Found a 1998 v70xc last year (2010) at a used car dealership with a 104,000 miles on it. The dealer had all the maintenance records, which showed a trip to the dealership every 5,000 miles. The interior and exterior looked brand new--the back seat looked like it had never been ridden in. Obviously garaged and pampered by the prior owner. I had to fix a broken motor mount, and the rear hatch struts were weak, which I replaced. About $450 for both. It now has a 121,000 miles on it and has been trouble-free. My independent Volvo mechanic is jealous. He says the 1998 and earlier volvos are tougher than the current ones. Finding a good independent volvo mechanic will save you lots of money.
Purchased in 2004 with 64,000 miles for my wife, she didn't like the 95 850 turbo wagon because it had too much power. The light pressure turbo and AWD is much better for her. I use high quality parts and do not have tire, brake, or other components wearing out prematurely. Currently have Michelin Harmony and ceramic brakes, best ride of any car I've owned and the AWD makes the snow disappear. Has not left us stranded in 10 years. Not transmission problems, averages 22 MPG, can get 28 MPG on interstate. High quality and good design. As others posted, it is expensive to maintain at dealer. I do most of the work, however, I do have a friend that helps me with more difficult repairs.
We just bought a 1998 V70 XC awd with 238,000 miles on it. WE quickly learned something it may be helpful to pass on. Volvo delaership work and Volvo parts will break you. Example: Heater core replacmeent - from Volvo $800. It is a two hour job and you cna do it for less than $200. Or you cna find a good independant mechanic who does not blindly charge book rates and get it done for $400. Front Struts - this needs to be done by a professional unless you have special tools or knowledge, but you cna pay over $1000 at Volvo or about $600 at a decent indy shop. There are quite a few other items that are relatively easy to do yourself and if you find after market parts -
Love this car! Although it is 19 years old, it offers solid handling and a smooth ride. It lacks the bells and whistles of the newer model but it's basic offerings are solid and reliable... Very few repairs in my 17 years of ownership and still going! Can even fit my 10+ ft kayak inside and be able to close the hatch safely! Great alternative to a mini-van! Still going! Can't say that about a lot of cars these days!
This year car is easy to fix yourself, Ebay has tons of parts for every issue you may have. Makes me scratch my head when I see people say too much to maintain. well find another person or do yourself. Had this tank over 8 years and 2 kids learn to drive on it. they did not break it maybe a parking lot slam but replace fender and there ya go. Best car for my kids to learn to drive around and I feel they are safe, always starts, never failed ever. all I do is replace the rubber parts and electric stuff, shocks, break pads, took 3 day to replace timing belt but oh well. This car is a Tank. when my car breaks down I take out old reliable. so this Volvo v70x/c is a good buy.