Transmission Failure Seal Of This Might Hurt Notes: The 2nd generation XC70 has a transmission issue and the 2003 model year seems to be the worst of it. These are still solidly built and comfortable cars, but if you're looking at buying used you might be better off avoiding the 2003 unless it has already had its transmission replaced.


fairly significant
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
108,000 miles
Total Complaints:
4 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. rebuild transmission (2 reports)
  2. $6000 new transmission (1 reports)
  3. not sure (1 reports)
2003 Volvo XC70 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2003 Volvo XC70 Owner Comments

problem #4

May 162012

XC70 Limited V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,000 miles


Once you hit about 80,000 the car starts to fall apart. I patched the transmission a few times but finally couldn't do it anymore. Local mechanics helped me add a year to it's life (not reflected in the cost but about $500 per visit). If you buy a new transmission, you get the same bad transmission with a 12 month warranty. Rebuild is better.

- Barb K., Seattle, WA, US

problem #3

Mar 212012


  • Automatic transmission
  • 115,000 miles

Stay away from volvos made under the ford shield. That's it, really. I'm looking at a Pilot.

- flyina, castle rock, CO, US

problem #2

Aug 292012


  • Automatic transmission
  • 145,000 miles

I purchased my XC70 2003 Volvo and have kept the car neat and clean along with maintenance. Recently I had my tires balanced and the mechanic indicated that the rear wheel drive was not working and that I had only front wheel drive. I contacted the Pensacola Volvo and was told that they could not diagnose the problem unless I take it done to the dealer. However another person Paul indicated that the typical problem if the case may be would cost several thousand of dollars. To say the least I am upset as I did not notice any difference in drive-ability and I am not sure when the loss of rear wheel drive actually occurred. Should the cost of fixing the car be as great as the dealer indicates, with 145,000 miles I WILL NOT BE BUYING A VOLVO. My last two cars were GM wagons and I got 300,000 miles out of both of them. Needless to say I am disappointed with my Volvo. Two weeks ago I would have said that my Volvo was great. Not now! I guess I can now park it outside of my garage.

- gtpeters53, Pensacola, FL, US

problem #1

Jan 012012

XC70 AWD 5 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 69,000 miles

Today I found out that my 2003 XC70 with 69,000 miles and in perfect condition needs a new transmission for $6000!!!!!! We also own a 2004 S60 AWD with 40,000 miles. I wonder if I'll need to spend another $6000!!! for that car. The dealer contacted Volvo who said "so sorry" that awful transmission we put in that car is now yours - congratulations! The repair manager actually had the gall to recommend we trade it in for a new one so we could get the $1K "customer loyalty" discount! LOL!!!!!!!!! I will sell both of these cars as quickly as I can and I will tell as many thousands of people what a piece of crap VOLVO is. NEVER, never, never, will I even look at a VOLVO.

- soontobexvolvoowne, Los Angeles, CA, US

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