Happy so far. An expanding family and a frequent need to carry them long distances with all our stuff prompted the purchase.
So what does it do well?
I wanted a D5 and haven't regretted buying a Volvo with this engine. It feels like a big lazy petrol engine, lots of torque, smoothish power delivery, surprising turn of speed and quietish with a pleasant 5 cylinder warble when the revs rise. My VW Golf's 1.9 tdi engine feels pretty noisy and lumpy in comparison. But the main point is that I cannot get over how this big, powerful, heavy car returns 40 plus miles per gallon in normal driving. It's amazing.
Comfort is the next plus point. On my first 350 mile journey I suddenly understood why people buy V70s. On a quiet motorway I put the cruise control on, settled deep into the perfect seat, put the excellent stereo on and quietly, effortlessly wafted along at 70mph. In previous years I have tackled the same journey in a range of cars, sometimes driving very swiftly. But it dawned on me that this is the way to tackle 350 mile distances. I stepped out the car feeling fresh and relaxed. Perfect.
Then there's the space. I know there are plenty of big estates on the market these days and that Volvo doesn't necessarily lead the pack anymore. But whether you're loading up for a big journey or popping down to the DIY store, stuff just fits in. Van rental companies must hate the V70.
What does it do badly?
Depends on your point of view. If you yearn for a slick sporty driver's car then don't buy a V70 D5. Despite its power, it's heavy and built for comfort. Its front wheel drive layout means that the torque overwhelms the front tyres in first, second (and recently with older tyres on a slightly greasy road third) gear.
Body control is so-so and it lurches into corners quite scarily if you're not used to it. The steering doesn't help as it's too woolly and imprecise. I'm sure it grips well in the corners, but you tend not to test this too much. The gear change is a bit stodgy too when you need to shift quickly.
But all that bothers car magazine road testers, not me. Yes, a BMW will entertain them more during the time they have a car, but in the real world I'm not a good enough driver to exploit rear wheel drive chassis engineering brilliance, and our crowded roads stop any potential for fun most of the time.
Service costs are a bit of a worry, and there are a few niggling faults which could be very expensive to fix soon. I currently save £50 a month on fuel costs compared to my 30mpg Alfa Romeo though, so this offsets some financial concerns. I also curse myself for buying a V70 which is the wrong colour (burgundy) and has the wrong interior (beige cloth) but you can't blame the car for that and it was cheap...
The V70 will do just fine.