Shed of the Week | Volvo V70 D3

Even in these tough times, solid Swedish Sheds are out there

By Tony Middlehurst / Friday, 13 October 2023 / Loading comments

Remember when some things seemed too good to be true? Those times seem a long way off now. Everyone’s just too knowing these days. You do see so-called ‘barn finds’ on tinternet, but a true barn find was when you managed to con some old duffer out of a jewel they didn’t know they had. The owners of the ‘barn finds’ you see today know perfectly well what they’ve got. They’ve just been waiting for someone like Jonny Smith to come round and revive them for no money.

Whatever, this week’s Shed โ€“ a very clean-looking 2011 Volvo V70 D3 ES diesel estate with a manual gearbox โ€“ does appear to fall into that rare ‘hidden gem’ category. Shed doesn’t think it will be a hidden gem for long. He handed in his report on Wednesday fully expecting it to sell before you got a chance to read about it on Friday, and he apologises in advance if that happens. You never know though, it might hang around and you might be able to snaffle it. Maybe the ‘EVIL’ number plate will put people off, or maybe it has some dark secret that will ensure its ongoing failure to sell. 

Shed can’t see what that secret might be though. This 144,000-mile wagon looks bright and well cared for, with an advisory-free MOT until next April and tyres (well, one at least) by a manufacturer you’ve actually heard of. It’s been nicely prepared by the vendor and the presence of the D3 163hp 2.0 diesel under the bonnet is good news too. This was an inline five-cylinder engine that Volvo introduced in mid-2010 to replace the old 136hp 2.0 four. A well-rated unit, it was basically the old 2.4 but with a shorter stroke and new piezo injection to improve fuel consumption, specifically in the V70 to a combined amount of 51.4mpg. Annual car tax in the UK as of Oct ’23 was ยฃ200. 

The V70 D3 weighed 1,675kg so the 0-62mph time wasn’t spectacular, only just creeping into single figures, but it felt quick enough on the road thanks to a very respectable 295lb ft of torque from under 1,500rpm. Remaps will be well worth investigating. 

There was a big recall on 2.0 diesel engines for unexplained blazes, hmm, but Shed isn’t sure if that was the four-pot, the five-pot, or the fire-pot. There was also a small problem with handbrakes releasing themselves on start-stop-equipped Feb ’11-Feb ’15 manuals when the engine was on and the gearlever was moved. All a bit odd for such a safety-aware carmaker, but these issues should be about as common as true barn finds now. 

ES trim was new for the 2011 Volvos, replacing the old S spec. That means our Shed has a few buttons missing from the steering wheel and other places, but it’s still got about a thousand other controls to press, prod or pull. Hopefully they all work. It’s certainly not lacking in the essentials such as cruise control and a parking ticket holder on the A-pillar. As the gen-three (pre-facelift) it should have 55 litres more carrying space in the back than the previous generation V70, which was hardly mean in that department. Some online pundits reckon it had less, which sounds unlikely, but the tailgate was a new design so maybe theyโ€™re right. 

What we do know is that our car comes with screens for the little ‘uns in the back and, by the looks of it, a free Parrot in the front. The postmistress has a pet bird now after whispering to Shed the other day that she liked a cockatoo. She’s currently teaching it to shout ‘get out missis!’ in the event of Mrs Shed rumbling over to peer through the front room window in search of her errant hubby. Shed doubts it will work, but as he told the postmistress just before she clicked the ‘pay now’ button on some unusual leather goods, he’s willing to try anything once. 

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