Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0

The XC70 dashboard has a more subtle, curvier design than before and also adopts other recent Volvo models' 'floating' centre stack between the dashboard and centre console. This contains audio and ventilation controls, plus when satellite navigation is chosen, the screen pops up from the top of the dashboard with finger-tip controls behind the steering wheel and a remote control for operation by passengers.

Visibility is good, and the XC70 can also be specified with Volvo's 'Blindspot Information System' (BLIS), carried over from the previous model, which illuminates a warning light near the left or right door mirror when there is a vehicle in the blindspot.

Like the V70 estate, the XC70 is spacious and has almost an inch extra knee room compared with the previous version. Volvo's seats tend to be among the most comfortable you'll find in any car and this model is no exception, however they do lack side support so you often feel like you're sitting on them rather than in them. The rear bench splits 40/20/40, so the centre, where the armrest is, isn't really as comfortable as elsewhere.

For extra Volvo XC70 comfort opt for the ventilated front seats along with heated rear seats. Buyers can choose what Volvo calls the 'Clean Zone Interior Package', which has been recommended by the Swedish Asthma and Allergy Association. Although the interior materials have been selected to emit minimal levels of harmful substances, when the car is unlocked using the remote, the passenger compartment is automatically ventilated for about a minute.

One rather annoying feature is the manual adjustment for the lumbar support is buried deep between the side of the seat and the centre armrest making it very awkward to adjust.