• Today's DT quiz: What was it that Volvo added many of,thereby stripping their cars of Japanese-like reliability?
    Please submit your answer in writing below. The best answer will be pasted into the post above, along with proper attribution and the expressed gratitude of the E-i-C!

    • I didn't think Ford acquired Volvo until after this series was introduced. Not sure they (Ford) hurt Volvo much, but I thought Ford sure gained a ton in terms of chassis development. I was dreading Geely's (sp?) take-over but it sure seems like they're letting Volvo be even more Volvo'y than ever in terms of designs. World acceptance of their design/technology/philosophy seems to be on the up-tick. Anyone?

    • You're right Huns – the 850/S70/V70 platform was well developed before Ford's ownership which was from 1999 to 2010. The 2nd gen (P2) S60/V70 including the XC90 was even complete as well, which Ford capitalized on and then integrated into their own product line. I see Ford as the benefactor from the deal as well. They took the P2 and turned it into the Taurus, Flex, and Explorer, plus the Lincoln MKS and MKT.

      Volvo got the S40/V50/C30/C70 platform from Ford which was shared with the Focus and Mazda3. Volvo was, as far as I can tell, slowed down by the Detroit bureaucracy more than enough to offset any benefit in small car development.

      Geely seems to understand Volvo better than Ford ever did. As far as I can tell, Volvo is developing their own vehicles in Sweden with minimal interference now, and they've got deep coffers backing that up. I was initially sad to see Volvo Cars go to the Chinese but it seems to have been the very thing that saved the brand and the company.

      side note: the original company AB Volvo is still alive and well as a publicly traded Swedish company, making trucks, buses, marine engines, and construction equipment. Check out the Iron Knight land speed truck if you have a sec.

    • Just about everything that goes wrong on my s40 seems to be related to some anti theft "feature" or the Rube Goldberg starter – shift – brake interlock

      Man I sure do miss my 740 turbo wagon, I would get this if I weren't spending about that much to replace my printer this week.

  • I don't know guys… I've spent all of $300 in repair items over the past 30k miles in my '98 S70. Now that it's crested 300k, it needs a timing belt / water pump for the 4th time. Other than that, it's been the most reliable car I've ever owned (we bought it new 10/31/1997).

    Granted, it's no high-pressure-turbo tire slayer, these pre-'99 S/V70 Volvos are pretty excellent. $2k for a manual T5 wagon? Nice price alllll day.

    Also – bit of pedantry here, the B5234T3 was a 2.3l 5 cyl, not 2.4 as mentioned in the article.

  • I just bought a 2004 V70 T5 last month as a temporary replacement for the F350 that I had to sell. Wagon sure comes in handy. Came with a complete set of snow tires as well and they are coming in handy given all the snow we have received so far this winter. Only complaint so far is I find it a bit hard to get into/out of.

  • I'm seriously considering a xc70 as a replacement for my aging Passat Wagon. Leaning toward a 2008 or so to get the latest updates to the AWD system. Earlier years are pretty common, post 2006 are pretty thin on the ground at least here in central California.

    • We bought a Passat wagon last summer, so we could retire our XC90 V8 to 2nd car status. Its nice being back closer to the ground again, but if faced with seasonal snow/ice I'd skip over the XC70 and head back to the XC90.

    • Don't forget the V60 Cross Country, and upcoming V90 Cross Country, which will be the successors to the XC70 (one slightly smaller, one slightly larger). Those are still too new to be DT budget friendly, but I can recommend the 5-cyl V60 CC based on personal experience. One to watch out for in 4 to 5 years.

    • What makes the XC90 a better inclement weather car than the XC70? Just a bit of ground clearance? If anything, I'd think a slightly lower center of gravity would make the XC70 better.

      My usage is something more civilized than my highly modified (and 30+ years old) 4runner. Daily driver duty in a non snow area, but also road trips into the high Sierras. We have mountain property that is difficult with FWD (steep unpaved road in the summer has you scratching for traction, winter is the same but more dangerous).

    • I like the V70 and would gladly take one as a daily driver. The advantages are all relative to size.. if bigger is better for hauling, there isn't much of a mileage penalty with the XC90. If size is a burden, then cross it off. We have been thrilled with 25-26 highway mpg at greater than posted speed, fully loaded. Wife got 20mpg around town for 10 years. Have talked with LOTS of 3.2 owners and they do not see those numbers. The Yamaha V8 is a great engine. From what I've heard from others, the XC70 doesn't do much better. Yup..when faced with 9 inches of snow in the driveway at 11:30 pm after a 200 mile drive, ground clearance made a huge difference when we were in MI. Not the case back in SoCal.

    • What year and engine XC90 do you have? That's pretty impressive milage. A 2006 xc70 (w 2.5T) is listed at 17/24, the 3.2 in a 2008 is listed as 15/22 on fueleconomy.gov The xc90s did a little worse.

      I don't need to deal with really deep conditions. Mostly just loose, steep, twisty, and occasionally rutted roads in the summer and light to moderate amounts of snow/slush/water in the winter. I'd like to leave my overbuilt truck at home unless I'm actually on a 4wd adventure and get better gas milage.

      My Passat is starting to get to the point where it's past it's useful life. I'd considered an Audi allroad, but they get pretty crappy milage and seem more fragile than the xc70. As a long suffering VW guy, I can't bring myself to just buy an Outback. Volvo? hmm…

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