View Full Version : Questions before buying a xc70

01-01-2003, 03:59 PM

I have been reading the posts here to understand what I am up against when I take OSD delivery of my XC70.   Some of the comments made here do scare me, and I wonder if I made the right decision in opting for a Volvo.     Our previous (and current) cars have been a Honda Civic, an Accord and a Toyota Camry.    Our experiences in maintaining them have been very positive.   We opted for a Volvo because of its
reputation for safety and because we decided it is, finally, time to own a luxury car.  With this background in mind, could someone answer the following questions for me?

1. Will routine maintainence, as for  a Toyota or a Honda, be enough for a Volvo?   Or does a XC70 require extra care?  I ask this question because I did not see a conclusion to LisaPhish's problems with respect to vibrations in her XC70.

2. Does one  pay a montly fees to some service provider for the GPS in the DVD navigator?    My salesman says that there are no monthly fees; but I seem to know more about XC70s than he does.

3. Is it possible to pull out of a OSD contract after plunking down US$2K, but before receiving conformation?   Has anyone tried changing their minds?

4.   I am making a list of potential problems reported here, such as a single vent for rear seats.   But has anyone made such a list to cross-check a new vehicle against?  

5. XC70's manual recommends 91 Octane, or better, gasoline.   However, 93 octane is the only one commercially available.    The claim from the dealers and the posts indicate that the firing cycle, and timing, is optimized for 91.  What math I know indicates that 93 octane would, then, give suboptimal performance.   So why would anyone want to use 93 octane then?  It doesn't compute.  Could someone offer an explanation?

thanks for your help.

Hiro's XC
01-01-2003, 07:38 PM
Lots of questions.

1st: Lisa's vibration. Im think it was a one off issue. I had one but it was solved by changing the tires to Nokian WR's. Volvo has since switched to different Scorpian tires to help rectify the issues.

2nd: Routine maintanence will suffice. I would recommend just like a Toyota or Honda a good synthetic oil and some fuel injection cleaner every 3-5 K. Also, don't let the toyota 60K service intervals the sales guys tell take hold. They are a falicy. they need 15K tansmision services like most other cars. As well as spark plugs at least every 30K. The Volvos like fresh plugs and not the Platinum ones. I intend on changing mine every 15K as it takes about 20 minutes and any DIYer can do it. Just stick to the factory schedule other tan that and you should be ok.

3rd: GPS fees. Nope, just like Garmin, unless you get the phone link system there are no fees.

4th: Yep you can get out of any contract with some arm twisting as long as they haven't started building your car. Then it would be a little more difficult.

5th: 93 octane will run no better or worse than the 91. the car just won't optimize to take advantage o the additional 2. Some may argue it. But don't sweat the silly stuff like 2 octane points. Heck you can run 87 but the car will dial back the HP through the timing.

6th: Single vent for the rear seats? You have me there. The best advice I can give you is to borrow one for the day and do your routine with the car. Put stuff in and out of it to see if it suits your needs. I sold Toyotas for 5 years and you couldn't pay me enough to drive one other than a truck. BORING, reliable, but boring, isolated, how can you say it....Very Japanese. Great cars. No soul. (except for a few) The same goes for Honda. Man is that new Accord NASTY! IMO. Those headlights?!?!? ewwweeeeeewwww.

Good luck,


01-01-2003, 07:46 PM
purush, first of all, welcome to this forum! http://xc70.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif I think if you polled the members here most would encourage you to buy the XC70. Yes, we complain a lot, but the fact is most of us love the car and recommend it to others. The reliability of Volvos has improved over the last few years, it now exceeds that of BMW & MB in Consumer Report's latest ratings, and in the case of the XC70, you are purchasing a vehicle well into the production cycle - always a good thing with a Volvo.

I'll try to answer a couple of your questions and leave the rest to those with more expertise/knowledge than me.

1) Follow the manufacturers recommended service intervals and procedures and you should be just fine. Use a good synthetic oil like Mobil1 or AMSOIL. Add Techron to the fuel every 3K miles or so, if you live in a state that sells Chevron gas use it (and don't bother with the Techron). Lisa's "adventure" ended with her returning the car under the State of New York's lemon law statute. She received a full refund less the sales tax she paid on the car. Volvo now fits less "trucky" Pirellis to the MY2003 car, which may make a difference.

4) You presumably saw the resolution of the single vent issue which was a factory mistake. I had V70 cladding fitted to one side of the car in the factory and had no problems rectifying the mistake. Inspect the car thoroughly when you get to Sweden to pick it up.

5) As you say, the manual recommends 91 or better. So what if it's 2 over the 91? If you really want to go by the book, gas it 50/50 with 87/93 and you'll get your 91... http://xc70.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

Good luck with the car...

01-02-2003, 05:04 AM
I pick up my '03 tomorrow. Much like you I've been driving Toyota's ('98 Sienna until tomorrow). The XC70 is a lot of money and it does make me nervous - I know how you feel. I've done my homework - Volvo quality has improved and I'm taking the plunge!  
The big seller for me is the safety - I will feel very comfortable carting my two young children around in the XC70 - can't say that about the Sienna although it did do well in the crash test. I looked at a BMW 5 series and Audi A6 and decided on the XC70 when I was in looking at the Audi. Really pulled a switch huh? Love the BMW but rear wheel drive in New England scares me. The A6 was very nice but a lot more expensive than the XC70.
I do have one question - can I run 87 octane without damaging the motor?
I wish you luck in your decision - Gater

01-02-2003, 06:21 AM
</span><table border="0" align="center" width="95%" cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1"><tr><td>Quote (Gater @ Jan. 02 2003)</td></tr><tr><td id="QUOTE">I do have one question - can I run 87 octane without damaging the motor?[/QUOTE]<span id='postcolor'>
Gater the car is smart enough to deal with whatever you throw at it in the octane department. http://xc70.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Yes, it will run fine on 87. However, long-term it is not such a good idea. If you use cheap gasoline, a sensor detects knock and retards the ignition timing, causing the spark plugs to fire slightly later in the cycle. The car seems to run normally, but retarding the spark causes a richer fuel/air mixture, decreasing fuel economy, increasing emissions, causing the engine to run hotter, and ultimately reducing engine and catalytic converter life if you keep at it. Not particularly good for your car or for the environment either... http://xc70.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/sad.gif

Good luck with your new car... &nbsp;http://xc70.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

01-02-2003, 09:56 AM
Thanks to all who responded. &nbsp;Your replies make me a lot more comfortable then I was a couple of days ago. &nbsp;If there are any problems I am sure I can weather it with the help of this forum.

re: Toytotas and Hondas. &nbsp;Yes -- they are boring. &nbsp;That is why I put my cash down for a XC http://xc70.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif &nbsp; Lexus and Acura seemed boring too&#33;

01-02-2003, 07:55 PM

I have another question -- this time about the DVD navigator. &nbsp; Is the factory installed navigator protected againts thefts, i.e., will a stolen navigator refuse to turn on? &nbsp;I need to make up mind in the next twelve hours on whether it should be installed as a factory installed option; hence this query. &nbsp;


01-05-2003, 08:38 AM
I don&#39;t think the factory Nav system is theft protected, but I could be wrong. &nbsp;I can&#39;t really see this as being a high theft item as it is designed only for Volvos and not universal such as an aftermarket Alpine system.

With regards to quality, I have owned a 1999 XC as well as my present 2002 XC. &nbsp;There is NO COMPARISON. &nbsp;I loved the 1999, but it was forever in the shop. &nbsp;Early brake failure, multiple electrical problems, high oil consumption, etc. &nbsp;My 2002 XC has been in the shop just once for a software upgrade&#33; &nbsp;Totally trouble free. Seems to have Japanese like quality with European soul (and Swedish practicality)


02-06-2003, 06:52 AM
based on the number of your questions, the types of questions, and the fact that you are on this web site seems to indicate you will be a perfect volvo owner and fit right in. &nbsp;if you are looking for external validation of your recent addition to the ranks of xc70 owners, you have it. &nbsp;keep up the anal retention, compulsive, inquisitive, searching behaviour&#33;