The Volvo V70 R-DESIGN variant that we road tested features a Lowered Sports Chassis (lowered 20mm at the front and 15mm at the rear) which lowers the centre of gravity and it also benefits from a stiffer suspension set up.
When we recently tested the Volvo XC70 we found it a little floaty on the road, the V70 is much better, but unfortunately it doesn't have the poise of its German rivals such as the BMW 5 Series Touring but it does offer a cosseting ride and always felt well balanced.
The speed sensitive power steering is too light to reward spirited driving, offering too little feedback but it is certainly a big improvement over older models and we are sure that no one but the most enthusiastic of drivers would really complain.
Overall the Volvo V70 is not so much about high speed dynamics it is more about the subtle ride quality, which is rather good and the overall driving enjoyment and comfort.Ease of Use
Getting in and out the Volvo V70 is an easy affair for all passengers, although the rear doors do not open that wide.
The driver's seating position is excellent and so are the seats which feel very natural with little compromise and even after spending a long time behind the wheel, we felt quite refreshed.
Not only are the front seat occupants well cared for, rear leg room has increased by 48mm over the outgoing Volvo V70 model, the rear knee clearance has increased by 21mm and front shoulder-room by 30mm. The longer cabin also means that the distance between the front and rear seat occupants is extended by 21mm.
If you are looking to buy a Volvo V70, you are probably going to be interested in its luggage holding capacity and with the rear seats up the rear cargo area can accommodate 575 litres of luggage, put the seats down and this increases to 815 litres or 1600 litres when filled to the roof line.
The rear seats split on a 40:20:40 basis rather than the normal 60:40 split which means that two adults or two children in their child seats can sit in the outer two seats whilst carrying a long load in the middle of the car. The rear seats fold completely flat and the back rest of the passenger seat can be folded forward to increase the load area. Aluminium rails are fitted to the boot floor with adjustable anchorage points which makes it easy to secure your luggage. Under the boot floor there is a 46 litre lockable storage area which is ideal to keep valuable goods out of sight and secure.
Boot access is better than on the outgoing Volvo V70. This is partly because the upright tail-lights have moved from the rear pillars to the tailgate increasing the opening. There is an option for a powered tailgate.
Although 113mm longer than the outgoing model we did not find the Volvo V70 at all difficult to park but strangely the rear parking sensors are a £350 option and front sensors are not offered. The parking brake is electronic and automatically disengages when it is safe to do so, but it did feel a little bit hit and miss and would not always disengage without interaction.
This is a 12-year+ news article, from our Volvo archive, which dates back to the year 2000.
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