Prince of Volvos
Looking at the previous V70 generation, you automatically conjured up images in the back of your mind of respectable fathers, child seats and dog bars. The brand new V70 is a true demonstration of the finest in Scandinavian design. Simultaneously, the car radiates beauty, common sense and resoluteness. Although the V70 has expanded in all directions, the car does seem to be more compact than previously.
Even the interior is immediately recognizable for its Swedishness. A tight modern dashboard is given a hint of warmth with the additional strips of real wood. However, even in this top model from the Volvo stable, there is no traditional high-gloss walnut wood instead more correctly a raw oak has been chosen.
The driver and their passenger have the feeling that they are enthroned upon this most royal of Volvos. The front seats are large and perfectly formed; the Swedes produce some of the finest car seats on the market. Moreover, the V70 offers abundant head and leg space in the front.
At the heart of the interior is the floating central console. The most important control elements are located here. As you'd expect of a car which has labelled itself as the ultimate estate, every conceivable luxury is to be found on board. Of particular interest to the audiophile is the sound system. The collaboration between the specialists at Alpine and DynAudio has produced a sound that is of an exceptionally good quality. On the downside, the renewed navigation system still lags behind that of its competitors.
As you'd expect from Volvo, attention is not only given to the luxuriousness of the car but also to its safety. With a warning light, the BLIS (BLind spot Information System), makes you aware of any other cars entering into the blind spot of your side mirrors. Collision Warning monitors the distance between the V70 and the car in front. When a difference in speed between the two cars is sufficiently large that an accident seems imminent, a warning signal is given as the brakes are prepped.
The rear seat is equipped with incorporated child seats for little princes and princesses from the age of three. These little seats appear and then disappear again just like magic into the main seats. In reality, they are actually very usable. No more risks need be taken, even on the shortest of journeys. Moreover, the air bags in the rear have been extended further down protecting small children to the optimum.
It is not only safety where Volvo distinguishes themselves. The company has a long tradition of building estates; the first versions date from 1953. All these years of experience has been brought together in the V70. The boot opens and closes electrically, as well as with the remote control. The floor of the luggage space is on rails, making loading and unloading easier.
Increasing the size of the luggage space is childishly easy. By loosening a clip, the head rest flips forward and then the back rest folds forward. The base of the seat along the the rear stays in place. A huge luggage space with perfectly flat loading floor has been created. With all the necessary nets, hooks, leads and other wonderful things, the space is flexibly dividable. Which is how it should!
Technically, the V70 is an extra large version of the S80. However, it is only the base which is the same, with the suspension adjusted accordingly to carry the extra weight that this estate is capable of transporting.
With a push of a button, the road handling can be transformed from comfortable to sporty. With its considerable size and modern suspension, the car is very stable on the road. Moreover, the tested car had four-wheel drive, which makes it exceedingly controllable even in extreme circumstances.
It is only when the car brakes, that it is noticeable how large and heavy the V70 actually is. The car reacts hesitantly to brake action, which makes for an uncertain sensation. When the brake pedal is used forcefully, the V70 has more than sufficient brake capacity.
The T6 engine is completely new. The 6 stands for the six cylinder and the T indicating that these six cylinders are assisted by a turbo. Previously, Volvo distinguished between a high and low pressure turbo, but with the new Twin Scroll technology this new engine offers more capacity irrespective of the rpm than an ordinary six cylinder. The new engine can produce 285 hp and 400 Nm pulling power.
A little tap on the accelerator is sufficient to move away smoothly in the city. Comfort is foremost and consequently it sometimes feels as if the car is crawling along. 80 km/hr is a pleasant strolling speed, with still more than sufficient reserves to give its passengers a little shove into their seats when a slight increase of speed is applied. This performance does have a price. A sporty driving style costs as much as 18.5 litres per 100 km. In reality, a calmer driving style allow the consumption to fall to 11.9 litres per 100 km.
Every moment of every ride, the V70 T6 highlights that sensation of driving the king of all estates. Everything is so easy that the driver automatically has an enormous sense of superiority.
It was high time for the heir to the throne to become apparent, as the years were starting to show on the previous V70. The wait has been well rewarded: on all points, the new V70 is a massive improvement.
Moreover, this newcomer knows how to distinguish itself from its competitors. A great place to begin is of course with its typical Scandinavian design. The V70 is equipped with all the luxurious and modern technology which is available at the moment. The audio system, the seats, the security provisions and the flexible loading space all deserve a special mention. Road handling is excellent. It is notably the new T6 engine which makes the V70 an absolutely royal ride for Volvo.