1999 Volvo S70 Sedan AWD (248)

Overview: 

This S70 is Volvo’s best-selling sedan in North America. But I tested it in Texas which is not a part of North America, is it? One of the reasons I opted for a Volvo was because I’m advertising brain washed over many years and thus convinced I’d be safe in a Volvo …even in Texas. Do you know Texans have so much freedom they are allowed to carry guns? Must be for those lions, tigers and bears, oh my. Or maybe they still expect Mexico to invade. It turns out the most dangerous part of the journey was the weather in Texas. I was particularly thankful for the dual climate control, so I could stay cool and the my lady could do her thing and thus we could peacefully co-exist.

But for anyone who’s had the pleasure of flying in and out of Dallas, you know the worst part of the weather is that it is unpredictable. By the time you get to the airport the weather gets stormy and you’re delayed. Very common in much of the south and that’s particularly true in Texas. I could have driven this Volvo back to Los Angeles faster than it takes to wait for weather changes and other delays. And that’s the truth Lilly.

The weather can’t be blamed on Volvo, but it is truly comforting to be in one when the weather does get nasty. I would hazard a guess that you are as aware as I am that Volvo stresses safety and has promoted safety for as long as I can remember. However, they have always seemed to be unwilling to modify its somewhat stodgy performance and appearance. The S70’s predecessor, the 850, started the trend away from those perceptions and it was widely praised for its spirited turbocharged performance and handling. Now, the look of the S70 continues another change in direction for Volvo—more rounded styling. But they still tout their commitment to occupant protection, as evidenced by being the first to introduce Side Impact air bags to supplement the frontal airbags. A Stability and Traction Control (STC) system, taken from the new S80, is also available on turbocharged S70s, and all-wheel-drive (AWD) is now available on the S70 GLT.

If you’re wondering about the model-naming, it’s a new scheme; S stands for sedan, V is for versatility and C denotes a coupe.

The 1999 Volvo S70 Sedan is available in four trims: S70 (base), GLT, T5, and GLT AWD.

The competition:

Audi A6 $33,750 – $35,400, BMW 5-Series $38,900 – $53,900, Infiniti I30 $28,900 – $31,200, Lexus ES 300 $30,905, Mazda Millenia $26,745 – $31,245, Mitsubishi Diamante $27,199, Saab 9-5 $31,025 – $37,450.

Good News:

A leader in safety, great styling – finally, roomy comfort for five adults with luggage, seatback folds down to extend the trunk, quality fit and finish.

Bad News:

Practical car feel with a luxury car price tag, word is they are expensive to maintain, stiff suspension may offend some.

Standard Equipment:

2.4-liter 190-horsepower 5-cylinder engine, all wheel drive, front wheel traction control, 4-speed automatic trans, 4-wheel power anti locking disc brakes, uni-body construction with energy absorbing impact structures, dual front airbags, dual side airbags, child safety locks, daytime running lights, 8-way power driver’s seat with memory, keyless entry system w/ trunk release, dual climate control, power door locks and windows,

tilt steering wheel, cruise control, heated seats, headlight washers, and 6-speaker stereo sound system with cassette and CD.

Gas Stats:

18 City and 25 Highway MPG.

Pricing:

MSRP $33,520

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is movello@earthlink.net.

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