The biggest concern when buying a car is finding a combination of a good, beautiful and practical one.
You usually get a beautiful, fashionable car that can't really perform other tasks like transporting minor goods.
This concern became irrelevant when I received the new Volvo XC70 for test-driving recently.
It is one of the most attractive station wagons I have ever seen. One look at the XC70 convinces you that you are looking at a different breed of Volvo.
The shape is that of a Volvo but without the conservativeness. At the same time, it has a sporty look to it.
It is the type of vehicle that would perform any family task with ease. I drove it for one week and was hooked. The XC70 does not shout at you to drive, but it subtly invites you to come in.
Once you are inside the XC70, you don't want to give it up. At least that's how I felt.
The interior proves the Swedish maturity in car-making. It has a complete feel to it. The dash and centre consoles assure the driver that she is driving a luxury brand.
In the XC70, Volvo has come full circle and matched the likes of Mercedes Benz. The use of high quality materials for the interior is a clear indication that enough time was spent in executing the XC70.
There are enough safety features for your peace of mind. The level of comfort in the XC70 falls within the best category.
This Swedish gem makes for easy and effortless driving. The back seat rows can be flattened should the need to load goods arise.
There are few cars that can compete in this category. While driving the XC70, I could not stop wondering about reports that most of these vehicles had been recalled because of faulty airbags.
But Volvo Cars SA explains that this was not a major issue, but a precautionary measure to protect customers.
According to Deon Sonnekus, the XC70s were recalled to upgrade software that controls the side impact protection (SIP). The SIP airbags were deploying slower than expected.
"It was a minor procedure with no cost to the customers," said Sonnekus.
He said the upgrade was necessary to have the SIP deployed on time.
The Volvo XC70 offers luxury and a spacious interior, sporty driving properties and high comfort, as well as smart solutions for increased flexibility and practical functions. But taking it off-road would be a waste, it is such a beautiful car. It has a transverse drive line and all-wheel drive.
Adaptive cruise control (ACC) is an impressive feature that was developed to help the driver stay a safe distance behind the vehicle in front.
Our test six-cylinder normally aspirated engine produces 175 kW and 320 Nm, is mated to a six-speed automatic geartronic transmission, and offers the most rewarding and comfortable driving experience.
The manufacturer has not compromised when fitting sound systems in their cars, and the XC70 is no exception.
It is fitted with high performance and superior sound systems. It is possible to play CDs in MP3 or WMA format.
The CD changer can store several tracks and give you access to large sections of your personal musical library.
Audio units are equipped with an extra input to connect equipment such as an MP3 player.
You need about R450000 to own the XC70.