S/V/C70 Need opinions on Volvo c70 2003

Hi there,

Im looking to buy my first car and have had my eye on a 2003 Volvo c70 convertible. It has low mileage of 1150000 km and says its in great condition for its age. Its priced at just under $6000 AUD, which is just within my budget.

Im just curious about if this car is worth the money in the long run? eg. are they expensive to maintain in Australia for service and parts, fuel efficiency and overall life durability of the model ect

Am I better off looking for a Japanese car within my budget in the long term?

Any and all information is helpful!!

Thank you in advance, Holly



  • nut3yNutmeg @nut3y Queensland
    edited November 2020

    The C70 is a nice car but I wouldn't consider it if money is an issue. Parts for Volvos are usually more expensive than most Japanese vehicles, that's if your doing maintenance yourself, if not, expect to pay even more.. The car has a turbo inline-5 which sounds like fun but it's not exactly fuel efficient, you will also pay more in registration (in QLD at least) as to them it's a 6 cylinder so an extra ~$200/yr as opposed to a 4 cylinder. You might not be able to drive it at anyway as it's turbocharged and in most states turbo cars are restricted for P platers. You could be able to receive an exemption based on the power to weight ratio of the car if your state allows it but I doubt it.

    IMO for your first car just buy a cheap japanese 4 cylinder. If it's an automatic make sure it's got a good transmission preferably made by AISIN, don't get caught out buying a Japanese car with a piece of shit JATCO or General Motors automatic. In general most manual transmissions are pretty solid, doesn't really matter who manufactures them. Parts are cheap and easily available. Walked into repco and bought an axle assembly, front control arm, axle seals, steering tie rod and tie rod end all of which were in stock for $300 the day after an accident and had the car running 2 days later albeit with a completely buggered alignment. Rego and insurance are as cheap as they can be and the car is dead reliable. (08 mazda 3) This is opposed to buying parts for the Volvo I own where I have to either order them from overseas, pay a premium and wait a few weeks, or drive 30mins to a Volvo wreckers where sometimes I can't even get the part I need and just have to live without a spoiler or functioning ABS and cruise control.

    Always make sure to bring someone with you who knows what to look for when buying a car. NEVER take the sellers word on the condition of the vehicle. Volvo makes good cars but they're not ideal as a first car... unless it's a 240. GREAT first car if you can find a decent one and know how to fix basic things.

    Your first car is your first car. I had my heart set a 5spd man volvo 850 LPT wagon that I saw for 8k but dang common sense got to me and I bought a mazda 3 thinking i'd never get to own an 850 . Yet here I am with a volvo 850 t5 sedan that i bought for $300 with full dealer service history all the way up until 40,000km ago. The car has 360,000km on it and the engine and transmission are still solid.

    Got a bit off topic there but yeah hopefully this was useful, buy a good jap 4 cyl and have some fun, it'll probably grow on you more than you expect.

  • Holly, a 2003 C70 also has a cloth roof. It's now 17 years old, and they're around $2500 to replace. Even if the car has been garaged all its life and the roof never used (in which case the condition should be "great" and not "great for its age"!) the roof will have deteriorated and is unlikely to be waterproof. That's OK if you have a garage yourself and only need to the roof up in emergency. I'd never consider a cloth roof convertible if it's going to live outside. Even then, the security is only a pocket knife away, so it also depends on where you are going to park it. The romance of a "drop top" disappears quickly when you're soaking wet and the car smells like a soggy dog. Big fan of Volvos, but unless you are a keen amateur mechanic or "know somebody", they'll cripple your finances. Then again it's easy to buy a Japanese car which is a financial time-bomb as well.

    Interestingly, Nutmeg's Mazda 3 is a design shared with the Volvo S40/V50/C30 and C70 (the next model from the one you've seen...a convertible with a hard folding roof). The parts he walked into Repco and bought for $300 also fit the equivalent Volvo models. If you found a 2.4 S40 or C30 (ie the base model without a turbo) from 2004 - 2010 or so they can be a much nicer car than the equivalent Mazda 3 (or Ford Focus) with similar running costs. If you're adventurous, you can even buy an S40 or V50 T5 (with a turbo and sometimes AWD), which gives you virtually identical mechanical parts (and performance) to a Ford Focus RS for half the price. There should be plenty of 2.4 S40s in your price range.

  • SpacSpac @Spac Canberra-ish.

    Your sensible questions suggest that you are not financially loaded, and the un-sexy parts of owning a car matter to you.

    Buy a single digit Mazda (ie: 2, 3, 6). They might not be as quirky/cool as the C70, but are much easier to live with. If it is your first car, then you’ll have plenty of opportunity to own a “cool” car later - it’s more important to have something that won’t stress you out for now.

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