Volvo V70 D4: road test
The engine is a perfect fit for this car; sporty enough yet still frugal.
What is it?
The V70 is the big boy of the Volvo range. It offers refinement, style and practicality, and the 181hp D4 engine combines this with very decent driveability.
How safe is it?
It’s hard to argue with the safety standards Volvo strives to meet. The V70 has the Euro NCAP five star rating that you would expect, and the car is packed with safety features.
Who should buy one?
If you want a big, spacious car that is also practical, comfortable and fuel-efficient, then you’d be hard pressed to beat the V70. Don’t forget the V stands for Versatility.
Road test by Andy Turner, published 10 August 2015
DRIVING AND PERFORMANCE
We feel particularly qualified to comment on the driving and performance of this car, having just finished a 1,300-mile road trip in one (to put that in perspective, it’s the equivalent of London to Rome with a couple of side trips thrown in). In fact, an 80-year old passenger was in the back, so we made sure we asked about his experience too.
At 4,814 mm long, this is a big car, but it is particularly easy to drive thanks to excellent all-round visibility, a high seating position and light steering. The model we tested was fitted with a 2.0-litre, 181hp V4 turbocharged diesel that’s a perfect fit for the car; just sporty enough while still remaining frugal. It’s front wheel drive and despite its size, understeer is not an issue and cornering is precise and confident. The optional 8-speed Geartronic transmission (£1,550) and paddle-shifters (£150) are a logical option and work well with the D4.
What we really liked was the comfort the car offers both to driver and passengers. The front seats are really comfortable and ideal for commuting or long road trips such as the one we were on. Even those in the back aren’t treated like second-class citizens and we didn’t hear one grumble (other than the odd snore) from father in the back. Another nice touch was the 70 litre (about 15 gallon) fuel tank that needed replenishing after 900 miles.
SPACE AND PRACTICALITY
The boot is sensibly shaped so that the maximum space is available, and at 575 litres it’s a decent size but still 120 litres less than the Mercedes E-Class. If you put the 40/20/40 folding seats down this expands to a whopping 1,600 litres.
One particularly clever detection system will automatically brake for you if a cyclist who is heading in the same direction tries to overtake you from behind and then swerves in front of you.
Standard equipment levels are OK but not up with the likes of BMW. The SE Lux model is the most luxurious and comes with leather-faced upholstery and an 8” active driver’s information display and headlamp cleaning system.
The entry-level price of £27,195 is decent, especially when you take the low CO2 figures into account. Volvos are becoming more desirable but residual value is unlikely to be as high as a BMW or Mercedes.
We liked how the V70’s performance only drained the fuel tank slowly.
AT A GLANCE:
Price: £46,100 as tested
Performance: 0-60mph in 8.6 seconds
Economy: 60.1mpg combined
Insurance: Group 29
Tax: Band D (£110 first year)
Figures for the V70 D4 SE Lux S/S 5 door