Volvo V70 review
The Volvo V70 is a spacious, safe and comfortable estate, which rivals the Ford Mondeo and Skoda Superb
The spacious and comfortable Volvo V70 estate was launched in 2007 and is based on the S80 saloon. It rivals cars like the Skoda Superb Estate and BMW 5 Series Touring. There's just one petrol engine - a 3.0-litre unit that's capable of returning just 27.7mpg and emits a hefty 237g/km of CO2 - so it's best to opt for one of the range of efficient diesels. Every version comes with lots of safety equipment as standard, and even entry-level cars get alloy wheels, climate control and cruise control.
Our choice: V70 D3 ES
At the front, the Volvo V70 is almost identical to the S80 saloon on which it's based. The overall look is conservative, with more than a passing resemblance to the C30 hatch and the familiar stacked tail-lights at the rear. The cabin is dull but functional, and material quality is impressive. There are four trim levels: ES, SE, SE Lux and R-Design. ES versions come fitted with 16-inch alloy wheels, daytime running lights, front fog lights, climate control, cruise control and roof rails. SE Lux cars get 17-inch alloys, memory seats, automatic wipers and rear parking sensors, while sporty R-Design cars get 18-inch alloys and special detailing, such as an R-Design steering wheel, aluminium trim and matt silver door mirrors.
There's four diesel engines and one petrol available. The petrol engine is the 3.0-litre T6, which comes with four-wheel drive and produces 304bhp and 440Nm of torque. This means it's capable of going from 0-62mph in 6.9 seconds and has a top speed of 155mph. The diesel range is made up of the firm's 1.6-litre D2, 2.0-litre D3, 2.0-litre D4 and 2.4-litre D5 engines. The entry-level option produces 113bhp and 270Nm of torque, and can go form 0-62mph in 13.2 seconds. The D4 has 161bhp and 400Nm of torque, while the range-topping D5 has 213bhp and 420NM of torque, which means it can do the 0-62mph sprint in 7.8 seconds and has a top speed of 140mph. The 134bhp D3 is our pick of the range, though, as it's smooth, efficient and almost as quick as the more powerful units. The V70 is a great motorway cruise, as its refined, the steering is pleasantly light and it's incredibly comfortable thanks to the padded seats- although the R-Design's 18-inch alloys do upset the ride. The V70's proportions mean it can be a bit tricky to manoeuvre around town, though, and cars like the BMW 5 Series Touring and Skoda Superb Estate are more fun to drive.
As you'd expect for a Volvo, the V70 has a five-star Euro NCAP crash test rating. It scored 88 per cent for adult occupant and 71 per cent for safety assist. Standard safety kit includes driver, passenger, side and curtain airbags, as well as whiplash protection, ABS and traction control. The V70 has been around since 2007 and there have been no reports of any major problems since. The engines are widely used across the Volvo range, too, so long-term reliability should be good. Volvo finished 10th out of 30 in the 2012 Driver Power reliability survey.
The V70 has a 575-litre boot, which is more than the 5 Series Touring but quite a bit less than the Mercedes E-Class Estate and Superb. Fold the rear seats and this figure increases to 1,600 litres - although this is no way near the Superb's mammoth 1,865 capacity, it should still be more than enough for most people's needs. The rear seats fold 40/20/40 for maximum flexibility, and the flat floor means loading is easy. There are plenty of useful touches, too, such as hooks, nets and straps to keep everything in place. There's lots of cubby spaces, too, including extra storage and cup holders in the rear centre armrest.
The T6 is best avoided, as it can only manage to average fuel consumption of 27.7mpg and CO2 emissions of 237g/km. But every other version of the V70 comes with stop-start fitted as standard, which means that even the D5 will manage to return 59mpg and emit 129g/km of CO2 (although if you opt for the automatic, this drops to 45.6mpg and 164g/km). The D2 and D3 versions both return 63mpg and CO2 emission of 119g/km. Insurance costs are on a par with rivals but residual values could be better. Volvo offers fixed-price servicing deals over a set term, although the prices it quotes are actually quite high. Volvo does offer a range of fixed-price servicing deals, though, which should help keep costs down.