The XC70 is the midline crossover model from Volvo. It does not offer some of the new and fluid lined modeling that the bigger XC90 has and has stuck to the older boxier body style. Some think that this design makes it look much more rugged and believe this body style to be more attractive. The XC70 can be equipped with the same inline six cylinder engine found in the XC90, but only offers minimal power, the upgraded supercharged inline six will give the driver 285 horsepower. Both engine models remain unchanged since last year’s offering in this model. The XC70 does offer a few more miles to the gallon than its big brother the XC90, mostly due to its smaller and lighter design. The XC70 does not offer enough power for any serious towing, but this sports utility vehicle is designed much more for looks and highway usage.
The XC70 does offer many different systems to make it one of the safest models in its class. Volvo has been known for performing very high in safety testing and this year’s XC70 will be no different.
Body style: 4-door wagon
Engines: 3.2L I-6, 3.0L turbocharged I-6
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Models: 3.2, T6
The XC70 continues basically unchanged except for some minor trim updates, a PZEV version of the base 3.2-liter engine and some modest revisions to its option packages. The T6 gains standard 18-inch wheels, leather, and a power passenger’s seat. Both versions gain a new Multimedia package that includes Sirius satellite radio, nav system and a premium sound system while the previous Collision Avoidance Package is replaced by the Technology package.
In an era of fast-appearing and highly-styled new crossovers, the XC70 is getting lost in the crowd. While only two years old, its chunky station wagon design cues almost seem like a throwback to earlier Volvo times. But for some Volvo buyers, that may be exactly what they’re looking for.
The XC70’s interior is luxuriously appointed, with an overall theme of flowing sweeps across the dash. The center stack is highlighted by a version of Volvo’s signature, free-standing, waterfall center-stack, and attractive, available inlays including wood. Deserving special mention is the highly ergonomic quality of its controls.
At about 4150 pounds, the XC70 isn’t light. But the 235 horsepower 3.2-liter six moves the XC70 to 60 mph in about 8.4 seconds, while the turbocharged 3.0-liter gets it there in 7.1 seconds. Not bad. Otherwise, the XC70 is oriented towards comfort, quietness, and rough-road capability, so don’t expect sports car handling. Or frugal fuel economy – the XC70’s 18 mpg combined figure isn’t impressive.
Neither the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety or the NHTSA offer crash testing results for the XC70, but Volvo’s reputation for safety research is considerable and the XC70 reflects this with its optional Technology Package which includes adaptive cruise control, automated braking in an emergency, lane departure and driver alert.
3.2 and T6: 16 mpg city/22 mpg highway
- All-wheel-drive capability
- Attractive, luxurious interior
- Handsome, if slightly dated, exterior
- Lacking Volvo’s recent design flair
- No R-Design variant
- Mediocre fuel economy
Minor updates manage to keep the XC70 in the game
- Audi A4 Avant
- BMW 3 Series Wagon
- Subaru Outback