The volvo wagon is the perfect family car. It's comfortable and safe -- and it kept me from having to buy a minivan!
I got a volvo v70 as a first car and I love it. Its a great first car with great practicality
I'm currently on my second used V70. The first was a 2001, I'm now driving a (new to me) 2006. I ride road bikes and mountain bikes, and I like that I can easily fit my bikes in the boot without removing the front wheel. I pull it out, and ride. It's nice when I take my bikes somewhere that I don't want them on the roof, like work, or in poor weather. The V70 does very well on road trips. It's comfortable and solid. The steering is heavy and has very good feedback. The steering is much lighter/easier at low speeds in the 2006 than on my 2001. I prefer wagons over SUVs for safety. I feel that they are much less inclined to rollover in an accident. Emergency steering maneuvers are sharper, and it stops much faster (or to state that differently.. it's possible to reduce more inertia/momentum when things go bad, prior to a crash, and you can better alter the direction of the vehicle in an emergency than an SUV). My wife drives a Lexus RX400h SUV, and my V70 is much larger inside. Most people think it would be the other way around given the bulky look of the RX. I have the 2.5t motor. It's better than the 2.4t motor in my 2001, but I wouldn't complain if it had a little more power. Volvo stopped importing the more powerful T5 motor to the USA in 2005. I've driven the non-turbo loaners from my V dealer, and it's too under-powered for my taste. In the two months I've had this 2006, I've taken two road trips, and I got nowhere near the estimated highway mpg of 29. More like 24-25, and I did reset the computer. I did not have my roof rack on the car for either trip, I dread what I'll see with bikes and or cargo box on the roof. I like my V70 because it's different. It's not just another mazda cx7 or ford explorer. Now the bad.. my 2001 was costly to maintain. CV boots, cracked engine mounts, front suspension issues, a failed catalytic converter, a failed rear latch lock motor, among other, smaller things. I sold it just before the timing belt change was due, and it also needed new rear suspension mounts. I plan to have this 2006 maintained at a non-dealership Volvo garage to keep the cost manageable. I also change my own fluids. On the positive side, wagons don't hold their value well in the states, so these things are super cheap used. It's possible to get a LOT of car for the money with the V70. That was my rational for buying another V70 that might require costly maintenance over the next 5 years.