Remember the enormous Volvo 245 back in the 1970s? In those days, a big bumper was all we needed to keep us from harm’s way. Or so the Swedes thought…
Almost 40 years on and the current Volvo estate has an array of safety features that is truly mind-boggling. In fact, it’s somewhat overwhelming in the V70, with alarm chimes and lights waiting to flash at the driver from all directions.
There are blind spot alerts by the door mirrors, anti-collision warning lights at the bottom of the windscreen that are triggered by radar, a gentle buzzing sound if you cross a white line without indicating… and so the list goes on and on.
If you are unlucky enough to hit a stray elk this winter then this is the car to do it in. Just one thing though, hill starts are damn near impossible in the V70 because it has a push button hand-brake. Not sure how that one slipped through the safety net…
Despite the success of the outgoing XC90 in giving Volvo a sexy, new image, if you asked somebody to draw a Swedish car they would no doubt pen a V70.
Big, boxy and very safe, the Volvo can quite rightly claim the ‘iconic’ tag in the estate sector. It ain’t pretty but is there a better family car for the money?
No amount of advertising twaddle is going to persuade potential buyers that the V70 is exciting but after two weeks of ownership even I have slipped in to a rather safe and Swedish comfort zone.
I doubt owners of German estate cars could be tempted to go Volvo at any price but as a rock solid estate wagon, this is the benchmark car for people in sensible jumpers.
So where were you at 5am this morning – hugging a bottle of vodka, repeatedly telling your best mate you love them more than football, or trying to find a way home through the debris of New Year’s Eve?
New Year kicked off with a mouse entering the Taylor household – scrabbling around the bedroom and making as much noise as a rat wearing hobnail boots. Terrifying when you are nursing a hangover, especially for the mouse as I was stark bollock naked.
And just to cap it all, the dog decided this was a good time to enter the room and throw up on the stairs. A good moment to consider a hasty retreat and decamping to the V70 perhaps?
It’s certainly long enough to stretch out in the back with the rear seats folded down. It also has an integral dog guard that rises out of the seats and connects to the roof, as well as a clever system that allows you hook carrier bags upright in the boot.
It would also make the perfect weekend retreat for any mouse or errant rodent but let’s not go there…
New Year’s Eve and it might be time to accept I’m 51. I don’t feel it but yesterday I drove to Bath in a very sensible Volvo, bought clothes in a sensible shop and then had a sensible discussion about whether investing in property or gold was the way forward in 2015. Hmm.
Yes, as the New Year’s Eve fireworks of time fall on the haystack of life, perhaps I should instead have a burning desire to paint the V70 matt black, pimp up the sound system and ram raid the nearest Gieves & Hawkes.
At least I feel safe in the V70. And as the average of of a Volvo is 29 years, that means I could buy one now and not have to worry about wheels until I require a mobility scooter at the tender age of 80.
Judging by the number of old Volvos I see around the place, quite a few of you have already cottoned on to that idea. Even so, I refuse to wear beige and still can’t stand Classic FM.
No, I think I have a few years of yearning for a Maserati left in me. I hope you feel the same. Thanks for reading and Happy New Year, whatever you drive…
Typical that a four-wheel drive Volvo XC60 is booked in for next week – when any risk of frozen extremities will have not doubt passed. This morning I was forced to don leather gloves for my two-wheel drive trundle in to Burford with the V70 – is it only drivers of a certain age and fetishists that own a pair?
Either way, I can recommend a set from Dents of Warminster. I can’t think of much else to recommend the Wiltshire town. Very cosy indeed. Handsewn deerskin-lined gloves, with Scottish cashmere, especially.
A gentleman in leather driving gloves at the wheel of a Volvo V70 estate doesn’t project a very sexy image I agree. However, the elongated Swede played a blinder on the untreated roads around these parts.
It doesn’t stop doughnuts driving too close behind but I’d even vote UKIP if they could prevent French-style bumper huggers hanging off my tailgate. Sort that out Mr Farage…