What's New for 2007
All 2007 Volvo V70 wagons come with stability control, a tire-pressure monitoring system and revised outside mirrors with integrated turn signals. Inside, all models have aluminum accents. The optional rear-facing third-row seat is no longer available, but a dual-screen rear entertainment system is now an option on 2.4 and 2.5T models. Other new 2.5T extras include adaptive bi-xenon headlights and chrome wheels.
Parents shopping for the quintessential Volvo station wagon will almost certainly find themselves looking at the Volvo V70. Midsize in dimensions, the V70 offers more shoulder room and cargo capacity than the compact V50. Although its exterior styling is curvy and modern, the 2007 Volvo V70 has all the virtues of Volvos past: It's highly functional for family use, loaded with safety features, and a top performer in crash tests.
Volvo's medium-size wagon has received few changes since the 2001 introduction of the current generation. Generally speaking, it has aged well. The V70's interior furnishings have never been overly luxurious for a $30,000-$40,000 wagon, but ergonomics are solid and seat comfort is superb up front. Acceleration is sluggish on the base 2.4 model, but the 2.5T model provides adequate power, a compliant ride and competent handling. The high-performance V70 R model joined the lineup for 2004, and with its 300-horsepower turbocharged engine and sport-tuned adaptive suspension, it has a decidedly sporting driving demeanor.
Our main reservations about recommending the 2007 Volvo V70 have to do with its lack of legroom in the backseat and the tepid performance of 2.4 and 2.5T models. Slightly less expensive competitors such as the Subaru Legacy/Outback and Volkswagen Passat wagons offer more space in back and more powerful engines. Additionally, they're just as upscale as the V70, which needs to be equipped with a few option packages before it feels like a true luxury wagon. The V70's closest premium-brand foe is the Saab 9-5 wagon, which has a slightly larger backseat but fewer drivetrain choices and less impressive cabin materials. Would-be Volvo buyers would be wise to try all of these competitors before making a decision. With its higher performance envelope, the V70 R stands apart from the rest of the V70 family, offering solid value for driving enthusiast parents put off by the high asking prices for German-brand sport wagons.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
A midsize station wagon, the 2007 Volvo V70 comes in three trim levels -- 2.4, 2.5T and R. The 2.4 comes with 16-inch alloy wheels, heated outside mirrors, dual-zone manual climate control, a CD player and a tilt/telescoping leather-wrapped steering wheel. Move up to the V70 2.5T and you get a power driver seat with memory and automatic climate control. The high-performance V70 R comes with 17-inch wheels with performance tires, a sport-tuned adaptive suspension, Brembo brakes, bi-xenon HID headlights, leather sport seats (with power adjustments for the front passenger), a three-spoke steering wheel, unique silver-faced gauges and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.
Options include leather seating, an excellent 325-watt Dolby ProLogic II sound system with an in-dash CD changer, a navigation system, satellite radio, heated seats, rain-sensing wipers, a sunroof, real wood accents and an interior air quality system. A rear-seat DVD entertainment system with dual rear screens is available on 2.4 and 2.5T models. Premium natural-finish leather upholstery is an exclusive option on the V70 R.
Powertrains and Performance
The V70 2.4 comes with a 2.4-liter, inline five-cylinder engine that produces 165 hp. The 2.5T model has a turbocharged 2.5-liter inline-5 capable of 208 hp. The 2.4 can be equipped with either a five-speed manual or a five-speed automatic transmission, while the 2.5T is available only with the automatic. Automanual functionality is included on the 2.5T. Both models are front-wheel-drive.
The all-wheel-drive V70 R uses a higher-boost version of the 2.5-liter engine capable of an impressive 300 hp. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, and a six-speed automatic is optional. Equipped with the manual gearbox, the V70 R wagon takes just 5.6 seconds to reach 60 mph, according to Volvo. With the automatic, it takes a second longer.
Every V70 comes with antilock disc brakes; traction and stability control; a tire-pressure monitor; front-seat side airbags, full-length side-curtain airbags; whiplash-reducing front head restraints; and Volvo's OnCall telematics. Built-in child booster seats and power rear-door safety locks are optional on all models, while the V70 R alone is eligible for rear parking sensors. In government crash tests, the 2007 Volvo V70 earned a perfect five stars for frontal- and side-impact protection. In IIHS crash testing, the V70's sibling, the S60 sedan, earned the top rating of "Good" for frontal-offset crash safety and an "Acceptable" rating (second-best) for side-impact safety; you can expect similar crashworthiness from Volvo's midsize wagon.
Interior Design and Special Features
Although a fully optioned V70 R can feel quite luxurious, most V70s have a somewhat utilitarian cabin ambience. The controls are nicely weighted and well organized, though the pictograms depicting the various functions can be difficult to understand at first. The V70 offers wonderfully comfortable accommodations for front passengers, but legroom is pretty tight for rear passengers. Fold the rear seats down and there are 71.4 cubic feet of cargo space at your disposal. As an added bonus, the Volvo's front passenger seat folds flat to aid in carrying long items.
Most buyers will find the base 2.4 model underpowered, so stepping up to the V70 2.5T is generally a wise choice. Acceleration is adequate on this V70, but wagons like the Legacy/Outback and Passat offer more performance per dollar. For those who can afford it, the V70 R provides brisk acceleration and is an offbeat alternative to pricier German-brand sport wagons. Ride quality is generally smooth on any of the V70s, though the ride can be harsh over rough pavement. Handling ranges from modest on the 2.4 and 2.5T to sporty on the V70 R, which has driver-adjustable settings for its adaptive suspension. Braking is a strong point for all V70s.