I snapped a few more pics. Obviously, I have to showcase the cargo area:
The length of the cargo area is the main reason I went with a true wagon instead of a CUV. That load floor is 43.5" deep (seatback to closed hatch) and 44.5" wide between the wheel arches. Go head, find me a dog that couldn't get comfortable back there.
I really like the way the driver's area is laid out.
They did an awesome job with the controls. Everything is completely intuitive, and everything on the floating center stack can be found by touch. It is a nice change from the menu-driven controls of a Prius, which I had to look at to use. Basic radio and bluetooth controls are duplicated on the steering wheel. This car also has a standard a- and i-fcd with DTE and average speed readouts. And yes, that's a push-button start instead of a key. I could take or leave that, but it's fine. I don't have any plans to FAS this thing.
The devil's work:
That's a B6324s, producing 235 bhp and 236 lb-ft. Amazingly, some reviewers still whine about this engine and tell you that it "needs" the 300hp turbocharged version. Right.
The previous 2.5L 5-cylinder turbo was a great engine and would have been perfectly adequate. It went away because they moved the V70 from the midsize S60 platform to the larger S80 platform, and it comes with 6 cylinder engines. In any event, Volvo/Ford did some clever arranging to make it fit transversely in the bay. The timing chain and accessory drive are all on the back
(driver's side) above the transmission. The alternator is driven by a shaft and tucked under the intake manifold. Boy, can't I just wait
for any of those systems to need maintenance. Fortunately this engine has been out since '07 with hardly any known issues (other than the oil seal described in the next paragraph) so my odds should be OK. All this drives the wheels through the 6 speed transmission sourced from Aisin Warner. Oh, and it runs fine on regular gas. Volvo finally realized how much people hate filling with premium (though they say the engine performs better on it).
Overall I think this car was a good find. It is just about to roll over 75,000mi, which is a lot for a 3.5 y/o car. It has a semi-known history because it was sold new by this same dealer to the sales manager's father, who lives in South Carolina and used it mainly to run up and down the I-95 corridor to visit family and whatnot. (Given the accent on the sales manager, I can't dispute the story.) It does have its fair share of minor scratches and chips, but it is in great overall shape. It even has a service booklet full of dealer stamps. I do need to give it a preemptive transmission fluid change ("lifetime" my eye) and I did have to take it back yesterday for a very minor oil leak. (The vacuum pump is camshaft driven and the O-rings have been failing left and right, resulting in a slow drip. Took 1/2 hour to fix under the compulsory 60 day warranty.) I also think there is some debris stuck in the cabin fan, which buzzes intermittently. Other than that it feels like a really solid machine. Fit & finish are confidence inspiring.