This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest Volvo V70 (07-16) review.

Parkers overall rating: 3.5 out of 5 3.5

The V70 is fitted with a wide range of five-cylinder engines which begins with 2.4-litre petrol engines of 140 and 170bhp, then there's a 2.0-litre turbo with 180bhp. Next is a 2.5-litre turbo with 210bhp, then another 2.4-litre, turbocharged to produce 260bhp in the T5 model. The range-topping R has a 2.5-litre turbo with 300bhp and, helped by four-wheel drive, can hit 60mph in 5.6 seconds.

Diesel power is the preferred choice among buyers in the UK and the line-up consists of a 2.4D with 163bhp and the impressive D5 (also a 2.4-litre) which achieves the same 41mpg fuel economy, but has even better performance thanks to its 185bhp output. Bi-fuel models (which use a version of the 140bhp petrol engine adapted be able to switch to CNG natural gas) are intended for companies with their own fuel bunkers as CNG is of limited availability to private buyers.

An LPG version was also offered up until mid-2004. All models are offered with manual or automatic gearboxes. The 2.4(140bhp), 2.0T and AWD versions of the 2.5T and D5 were discontinued for 2007.

Most V70 models put comfort and safety ahead of thrill seeking, and this shows in the handling which always feels stable and reassuring, but doesn't inspire drivers to upset their passengers and cargo with high speed cornering antics. Electronic stability and traction control systems, fitted as standard to all models, help the driver to regain control in an emergency and prevent building up more speed in corners than it can comfortably deal with.

The R differs in that it has is four-wheel driven and has electronically controlled suspension (optional on other models), which automatically adjusts to reduce movement when accelerating, braking and cornering and thus reduce pitching and rolling. The driver can select one of three possible settings ranging from soft to firm.