- The Washington Times - Friday, September 5, 2008

The Volvo V70 is not an ordinary station wagon. It’s an upscale state-of-the-art family wagon, offering the latest in luxuries, refinement and safety.

As soon as I slid into the front seat of Volvo’s five-passenger wagon it was obvious I could transport my family safely — and in luxury. The V70 has loads of comforts and conveniences that seamlessly complement each other and work to make the driver’s job effortless: front windows have power up-and-down controls; the seats are easy to adjust with eight-way controls; there’s a tilt/telescoping steering column with leather wrapping on both the steering wheel and the shifter of the six-speed automatic transmission; memory seats have lumbar support and everywhere I looked there seemed to be a personal storage compartment.

All-new for 2008 and in its third generation, the V70 is powered by a 24-valve dual overhead cam 3.2-liter inline six-cylinder engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. The power plant delivers 235 horsepower and 236 lb.-ft. of torque. Running on regular 87-octane fuel the EPA on the 3,527-pound wagon is 16 miles per gallon city and 24 mpg highway. The base price on the tester was $32,465 - a few options brought the total to $34,410. By the way, the wagon has a towing capability of 3,300 pounds.

The V70 is well equipped with Volvo safety devices. It has Dynamic Stability Control, inflatable side curtain airbags; rear impact protection, rollover protection and the doors are constructed with ultra high-strength steel to resist crash impact intrusion. In a frontal collision, the V70 has deformation zones, using various types of steel to protect the occupants. Even the transmission has its own predetermined positions to keep components outside the cabin. It also has a steel strut under the dash panel to prevent engine parts from intruding into the cabin.

The profile along the wagon has a “climbing waistline” that contributes to a dynamic stance. The rear glass now extends further down the tailgate for better visibility. As a wagon, the V70 has an inherently versatile interior. When there was need for me to transport unusually shaped objects, the center backrest on the rear seats folded down and the backrest on the front passenger seat also folded forward to accommodate long objects. The V70 has bag holders in the spacious rear compartment.

The steering wheel contains simple buttons that are easy to see and use for the cruise control and audio system. Not only that, but the rear seats adjust to two heights, making it more comfortable for little kids with an integrated booster seat. That’s just some of the obvious thoughtful features, but there are other upscale conveniences that cannot be seen. For example, the V70 will temporarily close vents to shut out the exhaust fumes and other unpleasant odors from entering the cabin.

At night the rearview mirror with compass automatically dimmed. The sideview mirrors featured puddle lamps and the when I walked toward the wagon at night to get in, there were entry lights on the front doors to show me where I was stepping.

The intelligent driver-information system constantly stored data about my driving habits. It recorded this information on one of the onboard systems.

Get the picture? The Volvo V70 isn’t an ordinary station wagon; it is a luxurious vehicle with loads of top-notch enjoyable features.

The Volvo V70 offers the latest in luxury, refinement and safety. Take a ride in one and I’m sure you’ll agree.

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