Return of an old friend

In Volvo on July 16, 2012 at 11:19 pm

Six years ago I was forced to say goodbye to an old friend.  A french friend.  My wife said I had to lose my old Renault 10 if I was going to buy a big Volvo V70.  I’d lusted after a D5 V70 for a little while and heard fantastic stories about the powerful engine.

Yes it might have only 163 bhp, but at any one time and in any gear there always seemed to be ample power.

Mine was bought at Tollbar Volvo in Coventry (I think they’re trading under a different name now.  I used the internet to source this car, as Kastners never seem to get well specified used vehicles into stock.

I really wanted a light ant interior, the fancy alloys, Geartronic (auto) and a proper Sat Nav.  A week after signing the paperwork I was back.  Not only had my Volvo got SatNav, but it also had a TV built in as well.

Back in 2005 our terrestrial TV struggled to get 4 stations, and reception on BBC2 was woeful.  The Volvo would tune into all 5 channels, and I remember watching the Simpsons on one sunny day whilst stuck in traffic on the Dartford Crossing.  It was uncanny.

Another time I watched 5th Gear, a channel I couldn’t get at home, and at Budleigh we regularly tuned in to the Channel Islands TV broadcasts.  In Wales I listened and watched The ashes whilst Roz sunbathed  few yards away on the beach.

When Charles married Camilla we were on Dartmoor.  You guessed it, we watched it live.

Charles Kennedy then Lib Dem leader at wedding

The biggest feature though wasn’t the TV, it was the sheer comfort.  The car was so cosy it used to virtually send me to sleep.  On long journeys I took to whirring the seat up sand down, and backwards and forwards using the buttons on the side.  Then their was the numb steering, it partially communicated what was happening at the front end.

On the economy front I used to get up to 42 mpg, whilst my friend who bought it off me in 2006 now gets up to 50 on the felt roads in Sweden.  The big boot was splendid, and the rear pillar vents great for passengers on a long run.  The car proved so comfortable that a friend in Belgium badgered his employer again and again until he was allowed to buy the uglier current shape version.

Personally my favourite V70 was the 2005 model year with silver inserts on the bumpers, but this machine was way better than the 180 bhp C30 we bought in 2007.  Incredibly the slower, heavier v70 was way more economical.

Nothing went wrong in the time I had it, but I remember getting a service and a few updates in Hull.  The cost £970, in 2006.  It’s  a good job we used to enjoy deep pockets.

Oh, before I forget, I must mention the worst feature.  The turning circle was atrocious.  But like I said it has turned around after being overseas for a year, and now sits on our drive whilst our friends watch the rain pour down in St.Ives.

Here’s the V70 on the day I stumped up £24000 to drive it away.


  1. Reminds me of the car I learned to drive in.. just as wide! It was a Lesaber.

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