General

10 reasons why the Volvo V70 has always been one of the best family trucks

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Volvo has always been one of the go-to brands for those looking for a spacious car. One of the first and most iconic was the P220 Amazon, which really helped Volvo expand into the US market. In subsequent years, the brand refined its offerings, with models such as the 200 Series, 700 Series and 900 Series continuing to gain market share.


The first generation Volvo V70 was released in 1996, and for three generations the car has proven its superiority in the wagon segment. Production finally stopped in 2016 and the car was essentially replaced by the Volvo V90. The V70 was a firm favorite with family buyers, here are 10 reasons for its popularity.

10 Industry-leading comfort

The V70 is one of the best models in the comfort wagon category. Owners can easily cover great distances on the highway and then go out relatively refreshed. The plush suspension plays a big part in this, as does the overall refinement, minimizing wind and road noise.

Volvo is known for producing some of the best seats in the industry. Those in the V70 are truly sublime, hugging the occupant and providing support in all the right places. In certain trim levels, many of the adjustment settings are all-electric and heated seats are very welcome in colder climates.

Related: These Are The Best Features Of The 1998 Volvo V70 R

9 Integrated child seats

Booster seats for children are an essential part. They raise the child’s seating position and ensure that the seat belt can secure the child properly. If they are allowed to sit in the regular seat, the belt will probably grip the vulnerable parts of the body, such as the neck and abdomen, tightly.

Using the booster, forces can be transferred to stronger parts of the body, such as the pelvis and chest. In general, parents are forced to carry bulky, space-consuming third-party versions. However, Volvo took the proactive step of integrating a booster directly into the rear seat. The first model with this innovative feature was the 960, and then Volvo fitted it to later models, including the V70.

8 Safety has priority

Safety is paramount in any family vehicle, and as you would expect from Volvo, the V70 was one of the best on the market, across generations. Many acronyms are associated with Volvo’s safety features. For example, SIPS stands for Side Impact Protection System and includes a range of airbags and structural reinforcement of the car’s doors. Protecting the occupants’ heads in a violent collision is an airbag system known as IC, or inflatable curtainextending down the sides of the headliner.

WHIPS or Whiplash Protection System refers to the specially designed head and backrests of the front seats. In a rear-end collision, the backrests of the seats are lowered backwards to prevent a whiplash. Some third-generation cars were even equipped with a technologically advanced laser scanner, which was mounted on top of the windshield. Known as ‘City Safety’, the system scans the road aheadand would brake automatically if a collision is imminent.

Related: Volvo’s three-point seat belt and other safety innovations

7 Spacious cargo area

Volvo wagons have long been known for their huge cargo spaces and their cargo-carrying capabilities. The V70 was one of the best models in the range for this purpose, making it a favorite with families, dog owners and antique dealers. It was handy that a central distributor was availableso owners can transport two dogs separately, or just keep a clean space for their luggage.

The various iterations of the car continued to offer a large cargo area. The 2nd generation car could swallow 37.4 cubic feet with the back seats upright, or a massive 71.4 cubic feet with folded.

6 Built to enable outdoor activities

The V70 is a great option for outdoor enthusiasts. Built-in roof rails allow owners to easily connect gear racks, making carrying bulky items such as bikes, kayaks and skis a breeze.

The flexible folding seats allow surprisingly large work tools to be transported in the cab. The third-generation rear seats can be folded in a 40-20-40 configuration, balancing payload and passenger capacity.

Related: 10 Times Volvo Didn’t Just Focus on Safety and Actually Made Fun Cars

5 Versatile engine range

Volvo offers a good selection of engines with the V70. Models of the second generation (2000-2007) were usually composed of 5-cylinders, with the 2.4-liter gasoline being the most mounted. A 2.0-litre turbo engine was also available, as well as a 2.5-litre turbocharger, featured in the V70 R. In Europe, diesel was a popular option, with the 2.4-litre D5 often being chosen.

Third generation US spec cars were available with a 3.2-litre 6-cylinder unit. In contrast, cars with European specifications generally saw a smaller engine power and were available with engines ranging from a 1.6 diesel to the same 3.2 liter unit.

4 Reliability

Reliability is essential in a family transporter to meet the demands of family life. From dropping the kids off at school to vacations and medical appointments, an unreliable vehicle is no good for anyone.

Fortunately, the V70 is well made and, if the maintenance schedules are observed, should be able to run many kilometers without a hitch. Volvo is a brand known for producing cars that can comfortably survive several hundred thousand miles. Volvo North America even started a “High Mileage Club” to celebrate, with a number of accolades, including a Gold Class awarded to cars that cover a whopping 500,000 miles.

3 Offroad version available

For those who like to get off the beaten track, Volvo has developed a robust, jacked-up version of the V70. Known as the XC70, where the XC stands for ‘Cross Country’, the car is an SUV in wagon clothing.

On the outside, the XC70 has a rougher look, with rugged bumpers and the addition of silver skid plates. The raised ride height makes for an exceptionally comfortable ride, with the extra suspension travel soaking up lumps and bumps. A Haldex four-wheel drive means the car is quite capable in tricky conditions such as snow, ice, mud and sand.

Related: These Off-Road Cars Will Make You Think About Buying That SUV

2 Sporty variants appeal to driving enthusiastic parents

The usability of the V70 doesn’t have to rule out performance. For drivers who are a gear stick at heart, but now need a family car, sporty variants such as the V70 R are just the ticket.

The first generation Volvo V70 R was produced between 1996 and 2000. Powered by a 2.4 liter inline-5 engine producing 269 hp. The 20-valve engine enabled a 0-60 mph time of 7.4 seconds and a top speed of 152 mph. Later versions were even faster and more powerful.

1 Very well equipped

The V70 is well equipped in all trim levels, with almost all the relevant technology and comfort options you could wish for. To assist the driver, a series of sensors were built into the car. From rain-sensing wipers to automatic lighting and an automatically dimming rear-view mirror, the car reacts to its surroundings.

To keep kids entertained in the back, optional extras like the “Rear Seat Entertainment” dual screen are a great addition. As for audio, even the factory-fitted “Performance” audio system delivers great sound, while the upgraded “Premium” stereo kicks it up a notch.