Fleet News

Volvo V70



DISCOUNTING Jaguar, Volvo with its new V70 is now the gateway to executive motoring in the Ford family. With the demise of the Scorpio, the Swedish firm, now part of Ford's Premier Automotive Group, offers senior management a class product that doesn't stretch the company coffers too far.

That's not to say the new model is cheap, but entry to the V70 family starts at around ú22,000 on-the-road for the 140bhp 2-4 litre. The model tested here, a 2.4T SE, retails at ú29,760 on-the-road - pitching it against some very competent and prestigious German rivals - the BMW 5-series Touring and Audi's A6 Avant.

To stand out on fleet choice lists, the Volvo needs to do more than be competitive on price - it also needs to promote the same image that makes a BMW or Audi so desirable. With a fresh new look and chassis borrowed from the stylish S80 saloon, the V70 certainly makes a case for itself. While offering bags of room for both passengers and luggage, the V70 succeeds in hiding its bulk with some svelte styling. It's the sort of look you can't really dislike and offers a more sober option to the angular looks of the Audi.

This marks a successful updating of the previous boxy V70 model and is continued inside with a large, simple duo-tone fascia - high quality black plastic meets neutral leather and soft rubber.

The previous model, badged Classic during its run-out phase, enjoyed much success in the estate car sector - notching up 32% of the market in the UK. This is a tough act to follow and we won't know until next year if the new model has proved a success because Volvo is staggering the launch of the range.

A 2.5-litre 140bhp turbodiesel and a pair of petrol 2.4 litre units offering 140bhp and 170bhp respectively have just joined the 2.4-litre turbo tested and the hot 2.3-litre 250bhp T5 version. Later this year, a rugged four-wheel drive Cross Country model will further widen the line-up. The new additions mean the cheapest petrol V70 is now ú22,260 on-the-road and the diesel ú25,160.

CO2 emissions and fuel consumption data correct at time of writing. The latest figures are available in the Fleet News fuel cost calculator and the company car tax calculator.

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