This much fun ought to be illegal. The V70R is the perfect stealth wagon. Who would expect 0-60 in the mid-5s from a station wagon? With the available aftermarket items (exhaust, sway bars, and engine computer kits), getting 350+ HP is very do-able from only 2.5 liters. The 6-speed manual and brembo brakes make this a pleasure to drive. With 04 and 05 models coming within pricing reach, now is the time to think swede.
I purchased the automatic version of this vehicle because I am a high mileage driver (50,000 miles per year- road miles). This vehicle is a little slugish and I have discussed this with my dealer. I was expecting a faster automobile off the line and currently I am considering an after market EUC upgrade. I owned a 2001 V70 T-5 that was quicker. Mechanically, Volvo parts don't last many miles (bushings, shocks, engine mounts, etc). My T-5 had one of everything replaced in 205,000 miles, except the engine and the trans needed replacing when I traded it in. I truly hope the V-70R holds up better over time.
After trading in my 1998 V70 T5 with 140,000 miles on the odometer, I bought a 2005 V70R. Performance and handling are simply phenomenal, allowing you to drive at speeds and under conditions normally reserved for high-end sportscars. Build quality is excellent and all controls, switches and gauges are logical and functional.
This is my second V70. The first was a V70XC (Cross Country). The V70R, also an AWD vehicle, offers the best of all worlds. First it handles better than a car with its adjustable, computer- controlled chassis. It gets great gas mileage -- imagine a 5-cylinder engine (cheap to drive) that will crank out 300 horses when you want to have fun. Finally imagine the traction and versatility of an SUV in a luxury car that is loaded with safety features. As long as Volvo remains Volvo and doesn't morph into a Ford Country Squire, I'll be behind the wheel of a V70 indefinitely. Did I mention 300hp on an AWD wagon?
After starting out looking at Volvo V70 Cross Country models and deciding they're dogs - real soccer mom cars - I went through a number of SUVs up to and including a 4Dr Ford F150 P/U. Then gas hit $2.50 and someone reccomended I check out a V70R. I didn't even know they existed. Once I checked them on line goodbye to V6s & V8s... Fortunately my dealer had a used S60R to test drive so I got a taste - and began the process of getting a V70R. Build quality seems terrific. Performace with the 6 speed is excellent. Gas mileage is 23+ at the speeds the car performs best. 'And talk about stealth. I even passed a state trooper and he never noticed. After all it's a Volvo wagon right? Cool!