In some respects, Volvo has not gained greatly from redesigning this car. The chassis, although improved over the old V70’s, is still unexceptional, and the new interior, although better finished, is not conclusively more convenient.
You can, however, create a strikingly inviting cabin with the wide choice of decor, and the V70 remains as practical – and safe – as ever, with a fine choice of options. Like all good Volvos, this is a reassuringly pleasant car that delivers where it counts. It is not a huge step ahead over the old V70, but that was a very good estate, and this new version is (just) a better one.
If you have a family, lug lots of stuff and want a safe, high-quality wagon that’s a pleasure to live with, then the V70 should be high up your shortlist. Its practicality and convenience will soon seem indispensable, while its safety systems and aura of robust good quality will repeatedly remind you that you have bought a durable beast of burden.
Yet this is no frill-free mule, being tastefully trimmed and equipped with exceptional seats and high standards of equipment. If you want a sports estate look elsewhere, and the same applies if you can’t live with the (light) grumblings of a stout(ish) diesel.
But the elephant in the room is quite a large one: the Skoda Superb estate. It operates in the E-class-for-the-masses territory that Volvo once claimed as its own. Still, with this in mind, there's likely to be more than a few V70s cluttering up showrooms, so if you can get a good deal, then don't overlook the dusty V70 in the corner.