Driven: Volvo V70 D3 SE Nav Review

Driven: Volvo V70 D3 SE Nav Review

Following a week of testing the Volvo V70 D3 SE Nav on the North Coast 500 here are my thoughts on this intelligent estate car.

What is the Volvo V70 D3 SE Nav all about?

The Volvo V70 D3 is an estate car that offers great passenger and boot space and also has lots of clever safety technology.

Volvo has invested a lot in passenger safety for years and has created lots of tech that genuinely saves lives, such as full auto braking, collision warning, driver alert and lane departure warning systems, to name but a few.

Volvo V70 D3 SE Nav Review

The model that we had on test was the Volvo V70 D3 SE Nav. The car comes with a selection of options, including seashell metallic paint and a keyless entry system. Looking at the car from the outside it is relatively understated. It has that classic Volvo look, but isn’t anywhere near as sexy as the Volvo S60, I don’t think it will be much longer before the V70 has a bit of a redesign to keep it looking fresh.

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The Volvo V70 D3 uses a 2.0-litre diesel Drive-E engine that creates 136bhp and 350Nm of torque, this is matched with a six-speed manual gearbox. This means the car can get from 0-60mph in 10.6 seconds and will give a top speed of 124mph. However, and most importantly for some, the car can achieve a combined fuel efficiency figure of 62mpg.

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How does it drive?

The Volvo V70 is very comfortable and easy to drive, the car has luxuries such as keyless entry and start, meaning you can approach the car, unlock it, get in and go, all without touching the key, just as long as it is in your pocket. Simple things like this just make the car a lot easier to live with.

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The D3 engine proves to be highly efficient, most of my testing was done either on the motorway or on extremely rural roads and my average for the week was over 50mpg, which is great for the size and weight of the car. But don’t think because the car is so economically focused that it is slow. The engine still pulls extremely well, even with a full load in the car. The car I tested used a 6-speed manual gearbox which was very friendly to use and the gear ratios used suited the engine very well, especially on the motorway.

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Volvo has fitted the car with features that make daily journeys considerably easier. The adaptive cruise control system on the car works very well, it allows you to set a maximum speed that you would like to travel at and then if a car moves in front of you the Volvo will automatically slow itself down and keep pace with the car in front. This means as a driver you only have to focus on keeping the car in the correct lane, the car will deal with all the minor changes in speed along your journey. This may seem like a minor improvement to cruise control but it certainly takes away some of the pain of motorway driving, and is definitely safer too.

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The ergonomics of the car are brilliant, the car is very usable and easy to spend a lot of time in. Just simple things like having the steering wheel and seats properly adjustable to get to the perfect seating position makes a great amount of difference, especially if you are doing a long journey. You feel well protected in the car and isolated from the outside environment, the suspension and tyres do a great job to comfort you from the bumpy roads.

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Despite all the safety and eco talk, you are still able to have fun in the Volvo V70 D3. The car still has plenty of power and will get up to realistic speeds as quickly as you will need. For a long estate car the steering feels pretty good. Driving through the rural roads of the Scottish highlands whilst testing this car was pretty enjoyable.

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The economy performance on the car is where the V70 D3 really shines. I enabled instant mpg figures on the dashboard, watching it I was easily able to get the majority of my journey above 60 or 70 mpg, if not higher. As you would expect though, hitting traffic or travelling uphill will bring the average mpg down considerably. Overall I was very impressed, I was able to achieve well over 550 miles on a single tank and I’m sure you could get much more if you took the tank down to the limit.

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What is it like inside?

Most Volvos have very similar interior design, which are great, so why change it? The features include the floating dashboard which houses all the central controls, whilst still allowing you to store things behind the dash. The seats are very comfortable and I’m sure are hard wearing too, both front seats are heated to keep you warm and cosy whilst driving. The steering wheel also looks exceptionally premium and feels great in your hands.

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In the back there is a huge amount of passenger space; perfect for taking the family on holiday or even taking four adults for a long trip. There is 555 litres of boot space, and as there is no boot-lip it is a really nice shape to easily load things in and out of. The tailgate is electric and will open and close by the touch of a button, this makes things a lot easier when approaching the car with your hands full and then trying to open the boot to load shopping etc, it is almost a must have nowadays.

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The Experience

I found the Volvo V70 experience was incredible for those wanting to travel and explore. I was able to take the car from Birmingham to Edinburgh and then start a 500-mile road trip around the Scottish highlands and back in five days and found the V70 was the perfect car for it. I loved it. There is room to pack everything you need, you can take friends in comfort and it is as practical and comfortable as cars come. On top of this there is the added peace of mind with all the safety features, I couldn’t ask for anything more from this car.

Vovlo V70 D3 SE Nav 104Verdict

To sum up, the Volvo V70 D3 SE Nav ticks a lot of boxes and does so to a very high standard. The car is practical, comfortable and enjoyable. You will be left with the feeling that the V70 is a solid workhorse that will still be powering along on the roads in 20 years from now without a problem.

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Video Highlights


Volvo V70 D3 SE Nav

  • Price: £ 36,185
  • Engine: 2.0-Litre Diesel turbocharged
  • Power: 136bhp
  • Torque: 350Nm
  • Transmission: 6 Speed Manual
  • 0-62mph: 10.6 Seconds
  • Top speed: 124mph
  • Weight: 1,732kg
  • Economy combined: 62mpg
  • CO2: 119 g/km

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Author: Paul Hadley