From £25,5906
Big Volvo estate gets a mild refresh and remains as dependable as ever, although we're not sure this specification is the best in the range
Matt Burt
19 December 2013

What is it?

A mild nip and tuck has freshened up Volvo’s V70 estate, which is about to enter its seventh full year on sale.

For the 2014 model year, the updates include exterior cosmetic tweaks that make the front and rear appear wider and lower, as well as some extra chrome brightwork. Inside there is uprated connectivity, a TFT instrument display and further enhancements to the safety systems.

Powering this top-specification D5 version is the five-cylinder, 2.4-litre turbodiesel in its most powerful guise and mated to a six-speed automatic gearbox (a £1485 option).

In this spec the V70 offers 45.6mpg combined and CO2 emissions of 164g/km. That’s lagging behind rivals – a BMW 525d Touring returns 55.4mpg and 134g/km – and perhaps indicates that the sweet spot in the V70 range lies with a less powerful, more frugal manual variant.

What's it like?

This engine delivers gutsy low-end thrust and can shift the car from a standstill to 60mph in 7.5sec. The unit is also hushed and refined unless you venture past 2500rpm, where its distinctive thrum gets noticeably harsher.

It’s easier to succumb to the unflustered ambience offered by the cosseting seats and spacious, well appointed cabin and let the V70 play to its strengths as a docile cruiser that’s well suited to motorways.

At steady speeds the V70 is unremarkable in the way it rides, handles and steers. Damned with faint praise that may be, but the combination of light steering, top-quality insulation from noise and vibration and excellent comfort make it one of the least taxing ways to cover distances. It’s a slightly different story in town, where uneven roads highlight a less pliant ride and the V70’s size can make it feel unwieldy.

That size brings its benefits when it comes to load lugging, though. The boot holds 575 litres, increasing to 1600 litres with the rear bench folded. The Skoda Superb and Mercedes E-class offer more than 600 litres but the Volvo’s flat floor, wide boot opening and plethora of hooks and cubbies make it a versatile space. 

If practicality has long been a Volvo watchword, so has security. The latest V70 features a host of systems to warn you of the potential dangers present in almost every conceivable driving scenario, including blind spot monitors, an audible lane departure indicator and an auto braking system that senses pedestrians and cyclists. The whole suite comes as a £1900 option, but whether that represents good value depends on how much emphasis you put on such features.

Should I buy one?

The V70 comes well equipped, but it is by no means cheap, particularly with this engine and trim level.

It undercuts similar offerings from BMW, Mercedes and Audi, however, and although it is no match for the German trio dynamically, its blend of offbeat charm and impeccable safety means it is not without appeal.

Volvo V70 D5 SE Lux Geartronic

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Price £37,455 0-60mph 7.5sec Top speed 137mph Economy 45.6mpg (combined) CO2 164g/km Kerb weight 1745kg Engine 5 cyls, 1984cc, turbodiesel Power 212bhp at 4000rpm Torque 325lb ft at 1500-3000rpm Gearbox 6-spd automatic

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Comments
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glennjames80 7 January 2014

I have owned both Mercedes

I have owned both Mercedes and Volvo's and have to say Volvo Interior build quality far surpasses the plastic rubbish you find inside mercedes nowadays, in fact it far surpasses BMW and Audi also and while we are here we will also chuck land rover and lexus into the mix, if you get into an equivelent german brand you will instantly notice the difference. Why do you say it doesnt come into a bulls roar against an E-class, in what way?? It has a better badge on the front ?? Residual figures are fudged by mercedes as they do there own finance a residuals hence the reson the are holding the value better The engines are slightly better with mercedes I will say that, but when i say better im certainly not talking about emissions or fuel economy the new 2.0 D4 is incredible, 99g c02 free to tax and 181hp and the performance is incredible and yes it is by far class leading and mercedes or bmw as yet dont have an answer, but like was previously said its rare to even get a comment about it, Now geely have taken the healm at volvo they are looking to do big things and have already produced a 508hp s60 that leaves the c63, rs6 and m5 standing in its wake....Volvo will be looking to do some big things in 2014/2015 so watch this space......
NY_69 24 December 2013

Facelift?

Throwing some after-market style LED lights onto the front of a car isn't really enough to cut it against Audi, BMW, Mercedes- Shame because I like Volvo, hopefully they will get the funding they need shortly.
Citytiger 22 December 2013

Matt Burt

A few points.

1. You state the car as tested above was £44k, can you please also state the price of the equivalent spec 5 series or E - Class.

2. You have tested this spec car which is virtually top of the range, and not exactly a big seller, why not test a mid range version.

3. You complain about the ride around town, please remember this was on standard suspension, when was the last time you tested an equivalent 5 series on standard suspension to compare it, and when was the last time you tested any Volvo with a 4C chassis (adjustable dampers) to compare it?

4. This engine and gearbox combination has been tested on numerous occasions, if you are going to the effort of carrying out a road test for this mild update, you didnt you also go to the trouble of testing the all new D4 engine and 8 speed auto gearbox at the same time, a comprehensive road test of that engine and gearbox appears to be lacking.

Thanks..

Sam_notts 23 December 2013

Couldn't agree more! All

Couldn't agree more! All magazines are holding off testing or comparing the new D4 engine. Why? Because it wipes the floor clean with every competitor! This is just the start. I've never seen an editor add to what he perceives as more bad points further down the article. In all fairness I don't think you could compare this to any of it rivals as the safety technology does not exist in most others manufactures. Completely agree though about not testing the Volvo with the 4c chassis, if and when BMW bring 4wd to the 5 series diesel and sure we will be lead to believe its groundbreaking, when Volvo have offered this for years and on nearly all there mainstream cars. Many don't understand where Volvo are coming from, and are always quick to judge, they are a different brand offering different things to different lifestyles. Over the past ten years they could have quite easily ended up like Saab, but manage to offer a full comprehensive range, with new exciting designs and engines from next year, Don't forget Jaguar and Volvo both were brought to there knees by Ford not so long ago, give them a break, while Jaguar waffle on daily about if buts and maybes, 2014/2015 will put Volvo on the map, engines and first cars rolling off there own unique chassis.
Ruperts Trooper 27 December 2013

Sam_notts wrote:Many don't

Sam_notts wrote:

Many don't understand where Volvo are coming from, and are always quick to judge, they are a different brand offering different things to different lifestyles.

Don't forget Jaguar and Volvo both were brought to there knees by Ford not so long ago

If Volvo are misunderstood, whose fault is that ?

Ford kept Jaguar, Land Rover and Volvo alive - they were flat on their backs when Ford stepped in.

John O'Groats 2 January 2014

Reality check

I can't understand your enthusiasm for Volvos - have you ever owned Volvos?

I have and quite frankly a Volvo station wagon doesn't come within a bulls roar of my Mercedes E-Class station wagon.

Citytiger 15 January 2014

John O'Groats wrote:I can't

John O'Groats wrote:

I can't understand your enthusiasm for Volvos - have you ever owned Volvos?

I have and quite frankly a Volvo station wagon doesn't come within a bulls roar of my Mercedes E-Class station wagon.

Yes I have owned Volvos, and currently run an S80, you say a Volvo wagon doesnt come near your E-Class, but then again the E-Class starts at a £10k higher price, and comes with "Artico genuine man made leather seats" (thats plastic or vinyl) for the lovers of premium German quality..

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