From November 2007 issue

List price when tested: £28,345
Kerbweight: 1778kg
85% match: 1511kg
Max towing weight: 1800kg
Towball limit: 75kg

THINK ESTATE, and you think the Volvo. They know a thing or two about making great load-haulers, those Swedes.

The V70 shows a lot of clever thinking. There’s lots of luggage space seats up (575 litres) or down (1600 litres), with no intrusion from the suspension. There’s no lip to lift items over, and when the rear seats are folded away there’s a long, flat load space.

The previous generation V70 was great at carrying luggage but not so good for people, with limited legroom in the rear, but the 2007 model is much better. There’s enough room for adults to get comfortable in the back and those in the front have plenty of space, too.

Able towcar

Hitch up a caravan, and the Volvo proves an able towcar. The 2.4D isn’t as strong as the D5 engine fitted to more expensive V70s, but still pulled an Abbey Expression 550 (MTPLM: 1500kg) from 30-60mph in 14.2 seconds. Through the lane-change test the V70 was stable, although the steering was rather numb and didn’t give the driver a clear idea of what was going on with the front tyres.

It’s a shame the engine isn’t quieter when accelerating, but otherwise the Volvo is hushed at speed and makes a fine long distance car. Although it’s a big estate, the V70 isn’t so large that it feels unwieldy around town and all-round visibility is good.

The V70 isn’t cheap by any means, but undercuts similar rivals from the likes of Audi and BMW. Good resale values help make the Volvo a sensible long-term buy.

We say
Towing: 4/5
Solo: 4/5
Practicality: 5/5
Buying & owning: 4/5

Verdict: 4/5. A very good towcar and a practical estate, but the engine is noisy.

Find out more about this car at

Braking 30-0mph: 10.9m