Volvo V70 T6 SE Sport

Now things are getting serious.

  • Superb cabin flexibility, logical interior design, wide range of boot extras available
  • Boot not that big for an executive estate, floaty ride, thirsty T6 petrol engine

Now things are getting serious. After all, with Volvo’s strong heritage of estate cars, the latest mainstay in its line-up should set the benchmark here. In fact, thanks to models such as the 240 and 850, the Swedish firm can be credited with making load-luggers as popular as they are today

On first impression, the latest V70’s boot area certainly seems as large as its predecessors’. Overall capacity is up 55 litres, and a revised tailgate means there’s now a wider opening. Practicality is also excellent – the back seats fold fully flat, giving a boot length of nearly two metres, while the space is the broadest on test.

There are plenty of clever features, too. You get full-length side runners as standard – a feat no car here can match – and four sliding attachments. There’s also a flip-up load divider, which stops luggage sliding about, and the optional rollout plastic floor cover is well worth the extra £76.

In addition, the side panels can be equipped with multifunctional rails, making it possible to attach hooks, load-anchoring nets or cargo dividers. When it comes to versatility the V70 leads the way, and there are plenty of accessories to suit your needs. A dog guard, for instance, is £173.

It certainly seems impressive, but dig a little deeper and you’ll find the V70 isn’t as good as it looks. True, standard boot space is the best here at a worthy 575 litres, but drop the seats and it rises to only 1,600. That’s a mere 140 litres more than the Fabia’s boot, and trails behind its main rivals from Mercedes and BMW. We certainly expected more from the legendary Volvo.

That doesn’t mean the car is not well thought out, though. Features such as the built-in dual child booster cushions, which can be adjusted in two steps, and the 40/20/40-split rear seats with integrated seatbelts, are clever touches.

There’s also a real sense of robust quality about the Volvo that only the Merc can match. From the hard-wearing load-bay carpet to the weighty doors, it has a satisfyingly solid feel. The brand has always had an upmarket image, but the latest V70 moves that on a notch with top-class materials and a neatly designed driving environment.

Ergonomically the car is excellent, and what the heavily bolstered seats lack in support they more than make up for with padding. The V70 is certainly the best choice here for long-distance treks. We wouldn’t recommend the T6, though. While the 3.0-litre unit has a great engine note, it’s simply too thirsty and not in keeping with the Volvo’s laid-back nature. The D5 diesel is a much better choice, especially for motorway driving.

The V70 is certainly comfortable and classy, but the average luggage space disappoints. Essentially, this robs the big Volvo of a key selling point over its more prestigious and dynamically rewarding rivals.

Details

  • Price: £38,280
  • Model tested: V70 T6 SE Sport
  • WHY: Huge V70 follows in a long line of excellent Volvo estates.

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