The V70 is part of a new generation of Volvos, a generation that combines the traditional Volvo virtues of safety and practicality with an avant-garde style and a sassy attitude. All-new last year (2001), the V70 is a mid-size wagon based on the same mechanical platform as Volvo's prestigious S80 sedan. The kinship shows: While V70 surrenders nothing in practicality to other mid-size wagons, and exceeds most, if not all, in safety. And this sexy Swede does more than haul moldings home from Home Depot. In T5 form, especially, it just plain hauls, but with the refined demeanor of a European luxury sedan. V70's practical side shows in an adaptable seating arrangement, and a cargo compartment with tie-down hooks and other useful accessories. Its safety heritage lives on with a safety-cell structure and active seats rigged to thwart whiplash injuries. Occupants are shielded by airbags positioned ahead, beside and above. Responsive steering, electronic brake enhancements, and optional traction control help avoid accidents in the first place. But with a selection of turbocharged engines, aggressive suspension tuning and low-profile performance tires, the V70 also likes to go out and play.