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For when size does matter...

Byline: By Malcolm Tumbridge

Traditional Volvo appeal and values come with the V70 estate. It's big, strong and safe with bags of room.

The seats are very good and most models have a neat built-in child seat in the rear armrest.

Obviously it is very practical, with good estate load bay and sizeable boot. No-one else does this sort of thing better.

The softened body lines have succeeded in making it look less dated. Safety, refinement and solidity are the obvious reasons for buying this big Volvo, but the V70 is also a very stylish way to shift loads too.

The high-performance T5 and R versions have changed the way we think about Volvos forever; the Volvo isn't just an instrument of practicality, but pleasure too. The Volvo estate is a very convincing sports wagon and it is also the largest estate in its class.

Reliability is strong, but all cars have wear items to check for and Volvo parts can be expensive. lists 20 checks to make before buying. Listed right are three of them:



During the test drive, turn the steering wheel when moving and when stationary. Notice if the steering is stiff in either direction.

If it is stiff in one direction, there is a fault with the steering rack. If it is stiff in both directions, there is a problem with the power steering pump. A faulty steering rack needs to be replaced. A faulty pump may need replacing or may just need fluid.


Leave the engine on and listen for the engine misfiring (rather than the revs being constant when on idle and the engine making a consistent noise, it splutters and spits).

Misfires are usually caused by an ignition fault and the ECU can need to be replaced.

Heater: Feel the front footwell carpets for water and smell for dampness.

Test that the heater produces hot air (the engine will need to be warm for this). The heater matrix has failed and needs to be replaced.

On top of all that it depreciates fast and supply seems to be ahead of demand. According to Wisebuyer's Car Price Guide, a 1999 2.4 TSE V70 estate with 70,000 miles will be around pounds 7,600.
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Copyright 2006 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Nov 8, 2006
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