Last post on Jul 19, 2010 at 5:36 AM
You are in the Volvo V70
What is this discussion about?
Volvo XC70, Volvo V70, Future Vehicle, Wagon
#38 of 98 Re: 3rd seat [fedlawman]
Jan 07, 2008 (6:14 am)
I own a base model 2004 V70 NA 2.4L (5A) and my wife owns a base model 2007 FWD XC90 3.2 (6A) 5 passenger. I understand the wish for high fuel economy. I get well over 30 mpg on the interstate and the best we can get in the XC90 is in the low 20s mpg. The mileage around town is much less than I would like.
But the XC90 is absolutely wonderful on trips. I have not tried the 3rd row seat in an XC90, but I would consider it adequate for a defensible level of crash protection. A V70 is simply too small to include a 3rd row seat.
If I had a V70 with a third row seat and I needed to use it, I'm sure I would, but I'd be nervous the whole time and if someone would be injured in it, I'd feel that I had taken a chance that I should not have.
As far as purchasing that option so that I would have that capability, I would not do it. If I were in a decison making position at Volvo, I would discontinue offering the 3rd row seat in the V70 because it is enabling and encouraging the user to exceed the design capability of the V70, and would expose Volvo to a product liabilty lawsuit should some tragedy occur.
#39 of 98 Re: 3rd seat [fedlawman]
Jan 07, 2008 (9:04 am)
I think I recall reading somewhere that it is now only a dealer installed option for 2008. I have one in my 99 from the factory. At the time there were very few 7 seaters other than mini vans. It is a good option if used as intended. I think Volvo should continue to offer it as it sets it apart from the other wagons - Saab, BMW, MB. I don't think the consumer should need to buy a mini van or SUV just because they want occasional 3 rd row seats.
We used ours only for casual use in the early years. It hardly gets any use now as the kids are all too big.
#40 of 98 Re: 3rd seat [stmss]
Jan 07, 2008 (9:38 am)
Your defense of this is as good a defense as can be given of getting the 3rd row seat in a V70. We all take risks. A person could well analyze the risks and benefits and decide that overall that it is a risk worth taking. For a particular person it might even be safety neutral, in total, and it enable them to consume less fuel.
In my 07 V70 the spare tire and the battery are under the deck behind the 2nd row seat. I can imagine that the battery stays where it is, but what happens to the spare tire when the 3rd row seat is installed? Maybe a spare can no longer be carried, and one must rely on a can of sealer and a 12V air pump. Some vehicles come that way!
#41 of 98 Re: 3rd seat [stmss]
Jan 07, 2008 (10:33 am)
Our main criteria for a family car was that it have a 3rd row seat. We are a family of 4, so we don't need it often, but when we do need it, it is a great convenience. Our 2004 V70 didn't come from the factory with the 3rd row seat (although it was an available option). We had the dealer install it.
Even dealer installed, it is functionally identical to the factory installed version.
Regarding using the 3rd row, I agree that it cannot be used as a functional seat on a regular basis. When it's occupied, it leaves little to no space for cargo. So while we would never want to take a trip with the kids sitting back there (where would you put your luggage?), we appreciate having it one those occasions when we take the neighbors kids to school in the morning or take the kids and their friends to the movies.
We had a Buick Rendezvous before, and I rememeber reading all the hoopla about 3rd row safety when the first three-row crossover SUV's started hitting the market. Basically, the consensus was that any occupant of a 3rd row seat in a "wheelbase challenged" vehicle is at higher risk for injury. This would include any vehicle smaller than an extended w/b minivan or full-size SUV.
So, according to the safety gurus, basically anything smaller than a Chevrolet Suburban is off the list. Personally, I think risk is a part of life and to "avoid" risk is to "avoid" life. I am "at risk" every time I drive to work, fly a helicopter, or go swimming (just owning a swimming pool is "risky"). I choose to "manage risk" and allow my kids go swimming, ride their bikes in the neighborhood, climb the tree in the backyard, and sit in the 3rd row of the Volvo.
Personally, if the 3rd row seat had not been available in the V70, we wouldn't have bought it. We could have made due with a 6-person near-lux sedan like the Toyota Avalon, or gone for the Acura MDX (which itself is 3rd row "safety challenged"), but we both really liked the V70's unique combination of utility and comfort.
#42 of 98 Re: 3rd seat [fedlawman]
Jan 07, 2008 (10:55 am)
And let's not forget, if we were truly worried about every occupant being inside the safety cage, nobody would drive motorcyles or even convertibles, for that matter, since your head may not be protected (yes, some convertibles have a popup thingy, but that may or may not protect someone of my height).
#43 of 98 Re: 3rd seat [qbrozen]
Jan 07, 2008 (11:21 am)
You reminded me of a discussion (and there were a number) I had here (in the Rendezvous forum I think) a few years ago talking about child carseats. The Reader's Digest version is that there was a report (IIHS?) that the safest position in a vehicle is the 2nd row middle (center) seat. A forum participant stated that it was unsafe to put your child in any seat other than the 2nd row center seat because of the risk of injury during a side collision.
This discussion went around and around because, as you can imagine, one has to ask what do you do if you have more than 1 child? Do you place the kid you love the most in the middle?
Another discussion involved purchasing a vehicle that is "5-star" crash test rated vs. a car that "only" has 3 or 4 stars. Does buying a mere "4-star" car mean you don't love your family as much as you neighbor with the "5-star" car?
Stupid drivel if you ask me. Buy the car that fits your personal values, lifestyle, budget, etc. and then hit the road. Don't listen to people who will try to impose their values and opinions on you (why do people even do this?).
I love the V70 because one weekend, my wife can go to the movies with our two kids and her best friend and her two kids all in one car. The next weekend, we can take a trip to Spokane and get better than 30 MPG. Then the next weekend, she can accompany me to a BMWCCA driving school and hit the skidpad, autocross, and emergency braking course in a car with basically sedan-level performance and handling.
#44 of 98 Re: 3rd seat [jim314]
Jan 07, 2008 (11:27 am)
For many families, buying a mini van or SUV just to have a 3rd row for part time use is akin to buying that pickup for the 2-3 times a year you go to home depot.
We went to the V70 from a Plymouth mini van for a number of reasons (besides the obvious upgrade in quality, ride, performace etc).
1. We have 3 kids and a middle row that could sit 3 was rare - even in mini vans in those days - usually it was 2 captains. Therefore - we had to put 1 kid in the 3rd row of the van all the time.
2. The third row, despite adequate room, left only 1 foot between the glass and his head. Take a look at 3rd rows in any mid size SUV and van today - it is a bit better but not much. At least in the Volvo, the feet are at the back of the vehicle. So I don't necessarily buy the 'crumple zone' argument in all cases.
3. We had only occasional use for 6 or 7 seater. So, it was better to take one vehicle with someone in the 3rd row than to take two vehicles. Is there less risk here - problably.
So we were left with this - 3rd row all the time in a van, or part of the time in the Volvo. In my opinion, the risk of injury in a rear ender was higher in the van as the miles driven with someone in the rear seat was higher (by a large factor).
BTW, the spare tire in my 99 is below the fold up 3rd row seats. But battery is under the hood.
#45 of 98 Re: 3rd seat [qbrozen]
Jan 07, 2008 (11:45 am)
One of Volvo's big selling points has always been safety. We got our first Volvo in 1996 because we were at a certain point in life where we became especially safety conscious. At that time I was driving a 1989 Dodge Caravan SWB with 2.5L 5-spd manual and she was driving a 1991 Dodge Spirit 2.5L 5-spd man. (The latter was a positively terrific value in a safe, low maintenance, functional, and fuel efficient vehicle. The Spirit later became my vehicle and I drove it until the Spring of 2007 when I sold it cheap to someone who approached me about it for inexpensive daily commuting. It still ran great after 16.5 years and got 34 mpg on the interstate with the a/c on. )
For camping and for hauling kids to various functions, the Caravan was terrific and it got excellent fuel economy when the speed limits were 55 mph (28 to 30 mpg highway). However, I became aware that this model year and trim level of Caravan was not as safe as we then wanted and so I sold it and my wife bought a base model 850 wagon (Volvo 855) for her and the newly lisenced teenage driver in our household to drive and I took the 91 Spirit. That model year the base trim Caravan did not have shoulder belts past the front seats, the 2nd and 3rd rows were low back, and I learned that it did not even have side door beams. It was classified as a truck and, like pickups, was extempt from the side door beam requirement.
#47 of 98 Re: 3rd seat [jim314]
Jan 07, 2008 (12:40 pm)
I loved the Caravan but sold it rather than trading in or selling the Spirit because the latter had the safety features I wanted.
The 850 wagon was very cramped compared to the Caravan, but served its travelling function acceptably well, though not as good as a minivan. It 2004 it was totalled in a guardrail smack and 720 deg rollover on a tollway when my wife was the sole occupant. A pickup two cars in front of the 850 slammed on its brakes in the middle lane to attempt to use an exit which it had almost passed. My wife swerved into the lane next to the guardrail, lost control, the 850 began fishtailing, hit and rode up on the smooth concrete guardrail with the left front corner, and rolled twice about the longitudinal axis, swapped ends and was reflected back into the middle lane. It ended up on the wheels in the center lane facing opposite to the original direction of travel beyond and now facing the car which had been in front of her.
She was stunned but totally unhurt, not one bruise, did not even have to take an aspirin. She was unaware she had rolled, until witnesses told her so. She taken a very expensive carnival ride.
No airbags deployed and she did not contact any other vehicles. The 850 was scraped and dented on the left side, the front, the roof at one A-pillar crushed in maybe 4 inches, and the right side was all scraped up. The hood was buckled and the radiator leaking coolant. All the windows had been up and both front ones were broken out and missing, the windshield was cracked all over but in place. If she had not been wearing her lap/shoulder belts she would have been partially or entirely ejected through a front window.
I think the 91 Spirit would probably have done about as well in this accident as the 850, but the 89 Caravan would probably not have.
She got a 2004 base model V70 non-turbo (no dynamic stability control in the base one on the lot) to replace the wrecked 850 and drove it four years until she decided to get a Volvo with dynamic stability control. She wanted another V70 base model, but none was available so she got a base model XC90 3.2 FWD and I got the 2004 V70 NA 2.4L 168 hp which I like a lot, though I hated to part with my Spirit. Although I do sometimes wish my 04 V70 had the manual tranny.
However, the seats in the XC90 and the driving position make it much more comfortable for trips. I put a trailer hitch on the V70 (not cheap!) and intended for us to use an aerodynamic utility trailer for camping with our three dogs, but I couldn't decide on a trailer before we went on a trip so I got an 18 cu ft Thule roof box and it worked great. The mpg was still in the mid to upper 20's mpg depending on the speeds. An aerodynamic trailer would be much easier to load and unload and would probably have less mpg penalty, it that's possible.
However, travelling in the XC90 (even with the base cloth seath) is much more comfortable that the 850 or the V70 (both base cloth seats) and with its 8.5 in ground clearance it handles rough potholed roads much better than a V70. I understand that the new XC70 (3.2L I6) has very comfortable seats, good ground clearance and somewhat better fuel economy that an XC90 3.2, and is AWD.