Compare the Volvo V50 & the Volvo V70

Written by christopher jackson
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Volvo's estate cars are known for their reliability, safety and their cavernous cargo capacity. In the 1970s and 1980s, only one wagon was offered--brick-shaped versions of the 140 sedan, which evolved over the years into the 240, 740 and 940. Volvo's current line-up includes two estate cars that share similar styling. One doesn't have to be a lifelong car spotter to tell the difference between the compact V50 and mid-size V70, however.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Look at the car's body first. The V70 is longer and taller than the V50, a fact that will be clear if they're side by side.

  2. 2

    Look at the distance from the centre of each wheel to the edge of the front or rear bumpers. This distance is called "overhang," and the sporty V50 has a very short and stubby overhang that is most noticeable at the rear.

  3. 3

    Check the grille as well. 2010 models of the V70 have a much larger and more elaborate grille than the V50. The V70 features a larger Volvo badge and distinctive chrome trim, compared to the V50's finer grille mesh and smaller grille opening.

  4. 4

    Lift the bonnet and look at the engine. The V50 is available with a choice of five-cylinder engines, while the V70 has a 3.2-litre inline six-cylinder. An engineering degree isn't required, as both engines are covered by plastic shrouds. In 2010 models, the V50's shroud is silver, while the V70's is black.

Tips and warnings

  • The Volvo V50 and V70 are identified by badges on the rear tailgate.
  • If the Volvo in question has a manual transmission, it's a V50--the V70 is only offered with an automatic.

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