Model year 1998 (in North America), saw the Volvo V70 appear as a mid-size, five-door wagon/estate. The Volvo 70 series — both S70 sedan and V70 wagon — descended from the very popular Volvo 850. They were both simply reworked, slightly modernized versions of the successful 850. They both continued to use Volvo’s bulletproof inline-5 cylinder aluminum engine.
First Generation V70
The 1998 V70 replaced the boxy, square corners of the 850 with rounded edges and a more “family friendly” appearance package and design, an example being the window controls moving from the spill-prone center console to both front doors.
In 1999 Volvo offered the V70 in base, GLT, and T5 versions, all with front-drive. V70 R and XC (Cross Country) wagon featured all-wheel drive. Output of the R wagon engine rose from 236 to 247 horsepower. 1998 V70 trailering — max weight was 3300 pounds.
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A rear-facing seat was available for all V70s, and boosts the passenger capacity to 7.
Second Generation V70
The introduction of the 2001 redesign saw the V70 lineup include the entry level 2.4T, all wheel drive XC, and the higher performance T5.
The second generation of Volvo V70 wagons was introduced in 2001 model year (North America) and continued through model year 2007. Built using the P2 platform, the V70 mimicked the curved edges of the Volvo S60 and S80 Volvos, making it more sporty in appearance. In 2004, a facelift slightly changed the tail lights, grille, bumpers, and offered more comfortable seating.
Both first-generation and second-generation V70s were powered by Volvo’s inline 5-cylinder.
This V70’s wheelbase is 3.6 inches longer than the first-generation V70, and it’s 2.4 inches taller and 1.7 inches wider. Those extra inches provided a pleasant increase in interior space over the older model.
In 2002, the Volvo V70/XC lineup got a new “regular” all-wheel-drive model named 2.4T AWD which featured a standard suspension and trim. Also in 2002, Volvo’s stability system — DTSC — was available for all models except the base 2.4 wagon, while being standard on the T5. Traction control was standard on all front-drive models.
The Volvo V70 2.5T AWD and XC70 got a power boost to 208 hp in model year 2003 wagons, up from 197. The fast T5’s power was up as well, to 247 horsepower. This lofty horsepower rating was once the sole property of the very fast and rare 850 R, but in 2003 it became standard on the T5. After a 5-year hiatus, the Volvo R wagon was available once again, this time with a 300-hp engine. See my (Matthew’s) 2004 V70 R‘s page.
Third Generation V70
The third generation model Volvo V70 was hailed as a more up-market car than the previous generation models.
The V70 R model did not carry over to this generation, and the 2012 V70 was the last model year offered in North America. Its sister car the XC70 continued to be offered until model year 2017.
This third-generation model offered a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine, with front or all-wheel drive options. The third generation moved to a Ford EUCD platform, although it shares many of the interior features with the second generation V70.
Considered one of the most luxurious interiors in its class, the third-generation V70 wagon boasted comfort and safety features such as self-opening tailgate, an automatic parking brake, auto climate control, front and rear parking sensors, automatic windshield wipers, and heated seats.
See the third-generation V70 and XC70 forum for questions & answers, owner opinions and maintenance advice.