This has been my first car and it still works perfectly after 18 years of the car being in operation. I got the car an aux cord and a fluid change and it was back like new. SUPER COMFY and SUPER SAFE, heated seats still work but some of the engine and break sensors are a little off and wonky but still work. The engine sounds great but since the car weighs about 2 tonnes it doesn’t get great gas mileage. If you treat the car nicely you shouldn’t need to bring it into the shop too often. It is also great for tall people(I’m 6’5”)
I've owned quite a few used cars. I was always attracted to unique or freaky cars--old Volkswagens, Cadillacs, 1980s Audis, and more recently Saabs. I always wanted a Volvo wagon because I thought they looked cool and I'd heard good things about reliability of the 2.4L five cylinder engine. I was a little hesitant about the electrical system as it seems all European vehicles have electrical issues, some more so than others. With that being said, this is by far one of the finest vehicles I have ever owned (and I only paid $2500)!
I bought it from the second owner with around 178K miles on it. The former owner provided me with all the maintenance records from the time it was new. In the last couple of years, he himself had addressed many of the preventative maintenance issues including timing belt, brakes, shocks, and radiator. The only issues were the lock on the tailgate doesn't work with the central locking system and there is a bulb burned out behind the odometer.
Since I've owned it, I've just kept the oil changed, tires rotated, and replaced the plugs and air filter when necessary. I've had a few issues with the check engine light coming on now and then, but I've just cleaned the MAF and throttle body thoroughly and that seems to have fixed it now for over a year and a half! It passes smog with flying colors. Update: I did recently replace the upper o2 sensor on account of the CEL not turning off. I unfortunately broke a few vacuum lines in the process, but everything is okay! CEL went off and the car is again running like a top.
The wagon is very utilitarian. I can carry all kinds of things in the back, bikes, dressers, tables, almost anything within reason. More recently I've been using the car to haul stuff for the events business my wife works for. I haul all kinds of flowers, chairs, linens, etc up to Lake Tahoe without problems. The heating and cooling are much better than expected (the A/C is great actually), and the acceleration for being a non-turbo isn't half bad. It's not a hot rod, but it has the power to go up and down over the Sierra Nevada mountains, which I often do on my way to Sacramento. The seats are some of the most comfortable I've ever experienced (I just wish mine had the heated leather). It is always nice returning to my Volvo after having a rental car. As far as gas mileage is concerned I average about 23.3 around town, and on long trips I can usually manage over 30. That's not half bad for a car this size and weight. Although it rattles, and it isn't the smoothest ride, it handles well, always starts up, and just keeps on going at even with 201,000 miles. It doesn't burn any oil and everything functions as it should, sans the tailgate lock. A great bang for your buck, and since it's old I really don't care what happens to it. I think this car has sold me on buying another Volvo in the future.
Update: I parted ways with my V70 last weekend. I bought a slightly newer S60 with AWD. I am really hoping for the same reliability as the old wagon, but only time will tell. It had about 204,000 with no signs of slowing down anytime soon. The new owner was hard-pressed to find any real issues with the thing. I sold it to him for $1000, and I think it was a great deal. One thing is for sure, I'll never forget the joy and piece of mind this car brought me during ownership.
After my wife got a new car, after much deliberation, I decided to sell my 5-series BMW and take her hand-me-down 2000 Volvo wagon. At the time, the decision was driven a practical one - less expensive to own and maintain, more room for a family of 4 and performance in the snow. 2 years later, I couldn't be happier with the decision. It has been reliable and everything I need in a vehicle with the exception of looking cool. Fortunately, I'm way past worrying about looking cool.
Reliable, sufficient space for a family of 4, impressive acceleration and fuel economy for a wagon, performance in winter and comfortable interior.