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."
The Volvo V70 is a big estate car that seems to have been around for an age. Newer rivals may be more spacious, less expensive or more entertaining to drive but the V70 remains a stalwart in the class and the enduring favourite of many buyers. Boot space is 1,600 litres with the rear seats folded down but the latest Skoda Superb trumps that figure by an impressive 265 litres and another rival, the BMW 5 Series Touring is bigger by 70 litres. Nevertheless, the V70 is still a very practical and spacious family esate.
Volvo revamped the V70 range in 2013, discontinuing the petrol models so that today, the V70 is only available with one of four diesel engines. Size ranges between 1.6-litres and 2.4-litres and the mix of performance and economy offered means the V70 makes sense for business users as well as private buyers.
Although all four engines are smooth an efficient, the 2.0-litre D4 engine is the standout choice. It offers all the punch and pace you expect from a big, comfy estate cruiser but also claims an official economy figure of more than 60mpg.
In the same way that some of the competition has overtaken the V70 in terms of boot space, so some rivals have become better cars to drive. The V70 makes motorway journeys very relaxing and quiet thanks to its powerful engines, well built interior and comfortable seats, but when you get it on to twisty roads you become acutely aware of its size and how light and uncommunicative the steering feels.
Despite the fact its starting to feel a little dated, the V70 is still a distinctive looking car. They may not feel as solid or as classy as a BMW or Mercedes, but Volvo interiors are clear, simple, stylish and practical.
There are three trim levels to choose from when buying a V70 and all of them feature a decent level of equipment. The entry-level Business Edition comes with 16-inch alloy wheels, sat-nav, digital radio, cruise control and climate control. Moving up to SE Nav gets you 17-inch alloy wheels and leather-faced upholstery, while splashing out on the SE Lux model adds a powered driver's seat and xenon headlights. Although the top two trims feel more luxurious, the entry-level Business Edition model is around £6,000 cheaper than the SE Nav, making the V70 a significantly cheaper proposition in this guise.
Volvo has a great reputation for safety and the V70 excels in that regard. The three-year/60,000 mile warranty is unremarkable these days and you can expect the V70 to cost more than a Ford or a Vauxhall model to service. Unfortunately the V70's age means residual values have fallen since the car was first launched, so it's worth trying to negotiate a big discount with your dealer or considering a newer mdoel, like the excellent 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