We had a V70 D5 Geartronic from 2006 until last year. Very, very comfortable, easy to fix yourself, good Volvo forum for help. Do not expect a high MPG and in the annual JD (break down) statistics the Avensis I think fairs better than a V70. They can be driven sporty. They have less room inside than you would think from the outside. We went for a Skoda Superb. Also a brilliant car with loads of room and much cheaper with equal equipment levels.
I'm on my 5th Avensis (all company cars) in the last 13 years and have covered approx 500,000 miles in them.
All diesels and the only problem I have had with any of them was with a 2008, 2.2 litre saloon, as already said there was an issue with that particular engine (also used in the Lexus 220d).
Never had a Volvo but their reputation is legendary, but the Avensis appears to be "Bullitproof", only problem for me is this will probably be my last Avensis the salesman told me that production is to stop and there are no plans for a replacement.
I'm not a huge fan of the new fad of SUV type vehicles that seem to be flooding the market.
Although the Avensis Tourer doesn't have the huge payload of the V40, the post 2009 models are pretty stylish as estates go, have a good level of equipment and are extremely reliable.
I have carried alsorts in mine from when the kids were at university to when they got married and moved away.
Toyota seem to be pushing ahead in the hybrid market, hence the demise of the Avensis model, my current Tourer (Business Edition Plus) isn't due for replacement for about 3 years, not sure what of the current crop I would go for.