Volvo XC70 D5 VOR


Volvo XC70, rear
Volvo XC70, side
Volvo XC70, action
Volvo XC70, front
Volvo XC70, interior

IT is often comforting to know that "worse things happen at sea", and it is similarly good to know that you could do worse than buy the Volvo XC70 Volvo Ocean Racing AWD estate.

If you really have to lug huge wardrobes around the country, pull your caravan out of Dale Farm or need to tow the Cutty Sark to a new mooring, then this car is ideal.

You may, on the other hand, not need to do any of these but instead want a commodious, comfortable and capable carry-all.

The Ocean Racing version of this all-wheel-drive estate admirably fulfils all these roles.

Volvo's XC70 range extends from just under £29,000 to almost £41,400, all with four wheel drive, and powered by a choice of petrol or diesel engines with or without automatic transmission.

When you study the fleet you can see Volvo has really targeted it at those who know what they want in a big estate. And it is big.

The minimum capacity available behind the tailgate is close to 600 litres with compartments under-floor as well and progressively dropping down the offset split rear seats takes it up to 1600 litres.

Not only is it sensibly box shaped inside but Volvo dealers can supply you with a big range of accessories or storage solutions and you can specify load compensating suspension when ordering.

It is first and foremost a workhorse. For this reason, the XC70 does not concede its usefulness to a designer's whim, the desire to make the roofline sweep into the back wheels or the tail to wrap around and leave you with a letter box to use as a back door.

It is not a speedboat, more a longship. Just behind the bow of this car sat a strong five-cylinder engine which was very smooth, pushed out power easily and uniformly, was quiet and never showed sign of straining.

With the optional £1,500 Geartronic automatic transmission it moved seamlessly through the six ratios and was quick off the mark, snappy overtaking and utterly composed cruising along a main road.

While Volvo suggests you will get over 41mpg on a combined cycle, I saw an indicated 36.7mpg overall.

For a car weighing 1,860kg it moves fairly briskly, it turns tightly and it has a good reassuring feel to its road-holding with no real vices evident. The bBrakes slow it quickly and undramatically and it copes very well with all manner of road surfaces, bumps and ridges.

Noise levels rise as the engine is extended and you can hear the suspension working away and tyres rumbling over the road but wind and other mechanical noises are minimal.

The optional load compensating suspension works very well to give the estate a near neutral feel however heavy it is.

Secondary controls are closely arranged to the driver's commanding seating position and all come to hand with big instruments directly infront and clearly visible. Heating and ventilation is straightforward and works well, backed up by powered windows.

Oddments room is plentiful throughout, the access is easy and the seats adjust over a wide range and are well shaped, supporting and comfortable.

Visibility is generally good, we had the winter pack and turning headlights, wipers are big and you can see nearly all the corners although the parking sensors will help as well.

The big Volvo estate wraps you in a feeling of security what-ever the winter throws at you, it handles with ease, grips well and is always comfortable.


Volvo XC70 D5 VOR AWD

Price: £34.465

Mechanical: 215ps, 2,398cc, 5cyl diesel engine driving four wheels via 6-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 127mph  

0-62mph: 7.8 seconds

Combined MPG: 36.7

Insurance Group: 32

C02 emissions: 172g/km

Bik rating: 20%

Warranty: 3yrs/ 60,000 miles


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