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Photos: 2008 Volvo V70

The redesigned 2008 Volvo V70 is a stylish grocery getter with plenty of get-up-and-go. It is a comfortable and capable long-haul cruiser that takes Volvo's traditional safety focus, enhances it with some advanced technology, and wraps it in a stylish design, inside and out.

Kevin Massy

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The V70's standard single disc in-dash CD player can handle WMA and MP3-encoded discs, showing full ID3 tag information, although the system provides no means of navigating digital audio libraries other than skipping through tracks one at a time.
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The only other as-standard audio feature on the V70 is a generic auxiliary-input jack in the central console, which can be used for playing iPods and other music players through the stereo via a patch cord.
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Beneath the monochrome display, the V70's full numerical keypad is a legacy of the available Bluetooth hands-free calling option on the European model, which, alas, did not make it to the U.S. version of the V70.
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Most electronic cabin systems on the V70 make use of a monochrome black-on-white LCD display, which inverts to become white-on-black in darkness. For radio tuning, the screen shows a clever digital version of an analog dial.
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Complementing the stack-mounted LCD display in the center of the cabin, a pair of instrument-panel multi-information displays provide on-vehicle systems- and journey-related information.
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The V70 comes with a six-speed automatic transmission with "Adaptive Shift Logic," which is designed to respond to the individual driving styles of different drivers. By pushing the shifter to the right, drivers can also shift for themselves.
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The V70 has plenty of cargo room (72.1 cubic feet, to be precise), giving it the carrying capacity of an SUV with the driving dynamics of a sedan.
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For a station wagon, the low-slung V70 has a surprisingly sporty character, enhanced by a tapered roofline and as-standard 16-inch alloy wheels.
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The V70 comes standard with booster child seats in the second row, which can be set to one of two heights to accommodate children of different sizes.
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The third-generation V70 has a more curvaceous profile than its predecessors. The styling of its rear hatch is similar to that on the retro C30 compact coupe.
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The V70 combines dynamic styling with practical cargo room and a well-thought-out cabin with a decent standard audio system. Its list of available entertainment and safety tech options, which include adaptive cruise control and a coffee-break reminder system, is impressive.
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A glance at the new V70 body style shows that the blocky, boxy Volvo DNA of old is almost completely gone, replaced by rounded edges, aerodynamic lines, and an low-slung stance.

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