Performance » 6
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PERFORMANCE | 6 out of 10
“respectable, yes, but perhaps not noteworthy”
Car and Driver
“this Volvo's tradeoff between control and compliance [is] a very livable compromise”
Kelley Blue Book
“V70 is down on power compared to other midsize premium cars”
“six-cylinder lacks high-speed power”
“lackluster fuel economy”
The 2008 Volvo V70’s sole powertrain combines adequate acceleration with mediocre fuel economy. At least the engine’s butter-smooth.
In light of the old V70’s weak-kneed 157-horse inline-five, the smooth 235-horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque of the new 3.2-liter inline-six are a blessing. Car and Driver: “Smooth is the name of the game, and unlike in the old turbo, torque steer is nearly imperceptible.” Car and Driver recorded 0-60 times of 7.5 seconds. Kelley Blue Book finds that the new engine has “sufficient muscle” but “won’t do much to satisfy anyone with even modest enthusiast leanings.” The 3.2 is backed by a six-speed Geartronic automatic with manual shift control that ConsumerGuide finds smooth and “quick to respond to throttle inputs.”
Where the V70 powertrain falls from grace is in fuel efficiency. Says Kelley Blue Book, “the V70's EPA fuel economy numbers of 16 mpg city/24 mpg highway are only average, and are equaled by BMW's pricier, but far-quicker, 300-horsepower all-wheel-drive 535xi Sport Wagon.” The sensible drivers at ConsumerGuide average 21.6 mpg “in an even mix of city and highway driving.”
In general, reviewers find the V70’s handling safe, predictable, but only semi-athletic. Luckily, the ride is absorbent and plush. Says Edmunds.com, “sharp handling isn't in the V70's repertoire, but light steering and a relatively small size make for easier maneuvering than a much larger crossover SUV.” ConsumerGuide feels that the V70 offers a commendable balance of road feel and bump isolation.” They call its handling “almost sporty,” and find the vehicle “benefits from direct, responsive steering and well controlled lean in corners.” Motor Trend sums up the others’ feelings when saying “the big brakes demonstrated reassuring retardation.”
The 2008 Volvo V70 is semi-sporty in a stoic way, but fuel economy is a downer.