The Volvo V70, probably the most common car in Sweden, has been the top selling car in this cold but pleasant country for quite some time now. Like any other Volvo car, its key advantage is safety - not speed or luxuriousness. It is, however, available in serveral different versions.

The bog standard V70 comes with a lot of different choices when it comes to engines: from the five-cylinder 2.4 available at 140 or 170 hp, offering a top speed of 205 kph (man) or 200 kph (aut), to the 2.4T 200 hp engine, peaking at 210 kph but with significantly faster acceleration. In-between is the 2.0T at 180 hp, and for those who want something even hotter, the 250 horsepower T5, a high-pressure turbocharged engine providing a peak speed of 250 kph. You can also get the V70 with a diesel engine, at either 130 or 163 hp; the 2.4D and 5D, respectively. These engines offer more power at lower rpm's, and they're quite economical, but not for the speed freak. Finally, there are two bi-fuel versions of the V70: one methane gas model, and one running on LPG (liquified petroleum gas). Both cars can also run on petrol, hence the designation bi-fuel.

All the standard V70's have front-wheel drive, transersely mounted engines, five-speed gearboxes (manual, automatic or geartronic), power-assisted steering, and all the other goodies you'll find on any modern car. ABS (Anti-lock Brake System), EBD (Electronic Brake Distribution) and EBA (Emergency Brake Assistance) are part of the standard equipment, however STC (Stability/Traction Control) is not. Volvo also offer an anti-skid system called DSTC (Dynamic Stability/Traction Control). The load capacity is quite something, maxing out at 1,641 litres with the rear-seat backrest moved out of the way. There are three airbag systems: apart from the one built into the steering wheel, there's also the SIPS (Side Impact Protection System) and IC (Inflatable Curtain). As the names suggest, these serve to protect the driver and passengers from injury from the sides.

The Volvo V70 is also available in a few special models, including the V70R racing model (easily recognizable; it has huge cooling intakes), the all wheel drive V70 AWD - which is really just a normal V70 with a 2.4T engine and four wheel drive - and, probably most well-known, the V70 XC, where XC means "cross-country". The XC is basically a V70 with a lot more stuff included in the standard setup - including all-wheel drive - and a lot of extra plastic/rubber details on the outside to give the car a tougher look (it works). It comes with a 200 hp low-pressure turbo engine but drinks a lot of petrol: up to 11.3 litres/100 km, muchly due to the added weight. Still, if you want to impress someone (and own those BMWs on the freeway) then the XC is the car to own.

The V70 series of cars stem from the earlier 740 and 940 models - the similarities are striking, and while the older cars don't come with as many cool toys and safety features, they're still safer than many cars sold today, and they look almost as cool, if you ask me.

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