It's not just down to the V70 to remind buyers why estate cars are so special - which is why Volvo has built a rugged XC70 version, too.
Taking on Audi's A6 Allroad, the rough-terrain Volvo isn't a full-blown off-roader, but it's still surprisingly capable. The firm's own research suggests more XC70 models tackle mud than the bigger XC90s, so four-wheel drive is standard on all versions. What's more, approach angles and ground clearance have improved to offer even more go-anywhere ability.
Despite the new XC70's mud-plugging credentials, it doesn't look as rugged as its predecessor. With less black plastic trim at the front and a sleeker look all round, the new model has a more stylish but less chunky appearance.
Climb inside, and the XC70 is just as practical as the V70. Like the outgoing model, high-spec versions get over-sized stitching with leather trim, adding to the durable feel.
On the tarmac, the allroad model drives very much like the V70, but has a softer set-up. There's more body roll when cornering, but the ride quality is even smoother. However, our prototypes had a lack of feel through the over-assisted steering - the company insists this will be improved for production models. Buyers will get to choose between a 3.2-litre petrol engine or 2.4-litre D5 diesel power. It's the oil-burner that will be the bigger seller, thanks to 38.7mpg economy, bettering the petrol by nearly 14mpg. However, in the prototype, the powerplant lacked refinement at all speeds. Providing a flavour of both SUV and estate-car motoring, the XC70 still offers a fabulous mix of off-road ability and traditional practicality.