Recognized as a world-leader in occupant protection, models from the Volvo brand are often sought out by shoppers prioritizing safety on the move. Safety is serious business for the Swedes, and a Volvo wagon’s always been a sure way to get the wife and kids around with plenty of peace of mind.
The second-generation Volvo V70 was a wagon available to Canadian shoppers from 2001 to 2007 model years inclusive. A more rugged ‘Cross Country’ variant of the V70, called the XC70, was also available. Where confident all-season family travels are concerned, these two machines really hit the mark.
All models got five-cylinder power from a range of naturally-aspirated and turbocharged engines outputting between 168 and 247 ponies. Manual or automatic transmissions were available, as was All Wheel Drive (AWD), depending on the model in question. Ultimately, the V70, XC70 and even S60 sedan in this generation shared virtually the same hardware under their skin.
Inside, look for flexible interior space, a generous cargo hold and plenty of storage to keep occupants organized. Volvo wagons are known for a solid, quiet ride and bolted-down feel of security and plantedness, and this generation is no exception. Look for features like headlight washers, in-cabin air filter and an auto-dimming rearview mirror—as well as a slew of safety systems and airbags.
What Owners Like
Comfort, handling and security are all highly rated by owners, as is interior space, design, and drivetrain refinement.
What Owners Hate
Some owners report that careful and light-footed driving is required to achieve good mileage. Owners of models with the lower-output powerplants typically wish for more performance.
Considering a used Volvo wagon in this generation? Think “transmission.” Numerous owners have reported gearbox issues that have required replacement, sometimes more than once. This well-documented problem means ensuring proper transmission integrity is vital to a successful purchase. Have your used Volvo candidate checked by a trained mechanic, and skip any model that exhibits hard or rough shifting, slipping or any unwelcomed sounds.
Read this twice: All gearshifts on a properly-functioning Volvo automatic transmission should be smooth, quick, quiet and nearly imperceptible. Under no circumstances should a shopper take the seller’s word that anything else is "acceptable" or "normal."
A malfunction in the engine electronics system, and specifically the throttle control module, may cause surging, power loss and a variety of other sporadic issues. A scan of the vehicle’s computer system at a Volvo dealer may help diagnose any such problems.
Note that a full check of all interior electronics for proper operation is also advised.
To the majority of V70s and XC70 owners, the driving experience and confidence more than compensate for potential issues. All said, used shoppers should shop patiently and carefully, get service records and look for a model that’s familiar to their local Volvo dealer. Be sure to snatch up any extended powertrain warranties that may be available. Just to be safe.