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First Car (Maybe a Volvo V70)

Hello everyone!

Well I just got my drivers licens after driving with my temporary permit for two years! My new job has crazy hours that conflict with my moms schedule, so sharing the one car is not really possible. So I am looking to buy my first car! Well actually it would be the family's first time buying -not leasing- a car. So were both scared that it might become a money pit.

So we went to the local import lot (because I love imports.... mainly because I love the UK, but I digress), and we found a Volvo V70XC AWD. I fell in love with it. To me it looks like a great car, and it is the perfect size to haul all of my photography gear (because it is a wagon). So we test drove it and besides needing the steering re-alined it felt good. Then we asked for the car fax and they happily showed it to us, and then they emailed the link:
I got to thinking that there was a fair amount of work done on it. Is that a bad sign?

And I looked at some reviews saying that the owners threw 1000's of dollars at them. But is there a chance that this one might be good? Or should I forget about it and look for something else?

Thank you to those who reply!
-James C.

P.S. If you know of any reliable cars for under $7,000 let me know!

Cars are inanimate objects and show no respect for the feelings of their owners. It’s all about the design, engineerIng and manufacturing of the product. In the case of Volvos, the reliability or lack there of can change your feelings about the car. Consult Consumer Reports as a good place to start for their recommendations and take your time trying out cars. It’s the second biggest expenditure most people make. Make it a wise one and use better preparation then “falling in love” with it’s looks. There are better choices…do more research.
Best of luck and take your time.

I'm not sure if that would be the best car to get due to maintenance issues. The last previous owner didn't keep it very long for some reason.

I like and drive Subarus so if you like wagons you might check out the Outbacks and Foresters. You should be able to get a newer car for the same money. If you decide on a Volvo be prepared to spend money for shop repairs. They are nice cars alright but can have more than normal repair costs. Especially the AWDs.

I owned a '98 and '00 Volvo V70XC’s and these cars do need expensive repairs - frequently. Keep looking.

The old Volvo’s have great paint, great seats, and good sheet metal. Unfortunately the motors are complicated, the drive trains are complicated, and the electrical components are prone to failure. When the car breaks (not if, but when) you will find a multi-thousand $$$$ repair bill is the norm for this car.

For that budget, you’d be better off getting a Civic hatchback. Still plenty of room for your gear, and a lot more reliable.

Civic hatchback was last made for the US market in the year 2000. For $7000, I would expect to afford two of them in excellent condition. Maybe a Honda Fit is worth checking out?

PS Volvo is a Swedish brand name. What does this have to do with loving the UK? If you want a Brit money pit, look for a MINI Cooper. Goodbye college fund!

Thanks for all the help! I defiantly won’t be getting this car. I did start looking at the 2000 Subaru Outback.

How does this carfax look to you?

Civic hatchback was last made for the US market in the year 2000. For
$7000, I would expect to afford two of them in excellent condition.

The last Civic hatchback made for the US market was the 2005 Si. Examples of that go for around 7 grand.

Husker, a carfax report is like an atheist trying to prove that God does not exist. All he can say for certain is that he’s not found God yet - but that’s not proof that God isn’t somewhere the atheist hasn’t looked. All carfax can say for certain is that they haven’t been told about any problems with the car. That doesn’t mean the car wasn’t abused, wrecked, flooded, etc, without having been reported to the insurance company, or without the salvage title falling through the cracks and not showing up. Carfax is only useful when it actually finds something. A clean carfax doesn’t prove anything.

I would avoid all 2.5 liter Subarus built before 2005, they have very common (and expensive) head gasket problems. This includes the Outback.

I have a 2000 XC Volvo that I should sell, but I cant part with it. Why, because I cannot afford a new car. I have put SO much money into this car of mine. The timing belt needs to be replaced every 1,000 miles, the ETS is another huge expense if you are getting a Volvo that is more than 10 years old. My ETS is messed up and I need a new one. it will cost approx $1,000 to fix. My car misfired and I had to change the coil packs. there is 5 coil packs total. I have issues with the electronic windows. AND I lost the AWD in it, which I decided that I will hold off getting that fixed because it runs fine without it.

They are cool looking cars. Honestly if you have to buy a Volvo, buy a really old one, you’ll probably have better luck with it. If you see one for sale that is over 10 years old, they are probably selling it becaus ethey cannot keep up with the repairs.


As tough as it is, you GOTTA dump that XC, you’re just going to sink more money into it, never to be seen again…

I know, but shouldn’t I just stick with the devil I know, rather than the devil that I don’t know? I cannot afford a brand new car right now. Heck I cannot afford fixing my ETS right now. My friend is lending me her car. I would hate to see it then buy another used vehicle.

carfax is not the end-all-be-all that they make it out to be.

It’s a guide to knowing if you should pass on something or not.

Volvos are for life. My first was a '72 1800es that was finally retired after 375k. A great sport wagon that carried everything I needed plus. Currently own '98 V70XC AWD and would not give this one up until it dies! I was the first and only owner of the 1800es so the repair history matched or exceeded Volvo’s suggestion (I loved the 1800es). I am the second owner of the V70 and am patiently working out the lack of service/maintenance issues from the first owner. If you are not the first owner beware! Regular service/maintenance is critical. If the previous owner did not maintain the vehicle per Volvo specs then you will pay for that short sightedness, big time. If you have your heart set on a Volvo wagon, who wouldn’t (IMHO) purchase from a reliable dealer. Check out Torch Light Motors at (prices from a longtime eBay store), (for like minded Volvo owners) and (great blogs and Volvo parts with diy videos). Good luck and happy motoring!

True, some people don’t mind working on a much loved car, all the time. Other people want a car they don’t need to work on all the time. To each his own.