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What Car? says

3 out of 5 stars

For Solid construction; stylish interior; superb seats

Against Dull to drive; dated engines; choppy ride

Verdict Everything a Volvo estate should be, but rivals are better to drive

Go for… 2.0 D3 ES

Avoid… 2.0 R-Design

Volvo V70 Estate
  • 1. The wide range of petrol and diesel engines ensures there’s something for everyone, although it’s the diesel options that impress most
  • 2. Our favourite is the 136bhp 2.0 D3 ES, which has plenty of grunt but returns decent fuel economy
  • 3. Insurance costs are reasonable, with all but the T5 engine in R-Design trim sitting in insurance groups 20-29. Pick a sporty version, however, and you’re looking at group 33
  • 4. A number of reported issues concern faults with safety equipment – in particular the seat belts and side-impact protection system
  • 5. The indicator stalk on the V70 has a button marked ‘Read’. Pressing and holding it will display any faults that the car’s on board computer is aware of
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Volvo V70 Estate full review with expert trade views

Practicality is the V70’s strong point; the load space is enormous and the rear seats fold down flat. The boot is well thought out, too, with luggage nets and tie-down hooks to stop items rolling around while in transit.

Occupants are treated to extremely comfortable seats and the dashboard has a pleasingly minimalist design. The cabin is well built, with no scratchy plastics to be seen.

The wide range of petrol and diesel engines ensures there’s something for everyone, although it’s the diesel options that impress most, offering good fuel economy and impressive towing ability.

Unfortunately, the ride is far from perfect and even minor bumps and road scars are felt in the cabin. The car settles down at speed, though, making the V70 an adept motorway cruiser. Body roll is well controlled, although the vague steering discourages you from driving enthusiastically.

Trade view

Press and hold the ‘read’ button, and the car will list its known faults.

Matt Sanger
What Car?'s Used Car Editor

Diesel V70s makes the most sense, because they deliver much more pulling power than the petrol models.

Our favourite is the 136bhp 2.0 D3 ES, which has plenty of grunt but returns decent fuel economy. However, if fuel economy is your main concern, it’s worth checking out the DRIVe model introduced in 2009. Using a 1.6-litre engine, it delivered more than 62mpg, and has since been improved further. The 163bhp 2.4D and 185bhp D5 were updated in 2009, improving fuel economy and emissions. The D5 also gained an extra 20bhp.

Of the petrol models, the 2.5-litre T5 is the most rounded. It develops 200bhp (231bhp from 2009 onwards) and provides punchy performance. There’s also a rare 238bhp 3.2-litre V6, which was dropped in 2009, and a 3.0-litre turbo V6 T6, available only with four-wheel drive. Both come with automatic gearboxes. An entry-level 148bhp 2.0-litre petrol was introduced in 2008, but it was underpowered and was dropped in 2009.

ES models come with alloys, electric windows all-round, MP3/CD player and dual-zone climate control. SE spec adds leather upholstery, Bluetooth and an upgraded stereo. SE Lux adds satellite-navigation and an electrically powered driver’s seat, while R-Design cars get sportier internal and external trim.

Trade view

A diesel-powered V70 is best, with lower running costs and slower depreciation.

Matt Sanger
What Car?'s Used Car Editor

Pick the right model and running costs should be reasonable. The 2.0-litre diesel returns a respectable average of 48mpg, and even the largest D5 engine does 44mpg. The economy-oriented DRIVe model is the most efficient, delivering up to 74mpg.

The T5 petrol engine claims an average of 32mpg, but it’s notoriously thirsty, with many owners averaging only 25mpg. As you’d expect, the larger T6 is even less efficient, with a claimed average of 25mpg. Even the entry-level 2.0-litre petrol doesn’t perform particularly well, with an average of 33mpg.

Insurance costs are reasonable, with all but the T5 engine in R-Design trim sitting in insurance groups 20-29. Pick a sporty version, however, and you’re looking at group 33.

Servicing costs aren’t cheap, but go with a franchised dealer and you’re unlikely to be disappointed. Volvo dealers have a good reputation for looking after customers.

Trade view

Press and hold the ‘read’ button, and the car will list its known faults.

Matt Sanger
What Car?'s Used Car Editor

Volvo has issued eight recalls for the V70 since the car's launch in 2007. It is important to ensure any potential problems have been sorted, because a number of issues concern faults with safety equipment – in particular the seat belts and side-impact protection system. Cars have also been recalled because of faulty heater element valves and corroded engine-cooling fans – both of which can result in a fire.

Turbochargers have also been known to fail. Blue smoke from the exhaust pipe and a shortage of engine power are signs that you should walk away, because it can cost more than £1000 to fix.

The indicator stalk on the V70 has a button marked ‘Read’. Pressing and holding it will display any faults that the car’s on board computer is aware of. A readout of ‘0 messages’ is good news, although it’s not a substitute for a thorough inspection.

Trade view

A diesel-powered V70 is best, with lower running costs and slower depreciation.

Matt Sanger
What Car?'s Used Car Editor
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