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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was curious what other owners of 99 XC's thought about their vehicle two years later. Mine was built in Oct. 98 and I know the common complaints of the car but I haven't experienced any of them as of yet, i.e., excessive brake and tire wear and the side signal lights that burn out. I took mine apart and noticed that the bulbs had a glass base instead of plastic, so maybe as early as 10/98 the factory tried to correct the problem at the factory? I've also read about automatic transmission problems but mine shifts smoothly and sets the pace for decent gas mileage even though it's only a four speed. On the other hand, I've had my eye on the new XC and no one has hardly a bad word to say about it. One good looking machine...I would have waited to buy if I knew it was coming. But I have few complaints with mine, just doesn't look as cool as the new one, but that's not a very good reason to take a 15K hit on a cash/trade-in. The latest debate I've read about is hydraulic vs solid lifters. From what I can tell I guess some of the 99s have solid, some do not. I suppose the results of the alledged change will become apparent down the road with high mileage if it makes any difference at all. Anyway, I'm not trying to elicit nit-picky problem responses, but I'd like to hear from people who own the same XC as me and your thoughts about yours. Maybe this will help get this forum going, too, not much to read or respond to as of yet.
 

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I have a '99 V70AWD with 13,000 miles on it -- hope that's close enough for you. It's an XC in every way but cosmetic elements (bumpers, no eggcrate grille, etc.) and 1" less ground clearance.

I'm very happy with the car, which I picked up in August '99 via European Delivery in Gothenburg. Body integrity remains tight. Mileage averages 22 mpg. Performance and ride quality remain excellent. I haven't experienced the melted cornering-light sockets or the rocking driver's seat that so many other V70 owners report, but mine was one of the last off the '99 line, so perhaps build quality improved over time. The only unscheduled dealer visits have been to replace prematurely blown headlamps, which I guess is an endemic problem. I've had the ignition key rotate 360 degrees in the lock a couple of times, which they tell me is a one-shot malfunction of an anti-theft device and hasn't been a "reproducible" glitch anyway.

One annoyance: the car came without a lockset in the tailgate -- just an ugly plastic plug under the little body-colored hatch. Volvo tells me they deleted it midway through the '99 build year because too many people were setting off the anti-theft alarm accidentally by opening the tailgate manually without disarming the system first. Fine, but it's a lame fix and if the battery in the keyfob wears out I can't get in the back of my car.

Another annoyance is plummeting resale value. Fortunately I plan to keep the car forever. But when I look for a companion Volvo in a couple years' time I'll find a two- or three-year-old specimen just coming off lease. I won't buy another new one, I don't think.

I have inspected but not driven the new V70 and unlike many people I don't covet it particularly. It feels too wide inside, not as agile/nimble a presentation as the prior generation. I wish my car were perhaps six inches longer -- I'd add two inches to the backseat legroom area, four to the cargo zone -- but I've never wished it any wider; the new V70 is actually shorter than mine. And the dash/center console presents a great expanse of cheap gray plastic that's a real turn-off in a $35-$40k car, not to mention a real dust magnet. I like the prior-generation 70 better. So, incidentally, does my Volvo salesman - after seeing the new cars he bought one of the last 2000 XCs for himself.

There are scads of horror stories from S/V70 owners on the Brickboard, but '98s seem more plagued -- and maybe I've just been lucky so far. Anyway, I'm very happy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I agree with you...a V70 is a V70; I should have thought about it more carefully...maybe I'll modify my post. You brought up some interesting observations about the '99s. I was surprised to learn about Volvo's rear hatch entry solution. Maybe you can order a lock and install it yourself?...thought the Swedes were known for their technological cleverness. Have you launched a drink from the console cupholder yet?
The more I compare the '99s to the '01s, the more I agree with you about the nimble/tight vs wide/plastic look. I keep looking at reviews and photos of the new one, and I've gone so far as to test drive one. But I think when the excitement wears off the '99-'00 might turn out to be the best of all worlds. Like you, I buy once a decade or so. Besides, mine does everything I want and I'd never take a 40K car and thrash it in muddy ruts as some of Volvo's new advertising promotes. I do however take my Nordic snow sled into the winter mountains and was amazed at the fact I couldn't lose control of the car (within reason) when I played around...in a a safe open area...stopping is another matter but even then you have quite an edge. Overall, I genuinely enjoy my car; it's clearly the nicest ride I've ever owned, and resale doesn't make that much difference to me either since I'm in for the long haul.
If anything expensively quirky fails I'll post it and warn you, but since I have about the same number of miles on mine as you, it will likely happen about the same time if at all.
You're right about the Brickboard...seems like way too many horror stories, and petty complaints i.e. breaking off the lever that allows one to adjust the steering wheel...Now just how did that happen...Duh! Made me nervous at first since I bought the car before I found the site, but I think if you provide reasonable care and don't buy a thrashed leased vehicle you're generally OK.
I understand that there might be a real recall to replace the bulbs and sockets for the side turning lights on the '99s and '00s. I read it on the Brickboard. If so, there will be a letter sent soon so no one misses out. Thanks for the response and best of luck with your car.
 

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Thanks, Eugene -- I would really appreciate your tracking your ownership experience on this board, and I'll bet others would too. I'll do the same, especially if anything major fails.

A new lockset for the rear tailgate is about $100; if you get the third seat installed, apparently you have to have the lockset too for safety reasons. I haven't gotten around to buying the lock yet. I expect I will right after the keyfob battery dies.
 
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