2003 Volvo V70 SE 2.4T from UK and Ireland
Everything I hoped for, and more
Truthfully, absolutely nothing has gone wrong with this car. Inspecting with a fine tooth comb on delivery showed it to be perfectly assembled, and nothing whatsoever has gone wrong since.
The nearest I have got to a problem was ordering it with the 'badge delete' option and then finding when I arrived to collect it that it had the 2.4T badge stuck on the tailgate. This took the helpful dealer all of five minutes to remove without trace.
My previous car was a Vauxhall Vectra 2.5 V6 GSi Estate. Great fun to drive, with taught handling and lots of poke. Amazingly, the V70 barge is much quicker outright, and has a far wider plateau of torque that makes it easier to punt along effortlessly. Anything above 1500RPM will give real shove, and keep on going to 6000RPM and beyond. This is one terrific 'elastic' engine that makes fast A-road work a breeze. On my way home from work is a straight, level, stretch of road between two roundabouts where every car that I own gets treated to the same test: From a rolling 10MPH with clutch fully engaged in first gear, what is the maximum indicated speed by the time the first of three 'slow down' chevrons is reached? My Vectra SRi V6 Estate would reach 90 MPH every time, the GSi Estate 96 MPH, and the Volvo 102 MPH. A huge difference, especially in terms of distance covered.
The Volvo is not as taught handling as the GSi, but not far off once the slight lack of feeling straight-ahead is known and not over-compensated for, and is much more comfortable. Mine has Nivomatic self levelling suspension, and the ride and handling both laden and unladen is in a different league to my brother's 2003 V70 D5 with the same tyres.
My V70 has been taken from the UK across Germany to the Czech Republic, where the unruffled high speed refinement was superb.
The only things I don't like about the car are a relative lack of oddments storage thanks to all the safety features eating up room, and the rattle from the load cover that all V70s suffer from. Because the rest of the car is so quiet and rattle-free, this can be a nuisance.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 27th September, 2004