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Kelley Blue Book ® - 2004 Volvo V70 Overview

Vehicle Overview from Kelley Blue Book

KBB.com 2004 Volvo V70 Overview

All the Goodness of the S80 in Wagon Form

When you talk about automotive safety, the name Volvo invariably becomes part of the conversation. That's because long before airbags and mandatory restraints, Volvo cars were being engineered with occupant safety first and foremost. Throughout the 70s and 80s, Volvo's boxy 240 DL wagon became a favorite of families on the go; its built-in crumple zones and reinforced steel roof made it one of the safest cars on the road. Today's modern descendent of the 240 is the V70, a wagon that remains a leader in automotive safety, but with the added advantage of sedan-like handling and acceleration.

The V70 is built off the same outstanding platform as the big S80 wagon. The V70 series wagons include the entry-level V70 2.4, upscale V70 2.5T, sporty V70 T5 and the high-performance V70 R. Though the performance variations are wide, all three wagons share the same safety features, roomy interior and basic warranty. For our test, we chose the most popular of the V70s, the 2.5T.

As far as wagons go, the V70 is one of the most handsome. Its clever styling manages to conceal the boxy Volvo greenhouse with rounded corners and a gently rising beltline. The V70 is further enhanced by unique styling cues, such as taillights that rise up the sides of the D-pillars and a V-shaped bulging hood. Taken all together, the V70's styling gives it an almost sedan-like presence, one that certainly doesn't conjure up the boring image of a station wagon.

The V70 may look like the perfect vehicle for families, but it also has strong appeal to those whose careers involve being on the road, transporting goods and making deliveries. The V70's big cargo area can be expanded by folding the rear seats down, creating a completely level loading floor with a 71.5 cubic foot reserve; that's bigger than some midsize SUVs. If you're more interested in hauling people, the V70 offers the option of a rear-facing third-row seat. We should point out that, unlike an SUV seat, the V70's third-row seat is pretty small and best suited for use by children.

If you're lucky enough to sit up front, you'll be treated to Volvo's wonderful bucket seats. Volvo seats have always been known for their comfort, but these seats also feature an added measure of safety; they are equipped with Volvo's WHIPS whiplash protection headrests. The V70 provides excellent head, hip and legroom and the creature comforts afforded passengers are numerous. The heated leather seats are power-adjustable and feature lumbar support for the lower back. The dash is a handsome mix of gray tones offset by rich wood trim. The audio and heating controls are logically laid out on a flat panel just above the center console; the controls are easy to reach and see, backlit in bright green at night. The dashboard is also home to some cleverly hidden features, such as the pop-out driver's side cup holder and the cool DVD navigation screen that rises up out of the dash.

On the safety front, our V70 came standard with dual-stage airbags, front side-impact airbags, a side airbag curtain, ISO-FIX child seat attachments, and an optional integrated booster seat.

The 2.5T gets its extra dose of power from a light-pressure turbo attached to its five-cylinder engine. The turbo is almost undetectable as it helps the V70 move quickly through its daily routine. The 208 horsepower is more than sufficient to pull the V70's weight and its muscular 235 lb-ft. of torque comes to life at just 1500 rpm. Aiding the V70's swift acceleration is Volvo's excellent Geartronic five-speed electronic automatic with the Auto-stick feature. Auto-stick allows the driver to shift gears without having to depress a clutch pedal. This transmission is not only useful for sporting drives, but also in bad weather conditions when starting out in second-gear is preferable for improved traction.

Once underway, you'll find that the V70 rides as smoothly as any luxury sedan. Its steering feel is a bit on the heavy side, but the feedback is excellent and the V70 tracks straight and true on long stretches of open highway. The V70 provides superior road holding ability, bolstered by its front-wheel drive and standard traction control. Of course, if you need even more traction, the V70 can be ordered with optional all-wheel-drive.

The V70 2.5T starts out around $32,500, which is fairly reasonable considering the long list of standard equipment. If you add on the optional navigation system, heated seats, dual-zone automatic air conditioning, power moonroof, leather trim, Max audio with Prologic surround, Sport package and rear-facing third seats, the price of the V70 jumps well to over $40,000.

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