Many other manufacturers feature estate cars – though they sometimes bill them as tourers or sportswaggons – but for half a century the concept has been almost synonymous with Volvo.
The Swedish company’s well proven V70 enters its 2013 model year with a raft of improvements, some cosmetic, others highly practical. In comes an updated grille, with distinctive glossy black details.
Beneath the skin, the diesel offer has been extended with the introduction of a new five-cylinder 2.0-litre turbo oil burner.
Most diesel powered versions of the V70 now boast CO2 emissions of less than 120 g/.km and all models can be equipped with such innovative systems as road sign information, active high beam and tunnel detection.
This luxury estate car now has sportier looks, with chrome detailing adding a classy touch.
Lots of thought has been given to space utilisation and a clever re-working of the tailgate makes loading easier than ever, with the added benefit of extra space.
Refined infotainment is another bonus, reflecting a 100 per cent focus on both intelligent functionality and clean form –enhancing safety and driver pleasure as well as looks.
Stability is especially important when carrying a full load of passengers and attendant luggage and the V70 has been engineered to provide well controlled road manners, with dynamic stability and traction control standard programmes. An active chassis system also helps.
The T6 model has all-wheel drive, which is an option on the 3.2 petrol version and the D5 diesel. This system incorporates the latest technology from Haldex, featuring a new, six-piston radial pump, direct-driven by a powerful electric motor. The reduced weight contributes to improved fuel economy.
As always with Volvo, the all-new V70 both active and passive safety features are given high priority. City safety, driver-alert control, lane departure warning, blind spot information and an intelligent driver information system feature on the spec list, as well as adaptive cruise control and dual xenon and adaptive bending beam lights.
A good car made even better should help the V70 keep its place as an estate of the art.