What is it?
It’s the latest iteration of the staple Volvo – the big estate car. It carries the same name, silhouette and much the same style as the outgoing car, but engines-apart it is all-new.
This V70 is also bigger, to the benefit of its crash performance, passenger space and luggage room, if not the ease of berthing it, though an optional parking camera, and a squared off rear, help here.
Key aims with this remake have been to build in a more luxurious aura through classier detail design, improving front seat comfort and providing more convenience through items such as a powered tailgate, a sliding load floor, a neat pair of built-in two-stage child booster seats and intelligent rear light clusters. These last automatically switch the location of the brake lights from the section of cluster that lifts with tailgate, to the area mounted within the rear wings, so that there are brake lights visible even if the rear door has been left open to accommodate a long load.
New safety systems include a radar controlled collision mitigation system to avoid you impacting with objects up front, second generation WHIPS (whiplash protections system) and a stronger side structure.
Engine-wise the car is much as before, although you can now order six cylinder petrol motors as well as the familiar five and four cylinders petrols and diesels. We’ve already tried the new T6; this is the popular 183bhp D5, which has been carried over largely unchanged from the outgoing V70, although it has recently been upgraded.
What’s it like?
If you’re familiar with the previous V70, this new V70 will seem, well, familiar. In detail exterior design terms it’s actually different in a whole heap of ways, but its essential outline remains much the same. That’s because Volvo was keen to preserve the very practical shape of the loadbay, whose real-world volume it claims to be significantly more usable than those of either the BMW 5 Series Touring or the Audi A6 Avant.
The new V70’s cabin looks far newer, its architecture entirely new and featuring the same floating centre console theme trialled on the S40/V50 and reprised on the S80. Though it doesn’t quite convey the aura of precision sophistication that Audi’s A6 presents, this is nevertheless a convenient and attractive design that can be configured with a wide array of wood, aluminium, leather and high gloss finishes to achieve quite different ambiences.