The Volvo V70 estate has been carrying out family load-lugging duties for over 20 years. Although it was replaced by the swisher-and considerably pricier-V90 in 2016, but used V70s still have a lot going for them – the ultra-dependable workhorses. Benefiting from Volvo’s build quality, a well-maintained, well-loved V70 will continue to serve you until the kids have flown the nest.
Unlike the latest batch of pin-sharp, modish Volvos, the V70 boasts the solid, boxy looks of the Swedish company’s traditional estate models. Don’t expect sleek, European styling here.
The V70 is a no-nonsense family wagon, with smooth, rounded lines and Volvo’s signature tail-lights that run from the top of the bumper to the roofline.
It’s still an attractive design, but the V90 has it licked in the style stakes. However, there’s still plenty to recommend the V70 over its slightly dated looks.
What's it like to drive?
The V70’s uncluttered dash and luxuriously upholstered seat give a fair indication of the big Volvo’s driving experience – namely a relaxed, composed ride that is best suited to longer journeys.
The Volvo handles city driving fairly well. Its sheer size makes it more at home on faster, wider roads than narrow country lanes. The V70’s well-insulated cabin does a good job of suppressing wind and engine noise, all adding to its relaxed cruising credentials.
Later V70s were available with diesel engines - the D3 and D4. Both offer effortless performance and make light work of overtaking manoeuvres and rapid motorway cruising. The V70 was also offered with a more powerful D5 diesel towards the end of its production run, which makes the car noticeably faster.
The V70's sheer size makes it at home on fast, wide roads.
Getting comfortable inside the V70 is something of a breeze, thanks to a wide range of adjustment for both the driver’s seat and steering wheel. Relatively slim front and rear pillars allow for good all-round visibility as well.
The V70’s roster of standard equipment is generous. Even the entry-level Business Edition comes with sat-nav, climate control, DAB radio and Bluetooth – so you’ll be connected and entertained on those long journeys. Move up to SE Nav trim and you get leather upholstery, an upgraded sat-nav and a power-operated tailgate. SE Lux versions add an electrically adjustable driver’s seat and a TFT driver’s information display.
The V70’s interior is relatively spartan when compared to more modern cars. It’s still well put together and nicely styled with an intuitive, well-finished dashboard being the icing on an already very attractive cake. Buttons and switchgear are well-engineered and feel like they’ll stand up to family life (and pets) pretty well.
The V70 is a big, wide car, so consequently, there’s a lot of space inside. The luxurious cabin has plenty of head and legroom up front and in the rear– where three adults will be able to travel long distances in relative comfort.
Although boot space is generous, it’s not quite on par with its nearest rivals. There’s still ample space for several medium-sized suitcases, so family holidays in the V70 are eminently doable. The split 40/20/40 rear seats fold flat into the floor for increased carrying capacity and flexibility.
Additionally, the low boot lip allows the V70 to swallow big, unwieldy items with considerable ease. There’s lots of interior storage as well, with cubbies in the centre console and between the front seats, and commodious door bins that will happily take larger water bottles.
Reliability and running costs
The V70 is an older model now, yet it still offers good value thanks to its superior build quality, practicality and generous range of standard equipment.
Fuel efficiency is impressive with the D3 diesel returning 68.9mpg and the more powerful D4 delivering 65.7mpg. CO2 figures for both are equally notable.
Volvo has an enviable reputation for making safe, dependable cars and the brand has traditionally done well in ownership surveys. Consequently, we don’t foresee any major problems with V70 ownership. However, you might want to consider cinchCare for added peace of mind.
What we love
We love the V70 for its purposeful demeanor. It’s never pretended to be anything other than what it is, namely a supremely capable load-lugger that will get you, your family and your stuff safely and comfortably from point A to point B. Of course, Volvo’s reputation for safety is legendary, and in that respect, the V70 doesn’t disappoint. The V70’s standard safety kit includes a host of airbags, whiplash protection and Volvo’s City Safety automatic braking system, which automatically brakes the car if it senses that a crash is imminent.
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Although it’s no longer in production, we still have a soft spot for the Volvo V70. While its rivals may have the edge when it comes to interior space and driving dynamics, the V70’s compelling mix of comfort, practicality, refinement and economy still make it pretty hard to beat.
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