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Chip off the old block. Image by James Jenkins.

Chip off the old block
Volvo's V70 continues to set standards by which all large family estates are judged.

   



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| A Week at the Wheel | Cambs, England | Volvo V70 T6 |

Inside & Out: star star star star star

In keeping with recent habits the new V70's external design is an evolution of the outgoing car's, with nips and tucks to the modern Volvo design language. In actual fact it is only the design of the rear tailgate that clearly differentiates the new car at a glance. However, closer inspection reveals small and subtle changes in many places. The interior is an ergonomic showpiece of common sense combined with quality. The centre console is a little busy, but it all makes sense and is well ordered. The optional real wood panels are worth the additional outlay.

The V70's key strengths remain the same as always: versatility and capacious lugging ability. The load spaces are now as clever as they are large, offering the versatility to carry virtually any load up to and including a wardrobe with ease and security. The under floor storage compartment allows for smaller or delicate items to be moved out of sight and firmly secured, without intruding on the main load deck.

Engine & Transmission: star star star star star

The 300bhp three-litre turbo engine in this range-topping model gives the V70 some serious performance. A figure of 0-60mph in 6.7 seconds doesn't sound particularly rapid, but nor does it truly reflect the effortless pace available. The engine is tuned for torque rather than outright power and the delivery is silky smooth and linear. Long gearing takes the edge off the ultimate accelerative potency, but it gives the T6 impeccable manners.

Ride & Handling: star star star star star

The T6 benefits from both adjustable suspension and four-wheel drive. The dampers offer three levels of increasing stiffness that vary from the absorbent Comfort setting through to the firmer Sports and Advance settings.

These mean that the days of unruly tyre-smoking turbocharged Volvos are banished to the memory and the T6 has no issues in deploying the generous grunt on offer with good traction in all weather. However, it also offers an engaging and fun driving experience with plenty of grip and fine balance, resisting understeer well.

The adjustable damping also means that the ride is equally impressive both around town and on the open road. Perhaps the most impressive aspect of the T6's performance is that it is a very refined high-speed cruiser, rivalling any BMW, Jaguar or Lexus we've driven of late.

Equipment, Economy & Value for Money: star star star star star

At a touch under £40,000, this range-topping V70 is in the heart of BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class territory. It competes with either of those in terms of capabilities and qualities and is more practical than both. Indeed, in terms of practicality the V70 is almost peerless in the world of the large estate car. To equip rivals to the same levels would make the Volvo seem cheaper in comparison, but there is no denying it's priced as a premium product. Running costs should be reasonable with a 23mpg average and long service intervals.

Overall: star star star star star

It's hard not to be a convert to the Volvo faithful after a week with one. The V70 makes so much common sense as a practical family wagon that it's hard to fault and it's very easy to see how one would slot right into daily life. Comfortable, refined, capacious and capable it offers the all-round talents that one demands in a modern car. It has no obvious weaknesses and offers a genuine alternative to the German competition. However, the range must have a quality diesel to succeed. Overall, the basic package is typical Volvo solidity.

Dave Jenkins - 31 Oct 2007



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2007 Volvo V70 specifications: (T6 AWD SE Sport Geartronic)
Price: £37,450 on-the-road.
0-60mph: 6.7 seconds
Top speed: 152mph
Combined economy: 25.0mpg
Emissions: 270g/km
Kerb weight: 1888kg

2007 Volvo V70. Image by James Jenkins.2007 Volvo V70. Image by James Jenkins.2007 Volvo V70. Image by James Jenkins.2007 Volvo V70. Image by James Jenkins.2007 Volvo V70. Image by James Jenkins.

2007 Volvo V70. Image by James Jenkins.2007 Volvo V70. Image by James Jenkins.2007 Volvo V70. Image by James Jenkins.2007 Volvo V70. Image by James Jenkins.2007 Volvo V70. Image by James Jenkins.



2007 Volvo V70. Image by James Jenkins.
 

2007 Volvo V70. Image by James Jenkins.
 

2007 Volvo V70. Image by James Jenkins.
 

2007 Volvo V70. Image by James Jenkins.
 






 

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