This car looks amazing and is a very safe family car. The interior is beautiful and well set up. I did find that some plastic parts broke pretty easily though. I bought this car when it was about six years old. I put very few miles on it but spent a lot of money on repairs. Such a sad car to own especially after years of having great Volvos (1965 122s, 1978 240 wagon) The throttle body is a huge issue that costs about $2500 and caused it to intermittently stall. The heater core leaked due to being a mix of aluminum and plastic. $900 Front suspension was weak, had to replace both A arms The worst flaw was the transmission. Went out just over 100K and was almost $7000 to repair. At the cost of this I opted to send it to the scrap yard. Car looked great but the repair was more than it was worth. 2001 was known for transmission trouble, this was a lemon year.
I have V70 T5 model. It has 147K on it. I have to say that I really, really like the car. I just don't enjoy the difficulties that come along with it. It drives, mostly, great. I like the way it handles. It may be a station wagon, but it's still an interesting car. The leather interior is miles better than Volvo was using in the 90s. However, the transmission had to be rebuilt before I even got it off the used dealership lot. One year later, it struggles to go from 1st to 2nd gear in the morning. The driver's side control panel on the door works infrequently (so most of the time, my window won't go down and I can't lock the doors remotely). Mechanic can't find the issue.
Volvo's are, like most European cars for people who like to drive. Despite being needlessly burdened with a 4wd system, riding 3" too high , and having 300lbs of extra weight, this car actually handles competently. I do my own work on the car so repair costs aren't really an issue but if you had to have it worked on it would be pretty expensive to maintain properly. It is certainly more expensive to run than a Kia Sorento which is because it is not a Kia Sorento. I like the fact that everything is heavy duty, even the leather on the seats is surprisingly thick.
We bought this car a few years ago used, and no less than 10 hours of driving time later the transmission started to get jerky. The car has limped along, with us babying it, but the transmission always gets jerky after 15 minutes of city driving or on hot days. It's been a constant source of stress for us. If you get this year, just get a manual and save yourself the trouble! Glad to finally be getting rid of it-- hopefully our next choice will be a wiser one.