The basic profile of the Volvo V70 is immediately familiar. It has the same long nose, swept A-pillars and near-vertical rear end as the previous V70 – and it’s a shape that has always suited the car well.

Volvo’s real achievement is in the way it has updated the car’s styling without over-egging the pudding. The more muscular shoulders, more pronounced grille and more shapely rear lights succeed in making the car more interesting, but that’s if you care to look – the new V70 doesn’t visually shout for your attention the way that a BMW 5 Series does. To do so would be very un-Volvo indeed.

Matt Saunders Autocar

Matt Saunders

Road test editor
The boxy shape means reversing isn’t a chore

Although similar in concept and execution to the old V70, the fundamentals of this version are very different, because it’s based on Ford’s EU-CD building block (the Mondeo, S-Max and S80 are from the same root) rather than the old P2X platform.

So apart from powertrains, there’s little component carryover from the old car, although the transverse, front-drive layout remains, as do MacPherson struts and multi-link rear suspension. Traction control and stability control are standard. The new body is stiffer than before, benefiting from four grades of high-strength steel to improve its crash behaviour, and side impact protection has been upgraded. 

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The side curtains now extend deeper to protect children’s heads, and there are optional, two-position built-in booster seats – a world first. Also new is an optional collision mitigation system, called Collision Warning with Brake Support, that works with radar to provide audible and visual warnings if you’re too close to the car in front, as well as preparing the brakes for instant application. There’s also a second-generation anti-whiplash system, and pedestrian protection performance has been improved.

The new body (which scores a decent 0.31 Cd) is bigger, and there’s more interior room. Luggage capacity has swelled by 60 litres.

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