The Auto Trader expert verdict:
The Volvo XC70 is one of the most practical large estate cars on the market. It’s also built to a high standard, supremely comfortable and extremely safe.
Reasons to buy:
- Very safe
- Incredibly comfortable
- Extremely practical
How good does it look?
If you like the idea of a 4×4 but you don’t like the image attached, the Volvo XC70 provides the perfect solution. This chunky estate has most of the macho looks of a fully-fledged 4×4 but in a package that sits closer to the ground. The black plastic mouldings that run round the car suggest ruggedness without shouting about it, while the raised ride height (compared with the more conventional Volvo V70) also adds a sense of purpose.
What's the interior like?
The XC70 has one of the most spacious cabins around, offering plenty of room for five in terms of head room as well as leg room. The seats are also among the very best available anywhere – you can cross continents and still get out feeling fresh. It helps that the driver’s seat is multi-adjustable and the steering wheel adjusts for reach and height, so finding the perfect seating position is simplicity itself. The design doesn’t offer much in the way of flair, but everything is clearly laid out, so it’s very easy to use.
How practical is it?
If you want practicality, you’ve got it in spades with the XC70. It’s one of the most spacious estate cars around, with a massive 1,600-litre load bay. Even with the rear seats in place you’ve got 815 litres at your disposal – even the king-sized Mercedes E-Class can only manage 695 litres. Even better, the space is easily accessed as the loading lip isn’t too high. Tipping the seats forward is simplicity itself and as the seat backs fold flat, the load bay can swallow just about anything you throw at it.
What's it like to drive?
The XC70’s long wheelbase and generous kerb weight ensures the ride is cosseting on all but the most broken of surfaces, though at lower speeds the ride is more fidgety. The higher the trim level you buy, the bigger the wheels and the lower profile the tyres. The result is ever less ride comfort the further up the scale you go. The handling is fine but nothing special. The steering is a bit vague and the car’s huge mass means body control will never be on a par with a smaller estate.
How powerful is it?
There’s a choice of diesel engines plus a single petrol model. The latter is a 300bhp 3-litre turbocharged six-cylinder unit called the T6, which gives terrific acceleration to 62mph in just 6.9 seconds and a top speed of 130mph. The entry-level D3 161bhp 2-litre diesel can do 127mph, although 0-62mph takes 9.6 seconds. The pick of the bunch is the 202bhp 2.4-litre D5 diesel, which tops out at 134mph and does 0-62mph in 9.7 seconds. The D5 has 310lb/ft pulling power and is incredibly relaxing to drive especially when hooked up to Volvo’s Geartronic six-speed automatic gearbox.
How much will it cost me?
The XC70 D3 emits just 154g/km and can manage 47.9mpg. Choose an automatic gearbox though and fuel consumption plummets to 41.5mpg with CO2 emissions rise to 179g/km. That’s not much better than the much swifter XC70 D5, with its 182g/km and 40.9mpg, although even this is far superior to the T6. That model returns 26.7mpg and emits 248g/km, so it’s no wonder it sheds its value astonishingly quickly.
How reliable is it?
As a premium brand, Volvo has an excellent reputation for producing reliable cars. The XC70 has been subject to a number of recalls, though in most cases only a few cars were affected.
How safe is it?
The XC70 hasn’t been crash tested by Euro NCAP, but the V70 it’s based on has and achieved a five-star rating. It comes with electronic stability programme (ESP), traction control, anti-lock brakes (ABS), anti-whiplash head restraints and airbags galore for everyone. There’s also a Driver Support pack available, which adds blind spot information system (BLIS), adaptive cruise control with distance alert and collision warning with auto brake and lane departure warning along with driver alert control. The 2-litre cars are front-wheel drive while the T6 and 2.4D editions feature four-wheel drive.
How much equipment do I get?
You can choose your XC70 in one of three forms: ES, SE or SE Lux. Even the entry-level car is well-specified as it features cruise control, a very good stereo, climate control, 16-inch alloy wheels plus electrically adjustable and heated mirrors. SE adds leather trim, upgraded stereo, auto wipers, 17-inch alloys, power-assisted tailgate, Bluetooth and rear parking sensors. Go the whole hog to SE Lux and Volvo throws in sat-nav, electrically adjustable driver’s seat, 18-inch alloys and powered folding rear head rests. Option packs are available too, such as a winter pack, family pack and security pack, the latter coming with keyless go and laminated windows.
One of the safest cars on the road, the XC70 is also supremely comfortable and amazingly spacious. It’s stylish and well-equipped too.