Volvo V70

Volvo's V70 comes in a single body style--a 5-passenger wagon--and a single powertrain--a perky 235-horsepower, 3.2-liter in-line 6-cylinder engine hooked up to a 6-speed automatic transmission with Geartronic manual control and front-wheel drive.

The V70's interior style is both stark and Scandinavian yet warm and soft all at once. Firm, supportive front seats are great for long trips, and the interior includes plenty of cupholders and cubbies. The stylized 'floating' center-stack panel is very unique looks like a high-end audio board.

As most good wagon designs, the V70 provides an easy transition between passengers and cargo. The rear seats are split 40/20/40 and fold forward easily, with the headrests neatly tucking out of the way.

Volvo has been known for decades for its front-of-the-market safety features, and the V70 is no exception. Volvo's seat-based Whiplash Protection System is included in the V70, along with side airbags, side-curtain bags, and a height-adjustable integrated booster cushion. Electronic stability control and anti-lock brakes are also included.

High-tech safety-oriented options on the V70 include a Blind Spot Information System (BLIS), which alerts the driver with an amber light on the side-view mirror whenever there's a car beside and just behind. The Personal Car Communicator, includes keyless ignition with less conventional features such as 2-way car communication and a heartbeat sensor, which together can let you know remotely if anyone has broken into the car and even if there's still someone in the car.

Standard equipment is very extensive in the V70. It features all the typical luxury-car features such as dual-zone automatic climate control, a power driver's seat, keyless entry, cruise control, steering wheel controls, fog lamps, heated mirrors and a trip computer.

For a few thousand dollars extra, the V70 is available in an R-Design model. The R-Design adds a self-leveling sport suspension, moonroof, sporty 18-inch alloy wheels, a garage-door opener, sport leather seats, a rear spoiler and a host of appearance extras that dress up everything from pedals to the shift knob.

The moonroof is a stand-alone option on the regular V70, while several different packages are offered. A Tech Package includes adaptive cruise control and lane departure warning, among other features, while a Climate Package brings heated washer nozzles, rain-sensor wipers, and other extras. A new Multimedia Package that includes a 12-speaker, 650-watt Dynaudio surround-sound system, a hard-drive based navigation system, Sirius satellite radio and a remote control.

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