What's New for 2001
The Volvo V70 has been redesigned for 2001. Major changes include a new body structure, fresh styling, a revised interior and upgraded feature content. Safety figures prominently with the new V70 (as usual), but it is also more sporting than before, especially in T5 trim.
Ask your neighbor to name a family-oriented wagon with a reputation for safety, and most likely he or she will name Volvo. For 2001, however, Volvo is looking to go beyond that confining image with its redesigned V70 Wagon.
For the new V70, Volvo set out to improve interior space, versatility, comfort and performance. The new V70 shares its platform with the S80, Volvo's top-of-the-line sedan. As a result, the new V70 is slightly shorter than the 2000 model, but it has a longer wheelbase, wider front and rear tracks, and about 2 more inches of width and height. The change in dimensions gives passengers plenty of interior space, and four adults will have no problem getting comfortable. Fold the rear seats down, and there is 71.4 cubic feet of cargo space at your disposal.
The new V70 has plenty to offer in terms of performance. The base 2.4T and all-wheel-drive Cross Country models comes with a 197-horsepower, 2.4-liter, turbocharged five-cylinder engine. The up-level T5 also has a turbocharged five-cylinder engine, but output on this model reaches 247 horsepower and 243 foot-pounds of torque.
Both V70s have a MacPherson-strut front suspension and multi-link rear suspension to give the wagon a level of performance and confidence not normally associated with, well, a wagon. On the twisty roads, the V70 feels planted and predictable on fast sweepers and quick transitions. Steering feel is on the heavy side with no discernible on-center dead spot and a quick ratio that makes navigating tight switchbacks a pleasure.
The V70 boasts a long list of safety and convenience features perfect for hauling the brood and associated gear. The front seats offer the kind of comfort and support we've come to expect from Swedish automobiles, while also providing Volvo's anti-whiplash protection technology. All five seating positions have three-point inertia-reel safety belts. Additional safety features include dual-stage front airbags, front side airbags, front-and-rear head airbags, and child-seat ISOFIX attachment points.
Highlights from the optional equipment list include stability control, a third-row seat, a foldable rear table, heated seats, a shopping-bag holder for the cargo area, 17-inch alloy wheels, Dolby surround sound and a GPS navigation system. The navigation system's screen is normally hidden inside the dashboard, and rises upwards when a button on the back of the steering wheel is pushed. This feature makes it easier to look at the screen without taking your eyes off the road.
The new V70 is an impressive vehicle, and it offers an excellent combination of utility, performance and safety. The Cross Country, in particular, would make an excellent vehicle for cold climates. V70 pricing starts in the low 30s, which should help Volvo maintains its lead in the luxury wagon segment. A fully loaded T5 or Cross Country can get expensive, however, so it's best to limit the optional equipment if you are on a budget.