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PERFORMANCE | 6 out of 10
“sharp handling isn't in the V70's repertoire”
“this Volvo's tradeoff between control and compliance [is] a very livable compromise”
Kelley Blue Book
“down on power compared to other midsize premium cars”
“six-cylinder lacks high-speed power”
The 2009 Volvo V70 is semi-sporty in a stoic way, but fuel economy is a downer. The sensible drivers at ConsumerGuide average 21.6 mpg “in an even mix of city and highway driving.” 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.”
Besides the bad fuel-efficiency figures of the 2009 V70, reviewers appreciate the 3.2-liter inline six-cylinder engine’s smooth 235 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. Kelley Blue Book finds the 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 transmission with manual shift control that ConsumerGuide considers smooth and “quick to respond to throttle inputs.” Car and Driver remarks, “Smooth is the name of the game, and unlike in the old turbo, torque steer is nearly imperceptible.” Car and Driver records 0-60 times of 7.5 seconds.
The ride of the 2009 Volvo V70 is plush and absorbent, but its handling lacks athleticism and is otherwise safe and predictable. 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, remarking “the big brakes demonstrated reassuring retardation.”
The 2009 Volvo V70 has adequate acceleration with mediocre fuel economy, and handling is unremarkable.