Volvo V70 estate
Price £26,195 - £34,920
- Impressive safety credentials
- Good motorway comfort
- Well-shaped boot
- Not much fun to drive
- Looking expensive now
- Boot not the roomiest
At a glance
"All versions of the Volvo V70 make great motorway cruisers with their impressive refinement, comfortable seats and powerful engines."
Some rivals may be bigger, cheaper and better to drive but to many people there's only one big estate car: the Volvo V70. Its boot measures an impressive 1600 litres with the back seats folded down, but that's 265 litres smaller than the Skoda Superb estate and 70 litres smaller than the V70's premium rival, the BMW 5 Series Touring.
Nevertheless, the V70's reputation for being one of the roomiest and most practical vehicles you can buy, endures.
Volvo revised the model range in 2013, taking the opportunity to jettison the petrol engines in favour of an all-diesel line-up. There are four, ranging in capacity from 1.6 to 2.4 litres. Their blend of respectable performance with impressive efficiency means they make a lot of sense for both private as well as business users.
Engines are generally smooth and frugal, but the 2.0-litre D4 engine is, without doubt, the engine to choose. It offers all the performance you really need in a big comfortable cruiser, but the promise of more than 60mpg.
Just as the V70 is showing its age in terms of boot space, so it is beginning to feel a little outclassed when it comes to the driving experience. All versions make great motorway cruisers with their impressive refinement, comfortable seats and powerful engines. However, on more demanding roads, the car's overly light and uncommunicative steering, body shake and sheer size take the fun out of driving.
Still, it's at least an attractive and distinctive looking car, if not quite as classy or well built inside as a BMW or Mercedes. That said, Volvo interiors are like no other: clear and simple but still stylish and practical, while the seats are supremely comfortable.
Three generously equipped trim levels make choosing your V70 a relatively simple exercise. The basic Business Edition has 16-inch alloy wheels, sat-nav, DAB digital radio, cruise control and climate control. SE Nav brings 17-inch alloys and leather-faced upholstery, while range-topping SE Lux adds a powered driver's seat and xenon headlights. Although the SE Nav and SE Lux models feel more luxurious, the entry-level Business Edition is some £6,000 less than the next model up, making it incredible value for money.
Regardless of trim level, the V70's safety credentials are impressively high as you’d expect. Volvo's new-car warranty is an unremarkable three years/60,000 miles. Servicing costs are likely to be on a par with other premium brands, so more expensive than Ford and Vauxhall. The used car market is wise to the V70's fading charms and resale values are not what they were, so negotiate the biggest discount you can, or consider an alternative such as the huge, and hugely impressive, Skoda Superb estate.
With its strong performance, and good MPG, CO2 and benefit-in-kind charge, the Volvo V70 D4 is our choice for high-mileage, business users
The Volvo V70 is reasonably refined and the larger diesel engines endow it with relaxed and effortless long-distance cruising ability
The basic Volvo V70 Business Edition trim level is generous enough; the two remaining trims merely sprinkle a few non-essential goodies about the place
Space isn’t everything, and thanks to a low boot lip, a flat floor and reduced wheel arch intrusion, the Volvo V70 can still swallow long and bulky loads easily.
Despite its reputation for longevity and hassle-free ownership, the V70 came a disappointing 64th in the Auto Express Driver Power 2014 owner satisfaction survey