View Full Version : New member/needs advice

10-16-2002, 05:00 PM
i happened upon your site as i started to gather info on xc's and v70's as a potential new/used vehicle for our family. we have owned a number of volvos over the years but it has been nearly ten since the last one. always loved the car for all of the usual reasons, but now having been away from them for awhile i have concluded that i am extremely under aware of anything relevent about the cars except the fact that they look great. my wife is currently driving either her chev/silverado z71 or a camry. she would like to get into an awd to replace the chev and this is why hopefully someone in this group will start educating me.  i can tell you that we live in the pacific northwest, on an island (with a bridge) and that we like to roam. the truck has suited our needs with regard to the few times that weather may ground the two wheel drive type cars/trucks but for the most part we stay to the roads. assuming that we would be considering a used volvo and for the sake of discussion lets say no newer than a 2000 model year, the first significant question would be is there any reason to exclude either the xc or the v70 sedan in model years 98,99 or 2000.  i realize that is sort of a loaded question but it is a place to start.  another question for starters might also be advantages/disadvantages of the awd sedan vs. the xc.  for my lake of originality in composition i apologize, but i would appreciate any comments anyone would care to provide as we begin looking for candidates among the volvo xc's.  to follow up on this i might also ask for any hints or tips anyone might have with regard to being a smart buyer of these vehicles. i appreciate the fact that your site exists and it would be nice if i could gain enough background on the xc so i could send a note out in the not to distant future letting you know that we had become card carrying xc owners.

thank you in advance for any help, bergie

North Coast XC
10-16-2002, 06:14 PM
Welcome Bergie  http://xc70.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

I'm sure that your won't be disappointed with whichever model year you purchase.  We purchase our XC used this past summer.  We were in having our 240 DL serviced and fell in love with it.

Are you in the US or Canadian pacific northwest?  Here in Canada the 99' models we looked at were going for $30,000 to 36,000 Cdn.  Ours was at the lower end because of the mileage.  As with any used car make sure it has service records to ensure it has been maintained properly.  If it has any great mileage on it see if tires, brakes, exhaust and other "non major" components have been replaced yet.  It can get expensive if you have to do tires, brakes and the like just shortly after taking ownership.

There may be debate over aftermarket warranties (if the factory one has expired) but I believe it is a wise investment.

They are great cars that I would recommend!  http://xc70.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Best of luck to you http://xc70.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif


10-17-2002, 08:26 AM

thanks for the reply. we are located in washington state and south of seattle on the puget sound.  i certainly take to heart the suggestions you made about the visible condition of such things like tires, brakes etc. and like you mentioned, i am personally in favor of extended warranties if they are from a reliable source.  what i am interested in learning more about though are whether any of the members notice any real advantages in a particular model year xc.  i am still talking about a used one mind you, but all things considered, would you know of any reason lets say to buy a 99 over a 98 or a 2000 over a 99.  
now since you have had your vehicle for a time now, is the car everything that you had expected? how about performance and gas mileage etc.  and if you know of any web sites that would help in the decision process, i would be greatful... thanks again for getting back to me.


10-17-2002, 09:01 AM
bergie - Welcome! http://xc70.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

I would suggest you check Consumer Reports which lists reliability ratings by year for this car. In general, the car appears to be becoming more reliable as it gets further into it's several year production cycle. The original reliability ratings were very poor for the V70XC, in fact CR were warning people off the car. Most of the reliability problems reported to CR by consumers were electrical.

It is unfortunate, but Volvo appear to have no compunction in manufacturing and selling cars that are not quite ready for "prime time". Either that or their quality control department is just extremely poor. Bottom line here is buy the most recent car you can afford because they have improved mightily in the reliability department since they were first manufactured, with the caveat that you should stay away from model years where they have significantly changed the car. Volvo takes a year or so to iron the bugs out.

Another site that is similar to this is Swedespeed (http://www.swedespeed.com/), this site is focused on Volvo XCs whereas Swedespeed covers the whole range of Volvos.

The XC is a wonderful car, we have a new one and we are very happy with it. If you have a family it would make more sense to buy the V70XC over an S70AWD sedan just because of the sheer versatility of the wagon. North Coast XC gives good advice about the service records, look for information like has the previous owner used synthetic oils in the engine & transmission - little details like that could give you a clue about whether the owner really cared about maintenance or not.

Good luck! http://xc70.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

10-17-2002, 02:40 PM
thanks for the advice and for the additional site to head over and get more info. i am sure that most of you came to your decision to purchase the xc after compare and contrast scenarios. would you mind telling me some of the other vehicles that held your collective interests before the choice to go xc?

10-17-2002, 07:32 PM
In our case it was the VW Passat wagon and the Audi Allroad. But we only got as far as thinking about them - we never even got into dealerships.

This is our 4th Volvo. We were inclined to the brand in part because there is a wonderful independant service shop not too far from where we live. And the safety record of Volvo is second to none - extremely important if you have a family.

North Coast XC
10-21-2002, 11:16 AM
I agree with Wiz.  The later the model year the more time Volvo has had to "fix" any deficiencies.  So buy the latest model you can afford.

As for our '99, nothing major wrong to report.  The usual - brakes, exhaust, etc. that need replacing.  Knock on wood, we haven't had any electrical problems Wiz alludes to.

Best of luck.


10-23-2002, 08:52 PM
I would certainly purchase the most recent year you can afford.  I have the '98 and I will never own another Volvo after the frustrating experiences I have had with this car. I think it is unacceptable to pay $35,000 for a car and have so many problems.  I do like the weight and comfort of the car but the problems outweigh the overall experience.  I wish you luck and keep researching.  It seems the newer the car, the better.

10-26-2002, 11:37 PM
Interesting reading. I purchased a 98XC in 2001 after many relatively trouble free years and 100s of thousands of miles with the 240 series(I still own three). I am disappointed to say I am very glad I went with the Volvo certified used car with extended warranty. Reliability has been disappointing but mostly just small stuff which would be expensive without the warranty. What has been terrible though is my experience with most Volvo dealerships which would take pages to outline just one years problems, mostly with my local dealership. (I maintain the 240s myself and buy most parts from an excellent out of state dealership.) The XC is a great car otherwise and would buy another, a newer one after reading the above recommendations. I am also looking at Mercedes 4matic but not sure if the added cost is worth telling my local Volvo dealership service department to go to ####.
Differences between the V70AWD and XC? I think the XC has a little more ground clearance and slightly lower fuel economy. The XC with the roof rack and other things make hand washing a little more difficult (but my wife likes the appearance better).
You may want to upgrade the brake pads to PBR Deluxe, Volvo pads require weekly wheel cleaning.
I think beginning in 2000 the interior changed with a simpler climate control, different center console, etc.
Good Luck!!

10-30-2002, 06:10 PM
I just purchased a 99 xc for what I considered a wonderfully low price. I was considering a 2000 v70se but went with the 99 because of 12,000 fewer miles and I like the idea of going to visit family and not worry if it starts to snow. I had been tracking used car prices on KBB (Kelly blue book) and have seen the trade in values fall to rock bottom levels. I think there is a glut in the used car market with all the zero percent financing. In fact, that is what got me to buy now.

There are a few things that I wish I had noted before I bought it though... 1) with this model of xc the tire selection and rotation schedule is CRITICAL from what I read. Whether or not that was done regularly or not I don't know. I think it drives better than a new one... broken-in just right. (I am kinda cheap and have always relished letting someone else break in the car and pay the sticker and I can buy 3 years later and get it for less than half.)

2) I have had difficulty locating a service manual for this auto. In fact, I am still looking for a good source at a reasonable price. I can't believe that I volvo can't/didn't produce one at an affordable level...(wait what am i saying... affordable and volvos never really go together... but that is the price we paid for peace of mind so we could travel in the safest auto we could afford.)

10-30-2002, 09:34 PM
welcome to the forum, gracefilledfool! (that's a pretty amazing user name&#33http://xc70.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif ) http://xc70.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

The Volvo Cross Country isn't unique with respect to being finicky about it's tires. Most AWD vehicles are. Just keep the tires at the right pressures and rotate them regularly and you should be OK. And when it's time to buy new tires, you'll get every opinion you could ever find here - there are lots of tire threads on this board! http://xc70.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

Try repairmanual.com (http://www.repairmanual.com/) for your manual. I think you have to fill in a form to get an email.

North Coast XC
11-01-2002, 03:18 PM
Welcome fellow '99er.  I was afraid there weren't many of us around!  http://xc70.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

Keep me posted of things you've done/had to do/tidbits etc on our model year! http://xc70.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/cool.gif


11-03-2002, 04:44 PM
Hi Wiz and North Coast XC... Thanks for the greetings http://xc70.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif
Since I bought this great car on the private market... I've been trying to figure a couple of things out... 1)  The roof rack only has the side rails... no cross bars... is that the way it came stock? 2) this one may be even a bit more perplexing... the car has the wood looking finish across the dash but in the 1999 brochure from volvo (I've been wanting one for a long time) it also shows that the shift knob should also have the wood looking finish too, but it doesn't have it.  What do you think?  Did volvo miss something in the fit and finish department or is there something more sinister hiding behind this overlooked detail at the time of purchase?

Thanks to the creator of this site... I have already learned a tremendous amount of good stuff about my car.  As for my name... it is how I try to live and treat others.

11-03-2002, 06:54 PM
and that's a wonderful rationale for a name... http://xc70.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

1)  Yes the car comes stock with only the factory rails. You can buy Thule, Yakima or Volvo crossbars & gear. The Volvo stuff is made by Thule. There are some threads on this board about the various options, the best cargo bins, what people like & why, etc., etc.

2)  I'm sure there's nothing sinister about your lack of a wooden shift knob. I'm not familiar with the options for your model year but I'll bet its an option that the previous owner didn't purchase... http://xc70.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif