That last comment is completely ridiculous - I own both a 2009 XC70 from new, and a 2011 E350 from new. Yes, I OWN, and drive BOTH.
The Volvo does not even come close to the Mercedes in refinement. The Volvo has much cheaper plastics, rattles from the front (not fixable) since around 30,000km, and has had its a fair share of issues. The Mercedes is very solidly put together, looks, feels and smells like a luxury car, is very comfortable, and has a shorter turning circle by 1/2 meter, drives very well (more direct steering with more feel, better acceleration, better fuel economy), more comfortable seats, better fit than the Volvo with its exterior misaligned parts, lighter but more solid.
The Volvo has hard and nasty plastics in places (centre console), no lining in the door bins, a 12V adapter plug that is too short for the device to plug in without detaching, the most vague steering I have ever experienced, seats that you sit ON rather than IN, huge bulky A-pillars that are a big safety hazard, it crashes over bumps with the whole car shaking, poor visibility from the rear (I have to adjust my rear view mirror to include the left rear side window, because it is not large enough and therefore has a significant blind spot). It has a huge turning radius. It is clumsy to drive. It is terribly thirsty 15.7L/100km city driving. Its long-term reliability is suspect
The list could go on and on.
When people see the Volvo, they think of a glorified Ford (not far off given the car has Ford labelled parts...)
To claim that the Volvo XC70 is the best Estate / Wagon is unqualified because the writer does not know better.
To be fair, I am a Volvo guy, but even I accept that it cannot be better than a new E-class Merc. But then again, the comparable E-Class (WITHOUT FOUR WHEEL DRIVE) is about 20k more - so it should be better.
I have owned a previous gen E-Class Diesel and XC70, and the Mercedes does 'feel' nicer in term of plastic (don't worry, FAR better than the crap Mercedes were making 10 years ago!) quality, but the XC70 has got a supremely comfortable interior in comparison to pretty much anything!
Both cars have their qualities, and everyone has different opinions, which is what makes the world a more interesting place, but it's got to be said that my current estate is a Volvo, and my next one will be too (not surprising given my current one is up to 294,000 miles, and still drives like new!).
As a person that has also had both. Sure, the E-class does have the nicer interior. I have the XC70, and I agree, a few cheap bits. I too will buy another Volvo over the Merc, as the guy posted here, it is cheaper to insure... I also feel a little more anonymous, which fits my personality more. I also like the more "utility" look of the XC. I might go for an XC90 next time. There's supposed to be a new one for 2014 or 2015.
To the guy with the Merc E350 and XC70 - just what is the price difference? Or is that like comparing a Ford Focus to a Mercedes C-class? Just a thought...
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