Long term report: Volvo XC70


Volvo XC70

There is a gravitational field around the Volvo keys in the office. No matter how hard I try to choose something else from our fleet for long journeys, the keys to our XC70 always appear in my pocket.

The thing is it's such a good motorway car that when you're staring at a satnav that says six hours to get home and 370 miles to cover, there's few better cars in our fleet to take the strain. Yes, the steering is light, yes, the brakes need a decent prod, and yes it is a bit choppy in the corners, but in the outside lane of the M1 it's utterly brilliant.

It's quiet, the D5 engine is powerful and refined and the multimedia system is superb.

This month I've added around 1,000 miles to the odometer with trips to Newquay for a rally, Newcastle for a meeting and Heathrow for a business trip. There's nothing like settling into those comfy heated leather seats and gently toasting your digits with the heated steering wheel to ease the pain of a 5am start.

It's not all good news, though. Twice I've filled the boot with luggage and gifts to placate the family after yet another trip abroad, for the automatic boot to fail to shut properly. On both occasions I've pulled away to dump the entire contents on the road as I've either missed or there wasn't a warning on the dash. In a world of annoying bonging cars, I would have welcomed one for once.

The knowledge

Model: Volvo XC70 D5 AWD SE Lux Geartronic
Price: £43,545 (as tested)
Engine: 2.4-litre, five-cylinder diesel
Power: 213bhp, 439Nm
Max speed: 127mph
0-60mph: 7.8s
Emissions: 169g/km
Mileage this month: 1,987

This month's highlight

Steaming up the outside lane of the M1 enjoying the heated steering wheel and warm seat.