Used 1998 Volvo V70 R

1998 Volvo V70
List price range


  • Front and side airbags. Excellent side-impact protection. Superb seats. Solid construction. More cargo volume than many sport-utilities. Available all-wheel drive.


  • Oddly placed controls. No all-speed traction control system available.

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Edmunds' Expert Review

vehicle overview

Safe and sturdy describes the Volvo image. To be sure, Volvos are both safe and sturdy, boasting many standard safety features, and feeling as though they've been cast from a single block of iron. But, are there any other reasons to buy a Volvo?

Yes. Turbo power, for one. The engine bogs a bit until the turbocharger gets spooled up, but once on boil, a Volvo will rocket forward quickly enough to force your body back in the seat. Brakes are outstanding, and steering is firm and linear. All mechanical systems communicate clearly, allowing the driver to understand what the car is doing at all times.

Comfort is another big Volvo advantage. The seats in these Swedish cars are the best the world has to offer. You can drive a Volvo all day long, non-stop, and not feel one bit of fatigue unless you and Jose Cuervo visited a bit longer than you should have the night before.

These are the characteristics that keep Volvo buyers returning in droves for new versions of their favorite car, whether it's the sedan or wagon. They live with the minor ergonomic glitches and the staid styling, trading these for the comfort, performance and security a Volvo delivers.

For 1998, Volvo has decided to provide more reason to visit their showrooms. Designers and engineers have given the bread-and-butter 850 model a thorough revamp, adding power, safety, comfort and a dash of styling pizzazz to an already fine automobile. For good measure, the cars are renamed: S70 is the sedan, and V70 is the wagon.

Three trim levels are available. Base and GT models have the same powertrain as the 1997 850; a 2.4-liter inline five-cylinder engine pumping 168 horsepower through either a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission. GLT sedans, Base AWD wagons and Cross Country AWD wagons get a light-pressure turbocharged version of the base engine, good for 190 horsepower. The only transmission available on the GLT and AWD models is a four-speed automatic with second gear winter start mode. T-5 designates the hot rod 2WD edition, and it comes with a high-pressure turbocharged 2.3-liter inline five-cylinder engine making 236 horsepower. The AWD R wagon gets this same engine. Performance fans will take note that the T-5 is newly available with a manual gearbox.

Side-impact protection is improved with strengthened B-pillars that allow time for the side airbags to inflate more efficiently in the event of an accident. Seatbelt tensioners have been improved, and the steering column provides better protection in a crash.

Inside, the interior has been completely redesigned. Power mirror and window switches move to the driver's door panel, and the dashboard sports a more rounded countenance. Other controls are placed where they were in the 850, which is to say, somewhat haphazardly. Still, the new design is a big improvement over the 850.

Stylists cleaned up the sheetmetal front and back, giving the sedan and wagon body-colored trim to make the car look smaller, and clipping the front styling of the upcoming C70 coupe to the front end for a racier, more modern look.

Nice job, Volvo. All you need to give the S70 and V70 now is an all-speed traction control system, because when that turbo is shrieking, the front wheels break loose far too easily once the 25 mph threshold of the current low-speed traction control system is reached.

1998 Highlights

Volvo's 850 wagon gets a new name, new nose, body-color trim, stronger side-impact protection, more powerful turbo engines, redesigned interior and revised suspension. All-wheel-drive versions arrive to battle luxury SUVs.

Top consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1998 Volvo V70.

Never Again
Not A Happy Camper, 11/14/2002
We purchased this vehicle used to replace a 1988 Volvo 740. We should have kept the 740! This car has spent more time in the shop than my previous 10 cars of many different makes. My problem areas have been A.C, anti lock brakes, air pump and check valve, cd player, just to name the major areas. Don't think that Volve will come to your aid after the warranty period. If you need an awd wagon,look at the Mercedes of this era. I know I am!
luv it
precisionmike, 10/26/2009
bought it brand new, and until about an hour ago it was the best car ever. just hit a deer head on and the car will probably be totaled due to cosmetic damage. 165k and it runs smooth as glass. serviced every 5k and doesn't burn a drop of oil and we get 27 to 28 mpg on the highway. not one rust spot on it and we live in new york, the 'winter salt belt'. the R engine is a kick in the pants, we've surprised many a driver with the power and performance. AWD never let us down in snow and ice. some issues with AC and the CD player... other than that normal wear and tear... i will buy another one.
A Wonderful Car
Northern Man G, 10/22/2003
This has been a wonderful car. It has never let me down and only been in the shop for routine maintenance. I've found that the ABS can be fooled by hitting potholes while braking normally but other than that the car has been a gem.
Seven Years Now
Ed, 3/31/2006
I have had this car since new. There were two initial issues. Both were addressed. The car has had some performance modifications by IPD so it is faster than the average V70R. Other than above I have not had any major issues with the car. It has been a pain to pass DEQ not because it has high emmissions but because the computer has a long drive time to re-register data after a battery change. For me it was nice to carry items but think you are in a pretty fast sedan otherwise. Gas mileage is not great. I should also mention that I was T boned once by a car doing and estimated 40 MPH and drove it home. Granted the steering was way out of true. After 7 years I am tired on it though.
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Features & Specs

16 city / 23 hwy
Seats 0
4-speed automatic
236 hp @ 5100 rpm
See all Used 1998 Volvo V70 R features & specs


IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 1998 Volvo V70
Used 1998 Volvo V70 R Overview

The Used 1998 Volvo V70 R is offered in the following styles: , and R Turbo 4dr Wagon AWD.

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