By Cars.com EditorsMay 13, 2009
About the video
Cars.com's Kelsey Mays takes a look at the 2008 Volvo V70. It competes with the Subaru Outback and Saab 9-3.
(rock music) Hi, I'm Kelsey Mays for cars.com. These days, station wagons seem about as cool as Star Trek reruns and the thought of a Volvo V70 might conjure up images of your brother's rusty old 240.
But really, the V70 has been quite different from that for some time, especially this redesigned 2008 model. There's an all wheel drive version of this called the XC70 which cars.com reviewer Dave Thomas covers in a separate video, so be sure to check that out. Now up front, the V70 shares its dashboard with Volvo's S80 flagship. That means there's this thin center panel that houses the climate and audio controls. There's actually a little bit of storage space behind it. The dials and buttons have a nice quality finish on them. The materials are good. There's this sort of neat upscale metal finish around the CD slot. The gauges have these cool floating needles around the readout screens in the center. And other textures along the dash are low gloss, appropriate for a car of this class. Leather seats are optional. Our test car has this high-tech heavy duty fabric Volvo calls TrichoTech. TrichoTech. There's a Star Trek word. "Commander, take us to the TrichoTech system at warp nine." Yeah, I'm definitely nerdy enough to have to drive a station wagon. Anyway, the seats are very comfortable. There's a lot of padding, nice bolstering. There's an eight way power driver's seat. It's got plenty of range. The tilt telescoping steering wheel. That's pretty ordinary in this class. This one actually has quite a bit of room. Range on either axis, as you can see. So anybody in here tall or short should be able to fit just fine. The second row has plenty of headroom and leg room for adults. There are also integrated child booster seats in the upward positions. They come up in two separate levels. Another feature are the head restraints themselves. These come up and block rear visibility for the driver. If you have them go into the seat, the passengers off won't use them at their own peril if the car gets rear-ended. Volvo's solution is to have head restraints that when they come down, they do so like this. And so if you're going to sit here, you pretty much have to use them, unless you want to have a really bad neck ache. Kind of nice. When the seats fold down. They do so in a 40, 20, 40 split. So actually you can put two people here and put a longer object through the middle. There's a load floor. That's very flat. There's no gaps at all. And when the seat comes back up, there are these red indicators here that pop up. If it's not completely into place yet. Nice safety feature to have as well. Open the cargo area. And there's a pretty wide opening and like a lot of wagons, nice low lift over with a scuff plate here. You don't have to worry too much about scratches, bringing things over. A couple of neat cargo features back here. Dave covers them in the XC70 video. So check that out. I'll put all the seats down. There's just over 70 cubic feet of cargo volume. That's competitive with the 9 3 wagon, actually significantly more than the 3 series and Passat wagons offer. There's also a folding front passenger seat. That's nice if you want to throw long items in here and that's not something every competitor has. Nor are available safety features like a blind spot warning system and adaptive cruise control with warning alerts and even emergency braking if there's an obstruction looming. For some, that might be enough to justify a purchase like this. For others, this is still a station wagon. For additional information on this car or any other, go to cars.com and our blog Kicking Tires.