Practical yet stylish
The Volvo V70 was a premium midsize wagon based on the S60 sedan platform, with front sheet metal and interiors virtually identical. The second generation V70 was built in Sweden during Ford’s ownership of the company and was sold in North America from 2001-07. These V70s differed from the earlier versions with smoother, more rounded exterior lines. Power was derived from a series of inline five-cylinder engines, mounted transversely. The V70 was marketed in both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive. The SUV-styled Cross Country XC70, with raised suspension, was designated as a separate model starting in 2004. A high performance V70 R was sold from 2004-07 with a 300 hp turbocharged 2.5L engine and AWD.
THE GOOD STUFF
These roomy wagons were well equipped - with features such as power driver’s seat, automatic climate control and alloy wheels - and as the years went by added even more standard amenities, such as Volvo’s anti-skid system. Luxury options included a navigation system, leather upholstery and bi-xenon headlamps with wipers and washers. Naturally, being a Volvo, safety was paramount. Adaptive cruise control with collision warning, plus a blind spot warning system were available along with standard safety features such as front, side and side curtain airbags, active head restraints, traction control and anti-lock brakes. In crash tests by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the V70 scored five stars in both frontal and side impact collisions.
Practical yet stylish, this seems to be a reliable model, although suspension and electrical problems plagued 2001-04 models. After that, Volvo seems to have sorted things out. Consumer Reports rated 2005-07 V70 reliability as much better than average and, when new, the magazine made the car one of its “recommended” choices. The normally aspirated 2.4 has barely enough horsepower and torque for a 1,645 kg wagon, and minimal towing capacity. The turbocharged 2.5 isn’t all that quick, with the ability to sprint from 0-100 km/h in 9.0 seconds, and is thirsty when powering an AWD drivetrain.
Much more common in Europe than in Canada, the V70 wagon has the carrying capacity of an SUV and the handling characteristics of a car. With AWD they are excellent winter vehicles. A rear-facing third seat was a dealer-installed extra and increased passenger space from five to seven. Priced from $35,000-$45,000 when new, they have held their value reasonably well. The V70 was completely redesigned for model year 2008.
PRICES AT A GLANCE
Note:These are asking prices, not selling prices, in a cross-Canada survey using Autonet.ca and other sources.
Year Approximate price range
2001 $5,499 - $7,995
2002 $5,888 - $8,995
2003 $6,895 - $9,500
2004 $8,475 - $13,995
2005 $8,900 - $16,899
2006 $9,480 - $18,495
2007 $13,900 - $23,980
Engine:2.4L I5 (168 hp); 2.5L turbocharged I5 (208 hp); 2.5L turbocharged I5 (300 hp)
Transmissions:5-speed manual; 6-speed manual; 5-speed automatic; 6-speed automatic
Layout:front engine/FWD or AWD