Volvo V70 D5 SE Lux

Volvo V70, front
Volvo V70, rear
Volvo V70, side
Volvo V70, interior

SOMEWHERE it doesn't matter what Mother Nature throws in your path if you are behind the wheel of a larger-than-life Volvo.

And the ever-popular V70 - the daddy of the estate car family - is a perfect example of that theory.

For despite driving in winds topping 80mph, the Volvo held its ground and not once did it get blown off course.

With its sturdy build quality and smart design touches such as tinted windows, snazzy alloys and a sunroof, the V70 looks the business from any angle.

Okay, so it's not going to be the envy of the fashion brigade, but make no mistake this Volvo loves to be driven and offers all the creature comforts you could wish for.

The leather cream interior helps to create a light and spacious interior and the clearly marked controls are neatly housed in a smart central stack which makes them perfect for driver usability.

On board features include a great sound system with iPod compatibility, dual-zone climate control, heated seats, a digital TV, Bluetooth connectivity and plenty more besides.

Comfort levels are exceptionally good and there is ample room for five adults to travel in style with generous amounts of leg, head and elbow space. And with the massive boot - which can be raised and lowered at the press of a button - there will never be any luggage restrictions.

This model was powered by a 2.4-litre, diesel-driven engine with a six-speed automatic gearbox and I have to admit it was an absolute pleasure to drive.

There was ample power and acceleration when required and the ride was very smooth with minimal cabin noise. Out on the faster roads, the V70 was flawless with excellent road-holding even in very wet conditions.

And in and around town, it cruised effortlessly through the busy traffic with unobstructed all-round visibility proving another plus-factor.

Admittedly, a three-point-turn may end up being a five-point-turn in the V70, but that aside it proved pretty nimble for its size and parking sensors are an additional bonus when squeezing into tight gaps.

As well as all the more instantly recognisable safety specifications, the V70 is fitted with a number of accident prevention features such as a blind spot warning system and a lane departure warning feature that sounds an audible alert if you start drifting across the carriageway.

It's fair to say the V70 is not cheap and it's not exactly the flashiest motor you'll lay your eyes on, but come the dark winter months with unpredictable icy conditions I know what I want to be driving.

FAST FACTS

Volvo V70 D5 SE Lux

Price:£34,500

Mechanical:205ps, 2,400cc, 5cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 6-speed automatic gearbox

Max Speed:137mph

0-62mph:8.2 seconds

Combined MPG:44.1

Insurance Group:35

C02 emissions:169g/km

Bik rating:26%

Warranty:60,000 miles

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