Error parsing XSLT file: \xslt\FacebookOpenGraph.xslt Volvo V70 1.6D Driv-e SE: Test Drive Review
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Volvo V70 1.6D Driv-e SE: Test Drive Review

Date: 02 July 2009   |   Author: Tristan Young

Category: Executive
P11D price: £22,745
Key rival: Audi A6

Volvo's got a challenge on its hands with the new ultra efficient Driv-e version of the V70. The Swedish firm has got to convince buyers that the near-same 1.6 diesel engine often found powering Ford Fiestas has enough guts to haul an executive estate car.

Paperwork will go part of the way to help as the stats make interesting reading.

Volvo's Driv-e cars are deliberately set-up for the best fuel economy and the lowest CO2 figure. In the case of the V70 this means a best-in-class fuel figure of 57.6mpg, that's 4% better than the BMW 520d that topped BusinessCar's most efficient cars chart for the executive sector.

However, it's the 129g/km CO2 figure that Volvo expects to win over fleets, particularly those with choice lists which have particularly low CO2 limits set, such as those in the public sector. Again it's a best-in-class stat and the first car of this size to dip below 130g/km.

Not only are these official figures, on our test drive at the launch we achieved more than 50mpg in mixed driving with the aircon going full blast due to the current heatwave.

So, fleets will know the car will cost little in fuel and tax costs, but drivers will assume that such a large car with such a small engine will be sluggish in the extreme.

The solution is to get drivers to try the car before they buy, because while the V70 isn't a fast car, the 109PS 1.6 diesel has enough shove to keep up with the flow of traffic.

Volvo's CO2 director Peter Ewerstrand describes the performance as "adequate" and he is spot-on. The engine is also smooth and free revving and when you put your foot on the accelerator it gains speed and possibly more importantly you can feel it gaining speed. The engine also doesn't produce any nasty booming resonance if you keep the revs above 1200rpm that can afflict long-geared efficient diesels.

The tweaks which turn the standard Volvo V70 into a Driv-e model, aside from the smaller engine, include a more aerodynamic front bumper and grille, lowered suspension, low rolling resistance tyres, electrically driven power steering and longer third, fourth and fifth gears.

The rest of the car is standard V70, which means comfy seats and ride quality, superb build quality, great overall refinement and a huge, practical boot.

The V70 Driv-e may not be the quickest car in it's class, but it is the most efficient, which will win hearts and minds in the business car market.

Volvo V70 1.6D Driv-e SE
P11D price£22,745
Model price range£22,745-£37,745
Fuel consumption57.6mpg
CO2 (tax) 129g/km (18%)
BIK 20/40% per month£68/£136
Service interval18,000mls
Insurancegroup 12*
Boot space (min/max)575/1600 litres
Engine size/power1560cc/109PS
Top speed/0-62mph119mph/12.8secs
On sale November 2009
VerdictNot quick, but refined and
very good at not using fuel
* estimate