2009 Volvo XC70

I prefer the looks and the price (about $4000 less) of the less butch V70, but the XC70 certainly has a lot to offer (all-wheel drive, aggressive tires, increased ground clearance) for certain customers, particularly Snow Belters who live on gravel roads. The turbocharged engine also is not available on the V70, although I could barely tell that this car had the turbo, since it's a very low-pressure unit, and this is a lot of car to move around. The XC70 has adequate power, don't get me wrong; it's just not fast.

As Jen noted, the interior is beautiful and very stylish, typical of Volvo's recent efforts. (The hot, hot heated seats are great for both Sweden and Michigan winters, too!) I also like the exterior styling, although I'm not wild about the dark lower cladding. Still, the XC70 doesn't go overboard on the SUV features/looks, and it's extremely functional. Sure the fuel mileage could be better, but at least this pseudo-SUV isn't as wasteful as real ones.

Rusty Blackwell, Copy Editor

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