What is it?
Free from the affectation of pseudo-sportiness that has afflicted its smaller sibling, the V70 sits proud as the no-nonsense flagship of Volvo’s still largely conservative range. This, after all, is the choice of the motorway cop, a car synonymous with high-viz jackets, traffic cones and SP60s. Small wonder when you think about it. The V70 is versatile, comfortable, reliable and quick without being flash – tax-payer funded, remember. In fact this is the automotive embodiment of sensible. And that’s really not such a bad thing, however much we may be insinuating that it is.
The V70 is built for comfort, and as such is most at home on the motorway, preferably with blue lights on the roof. Here, in its natural habitat, the soft, supple ride and uncertain steering help keep the car – and its driver – relaxed and composed. Pushed through an unfamiliar series of countryside bends, however, this disconnect is a hindrance to fast, assured progress. The large estate body is well enough controlled, but this is not a car to rival the BMW 5-Series for multi-tasking dynamic duties.
You can order your V70 with a variety of thirsty petrol engines, all of which make absolutely no sense whatsoever. We can only imagine that in Sweden there is a market for this sort of guff . Here, what you really want is the 2.0-litre D4 diesel. This is still good for 60mph in around nine seconds, but it’s also capable of returning 62mpg. Let’s call it over 50mpg in the real world.
On the inside
If you’ve yet to sit in the back of a V70 while being given a ticket, you’ll be delighted to hear that your taxes have got you a very spacious and comfortable seat in which to spend those 15 minutes of shame-faced tedium. And if you have, you may have noticed, while peering nosily over your shoulder, that the boot isn’t quite as big as you might have expected, certainly not on par with an E-Class. Nevermind, the rear seats fold 40/20/40 instead of the usual 60/40 which aids versatility. It’s nice up front too. Lucky plod.
Assuming you have paid for this car to find yourself in it, rather than graduated to Traffic or been pulled over by them, you’ll be pleased by the excellent levels of comfort and quality that a V70 provides. It’s not a very interesting design exercise, nor is it quite as luxurious as some newer rivals from BMW or Mercedes, but the V70 exudes a solidity and understatement that perfectly complements the rest of the car. There’s even a great-value new trim line, the Business Edition. Diesel prices start from under £25k and it includes sat nav and posh stereo as standard.