, CD, cassette, remote, power win/locks/mirrors/driver seat. Safety, as always, at the top... the 850 probably saved my life and that's why I bought another one. This car is quicker and more sporty. I briefly contemplated a 1999 Saab 9-3 because of it's more sporty nature but I'm not dissapointed with the S70.
Bought this car used, mint w/ 40k in 2005. Now, at 170k I am having my very first problems but they are minor. Replacement headlamp (deer) went rusty. Replacement radio antenna (car wash got the 1st) busted. All mechanics have been mint. Only time she's left me stranded was when a simple $40 item broke in the accelerator cable. Limped into a gas station and she was back on the road in an hour. Also the clutch got rough (5-speed manual). Replaced & now drives like a dream. Body remains mint despite New England winters. No rust anywhere. Drive is smooth. 30mph highway. 25 combined. Sticky buttons -yes- as others have said. I smeared brown paper napkins on them and that dried it out.