Volvo V70/S70 (1996 – 2000) Review

Volvo V70/S70 (1996 – 2000) At A Glance


+Solidly built saloon and estate with tidy handling. T5s are real flyers, TDIs strong and economical. Owners rate them.

-Front tyre wear can be heavy. Estates are practical but don't have the load capacity of previous big Volvo load-carriers.

Launched in 1996 to replace the 850, the S70 and V70 were Volvo's take on the executive car. Both versions were esentially redesigned 850s but proved reasonably popular with owners. Volvo reckoned 1800 changes were made, but the most noticeable was the softer-edge styling.

The V70 estate was available in both front- and all-wheel drive versions. And a year later, Volvo spotted an emerging trend for chunky-looking family cars with an increased ride height and launched the V70 Cross Country (badged XC).

There was even a hot one to replace the 850R. The V70R boasted 240bhp from its 2.3-litre turbocharged engine. An up and coming classic with an enthusiastic fan base.

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Formed in 1962, the Volvo Owners' Club has 3000 members. It offers dedicated, expert advice to keep members' cars on the road and has helped preserve models that are still used daily. It also embraces modern Volvos and plays an important role in helping its solving the complex electronic issues modern cars can present. All Volvos are welcome, from traditional classics like the PV544 and Amazon, 1980s modern classics like the 700, and newer models like the S40, S60, V60 and XC60. The cost of joining the club is £35 (£30 membership and £5 joining fee) - but the joining fee will be waived for new members quoting HJ19.

Ask Honest John

A recall was issued for Volvo V70 2.0L diesels, what year does this affect?

"I was interested in buying a Volvo V70 2.0L diesel estate but have read there was / is a recall on some of them due to the inlet manifold melting because they are made from plastic. Even if it does not catch fire I don't fancy sitting in a car with the smell of hot plastic entering the ventilation system. I was looking for one around the 2010 to 2012 year, my question to you is what years did Volvo fit these plastic manifolds and were they also fitted to the 2.4L diesel. Thank you for any help you can give or if you can advise were I can get an answer other than the Volvo Owners Forum as I want to be sure."
A recall was issued for Volvo V70s over the potential for the inlet manifold to melt and deform, affecting 69,630 vehicles. You can check a specific car through its registration or look at particular model years by searching the government's website here: A quick search showed that this recall was not issued for 2010 and 2011 Volvo V70s, but was issued for 2012-2016 models, although it does not specify which engines this applies to.
Answered by David Ross

Best used estate car: 300C, V70 or Legacy?

"Can you give me an opinion on the Chrysler 300C Touring and the Volvo V70 2.0 D SE (driveability and reliability)? I recently test drove the former (2010), which impressed me hugely (3.0 CRD) and am about to look at the latter, but am slightly put off by the inferior power notwithstanding the blandness of modern Volvos. Grunt is a consideration. Also thinking about the Subaru Legacy, though the decent-sized engines are thirsty. Any other alternatives are gratefully received."
I haven't driven a 300C but if I remember correctly it is based on an old E-Class so I'm sure it's refined and comfortable. The Volvo is very comfortable and decent on fuel, but isn't going to set the world on fire in terms of performance. I would discount the Legacy, fuel economy is appalling, the frameless windows are quite noisy and the CVT gearbox makes a horrible drone when you're accelerating. Have you considered the Skoda Superb? These are huge inside and feel very well bit – a sizeable step up from the rest of the range. They're very easy to use and nice to drive for such big mile munchers. Things to look out for each: 300C V70 Legacy Superb
Answered by Russell Campbell

Should I use ordinary diesel or super diesel?

"I have a 2012 V70 2.0-litre diesel with just over 70,000 miles. It's extremely quiet and comfortable with no rattles, knocks or squeaks and I fill up 2 out of 3 times with super diesel. Living in rural Scotland, I don't cover many motorway miles but a mixture of 15 to 70-mile A and B road trips some with gusto! Will the super diesel help to reduce DPF issues? Should I always fill up with it?"
We are yet to see any evidence to suggest that premium diesel is worth the expense. Regular long journeys will be more beneficial in terms of keeping your DPF clear.
Answered by Andrew Brady

Is a Volvo V70R a good buy?

"Volvo V70R models have suddenly come down in price with only Japanese imports available previously. I know they are a wolf in sheep's clothing but at £5000 with 300bhp they seem a steal. Anything I should know? "
Great cars. Aside from all the usual checks, you'll want to check the front tyres and suspension components as these can get a hard life (especially the anti-rollbar links). I think the main concern with the engine is the PCV system - remove the dipstick when the engine is running and look for puffs of smoke. Genuine parts are available but it can be quite labour intensive to sort and failure to do so will lead to failure of the main oil seal at the back of the engine, which is an engine out job to sort.
Answered by Keith Moody
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