V70 D4 Geartronic SE Lux
indomitable about Volvos
estate, the V70. Still the classic
big estate car, its
good enough to
make you become an antiques dealer
just so you can drive one...
ACTUALLY, THESE DAYS IT'S NOT just antiques people who you'll find behind
the wheel of a V70. While the Swedish brand's wagon is now as undeniably 'premium'
as a BMW 5 Series or Mercedes E-Class load-luggers, there's not the least hint
of pretentiousness about the Volvo.
With the proliferation of less practical 'sport' and 'lifestyle' estates, the
recently refreshed V70's substantial contemporary lines give off a reassuring
air of confidence. Highlighting the abilities underpinning its dual-usage bodystyle
is the fact that numerous police forces tend to favour them for fast motorway
Traffic patrol duties.
But while it may look hewn from rock, the V70 is no gas-guzzler: the efficient
new 2.0-litre turbodiesel powering the eight-speed automatic model we've been
driving this past week comes with some impressive economy figures: officially
it averages 62.8mpg.
hard-pressed test car acquitted itself well, notching up a very reasonable 47.3mpg
real-world average a sympathetic right foot should see an improvement
on that. Note also that at steady speeds on motorways, even though not hanging
about, it was consistently scoring 60mpg close to its official
touring figure of 68.7mpg.
While it may look
hewn from rock, the V70
is no gas-guzzler.
The efficient new 2.0-litre
the 8-speed automatic
weve been driving
this past week comes
with some impressive
officially it averages
Inside a big, wide cabin awaits. Five grown-ups are easily accommodated with
plenty of headroom for all. In fact there's plenty of room in all directions.
In the front are a pair of extremely supportive leather-upholstered seats
the passenger gets seat height and base cushion angle adjustment, as well as
lumbar; all manually adjusted.
The driver gets upgraded to full power 'every which way' adjustment with a three-setting
seat and door mirror memory function. Both seats are shapely with decent bolstering
that's defined enough to keep you located but not at all intrusive, have anti-whiplash
headrests and quick-acting three-stage heating. The three-spoke steering wheel
is multifunctional (voice, audio, media, cruise) with a good-to-grip smooth
leather rim with good thumb cut-outs and paddle-shifters on the horizontal spokes
for manual gear changing when you want to be in total control.
The view forward through the windscreen is uninterrupted, as too is the view
of what's behind a view also well covered by the frameless rearview
mirror. When the rear seats are not being used the rear headrests can be dropped
forward for an even clearer view. Nice to know that the straightforward tail-end
design (helped by the blind spot monitoring system) ensures a V70 driver will
never be caught off-guard by the antics of a following vehicle.
It's a quality cabin cooly logical Scandinavian design enhanced
by the inviting ambience of fine materials, well-considered and well-executed,
and all assembled with noticeable care you won't find anything
flashy, glitzy or gaudy inside a Volvo!
Good, also, to be able to turn off the automatic three-flick lane change signalling
(to fully manual) as well as personalise things such as auto-dipping of the
door mirrors when reversing and whether all the doors or just one unlock on
You can, of course, take for granted a rear parking camera as well as front
and rear audible sensors and other essentials such as SatNav, dual-zone climate
control, leather upholstery, one-shot power windows, auto-dimming rearview mirror,
powerfold door mirrors, Bluetooth, DAB radio, cruise control, and a top-of-the-line
Premium Sound system as well as a powered self-opening
and self-closing tailgate.
trademark 'floating' centre stack is wider than in smaller Volvos, providing
better spacing for the switchgear and the four knurled knobs that between them
control seat heating and cabin temperature, media, navigation, and menu scrolling.
Its a quality cabin
the inviting ambience of
fine materials, well-
considered and well-
executed, and all
wont find anything
flashy, glitzy or gaudy
inside a Volvo!
Other equipment, such as the sharply-detailed and driver-reconfigurable TFT
instrument display (choose from Eco, Elegant and Performance themes and data),
look appropriately upmarket.
are plenty of nice touches including a padded centre armrest that's wide enough
for the driver and front passenger to happily share, and which has catches either
side so it's easy to open whichever side of the car you're on (it also flips
back 180 degrees to provide a sturdy tray for rear passenger usage.
Below the armrest is a deep lined storage bin with USB and Aux-in sockets and
ahead of it a sliding-lidded bin with two built-in illuminated siamesed cupholders,
plus a 12V power socket.
And while many drivers still have a 'thing' for a traditional handbrake, the
V70's 'push on' electric park brake on the fascia to the right of the wheel
really is so easy to use that it's hard not to like (plus you can drive away
without manually releasing it so long as you're belted-up).
The infotainment screen in the fascia is comfortably in the driver's eye-line
and the mapping is pin-sharp; spoken commands are delivered in good time and
full postcode destination entry is a boon. As is the keyless start and entry
which means the key need never leave the safety of your pocket or handbag.
For those who like to stay 'connected', the integrated Sensus Connect system
offers them a number of innovative functions; for instance, the cloud-based
services allow the driver to find and pay for parking from the car, discover
new restaurants at the destination, stream favourite music seamlessly, and much
more. Text messages can also be read out aloud.
in the back are equally well catered for. Getting in is easy thanks to the large
door frames (no head-banging) and once seated there's masses of room to lounge
in plenty of knee room and, despite sitting four inches higher
than those up front, several inches of headroom (even a third adult in the middle
enjoys generous hip- and head-room) plus two can both make good use of the wide
and well-padded armrest (with storage!) between them.
who like to sip an Americano or skinny latte en-route will value the cupholders
in the armrest (complete with a 'just in case' spillage tray beneath them);
those who prefer to drink from a bottle can keep one in the door pocket.
dedicated air vents in the B-pillars keep the temperature right, and clear views
out both to the sides and ahead through the large space between the front seatbacks
keep you in touch with the outside world when you're not watching a DVD.
Nudge the selector lever
into Sport mode and
the D4 responds eagerly
to the accelerator,
immediately dropping to
a more appropriate
lower gear as it
ups its attitude and
the pace ...
excellent twin 8-inch screens and DVD players with WiFi headphones built into
the front seat headrests are well worth the extra £1,495. V70 drivers with children
will be glad of the easy-peasy pop-up booster cushions fitted in both outer
rear seat bases. Power-operated driver-controlled child locks on the rear doors
add genuine peace of mind given how inquisitive little fingers can be.
The new D4 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel is refined and pokey: 178bhp
backed-up by 295lb ft of torque from 1,750rpm ensures plenty of 'grunt' when
pulling away and overtaking. Used hard it will spin up the numbers displayed
on the digital speed readout surprisingly quickly. Best to set the speed limiter
on motorways or you could find yourself being 'pulled' by one of the blues-and-twos
Two extra gears help tremendously not only is the most appropriate
ratio always to hand, but the shifts move smoothly both up and down the eight-ratio
scale, either to serve up the sharpest acceleration or to quickly reach the
most efficient gear for fuel economy or unruffled motorway cruising, all depending
on what orders your right foot is giving. Nudge the selector lever into Sport
mode and the D4 responds eagerly to the accelerator, immediately dropping to
a more appropriate lower gear as it ups its attitude and the pace.
The V70 D4 will hit the benchmark 62mph from standstill in 8.6 seconds; top
speed is 137mph. And it feels 'gutsy' enough two-up for you to know that it
will manage a full load of cargo or people with equal vigour. Equally satisfying
is its totally legal tax-avoiding 117g/km emissions which keeps your road tax
bill to an annual £30 after the first year which is free.
everything you'd expect of a 140mph car is present and correct; the front-wheel
drive chassis copes equally well with just the driver or the full family unit
aboard; the all-disc brakes serve up reassuringly powerful stopping; there's
decent grip from the 225/50 rubber wrapped around the 17-inch alloy wheels;
and the three weightings you can select for the steering are all effective and
Press-on drivers might like to know that more sporty chassis set-ups can be
specified: there's a lowered Sport chassis and Volvo's Four-C (Continuously
Controlled Chassis Concept). For the record, the default Dynamic chassis is
V70 is built not just for lugging but for comfort too, and as such is in its
element loping along a motorway. Its supple ride and steadfast steering ensure
both its driver and passengers (and even its cargo) get from A to B as composed
as the V70 itself.
At speed the cabin
refined and soothing
while the seats
cosset you as the world
flows by your window;
passengers can take in
the views or doze,
as safe and relaxed as if
they were at home
in their favourite
At speed the cabin ambience remains refined while the seats cosset you as the
world flows by your window; passengers can take in the views or doze, as safe
and relaxed as if they were at home in their favourite armchair. With the optional
Harman Kardon premium sound system playing in the background, it's first-class
all the way!
Famed for its load-carrying ability, the V70's boot doesn't disappoint. As the
tailgate rises under electric power (triggered remotely via the key fob or the
dashboard switch), your first impression might be that the boot isn't that deep.
But first impressions can often be deceiving; the giveaway is the low, knee-height
loading sill and, tellingly, the 724mm maximum cargo height. A flip-up centre
panel can be raised to divide the rectangular-shaped 575-litre boot in two
useful when transporting more fragile items or simply segregating your weekly
If you've a big load to be shifted then fold down the versatile 40:20:20-split
rear seatbacks and you'll have a wardrobe-swallowing 1,600 litres of absolutely
flat-floored space at your disposal. Side rails in the floor allow the tie-down
hooks to be positioned exactly where you want them, and they're easily repositioned
Beneath the main boot floor you'll find a very handy multi-storage tray of the
same length and width as the boot itself. And if you ever need to transport
an extra-long load it's no problemo because the passenger seat backrest
also folds down flat. Finally, if you prefer to pull your cargo along behind
you instead of carrying it inside, the V70 will tow 1,800kg braked. A 13-pin
detachable tow bar is optional.
Volvo once used the tag-line that the V70 was designed to cater for the average
family unit of two adults, 2.4 children and a dog. Social stats may have moved
on in the twenty-first century but the pooch hasn't been forgotten
behind the rear seatbacks is a full-width cassette with a pull-out netted dog
guard. Lassie would approve!
As far as comfort and space go, the elegantly-packaged V70 is 'the man'. It
also scores highly for versatility and, of course, its safety credentials are
the best in the world. Few cars are better at moving cargo or people as pleasingly
as a Volvo V70.
Volvo V70 D4 Geartronic SE Lux
Maximum speed: 137mph | 0-62mph: 8.6 seconds | Test Average: 47.3mpg
Power: 178bhp | Torque: 295lb ft | CO2 117g/km