The Volvo station wagon is not just an automobile. For decades, it has been the manifested dream of sensible, responsible parents who prize reliability, practicality and -- above all -- safety. Volvo spent its marketing dollars making "Volvo" and "safe" interchangeable terms.
Over the years, Volvo slowly added performance and luxury to the mix. The result is the XC70, a powerful super-wagon. Blending the practical shape of a wagon with the brawny characteristics of an SUV, the XC70 falls into the crossover segment.
The Volvo XC70, Volvo V70's adventurous off-road cousin, has had its current body style since 2008. For 2014, the XC70's options are largely unchanged, although the T6 turbocharged version gets even more exciting with an optional sport mode.
The XC70's aggressive 8.5-inch ground clearance, unpainted wheel arches and aluminum underbody panels hint at the Volvo's off-road prowess. This crossover looks ready to tackle the Paris-Dakar rally right after dropping off the kids at soccer practice. The car looks tough, but aesthetically pleasing, a big improvement over past Volvos. Inside, the XC70 is stylish and refined. Rather than overwhelming the driver with blaring technology, the elegant center console and dashboard present techno-gadgets in an organized way.
Under the Hood
Power comes from a choice of inline-sixes: a naturally aspirated 3.2-liter engine that makes 240 horsepower or a turbocharged 3-liter producing 300 horsepower in the T6 model. Both are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Although offering a reasonable 19 mpg city and 25 mpg highway, the 3.2-liter is a bit underpowered for the Volvo's 4,152-pound heft. Acceleration is much better with the turbo engine, which manages to provide similar fuel efficiency. The standard XC70 is front-wheel drive; all-wheel drive is available.
The Volvo sacrifices some handling prowess for a comfortable ride. Spirited driving accentuates the top-heavy Volvo's body roll, although a long list of road safety controls prevent the driver from getting into any serious trouble. The Volvo XC70 is a wonderful long-distance cruiser -- particularly the T6, which flies down the highway.
The basic, entry level Volvo XC70 is far from "bare bones." Unlike its German competitors, the standard XC70 comes well-equipped, with features such as Bluetooth, HD and Satellite Radio, USB connectivity, a power driver's seat and much more. Volvo's advanced safety features are also on full display. All 3.2-liter XC70s come standard with a six-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive; all-wheel-drive is optional. The 3.2-liter engine is a bit underpowered for the car, but offers fair gas mileage for this type of vehicle.
For a hefty $7,800 up-charge over the standard XC70, the Platinum package carries all the options from lower trim levels, while adding navigation and an upgraded 12-speaker premium sound and infotainment system that can play concert-quality music from a variety of inputs; it will even play DVDs when the car is at a standstill. At this price point, the 3.2-liter engine will seem anemic to many buyers; performance-oriented drivers should test the more powerful T6 before making a final decision.
The Premier package offers several upgrades such as keyless ignition. The car also features a slot for charging the fob's battery. The interior gets a very attractive series of wood inlays, while the front passenger gets power seat controls. The rear cargo area receives a touch of privacy with tinted rear and side windows.
The Premier Plus package is a slight upgrade from the Premier, with an addition of front and rear Park Assist and Active Dual Xenon headlights that follow curves in the road. Some consider the blue-tinted Xenons to be nothing more than a passing auto gimmick, but they really do improve visibility and tend to last for the life of the car. The package also offers a power tailgate.
The T6's turbocharged 300-horsepower inline-six is a substantial upgrade over the sluggish 3.2-liter engine. The same six-speed automatic transmission transfers all that power to a standard all-wheel drive system. The Premier Plus package for the T6 offers several upgrades over the basic version, such as Adaptive Dual Xenon headlights, a digital compass and a power tailgate. The Platinum package adds the same 12-speaker premium sound and infotainment system offered on the 3.2-liter's Platinum package. Additional features like blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control and collision detection can push the final price uncomfortably north of $50,000.
Build and price your dream Volvo XC70 in just a few easy steps.
|Build & Price|
2011 Volvo XC70$28,260 | 52,740 mi
2011 Volvo XC70$35,540 | 17,427 mi
2011 Volvo XC70$35,590 | 31,510 mi
2011 Volvo XC70$35,990 | no mileage
2010 Volvo XC70$25,498 | 39,625 mi
2010 Volvo XC70$26,190 | 57,602 mi
2008 Volvo XC70$19,821 | 66,340 mi
2008 Volvo XC70$24,042 | 38,249 mi
2008 Volvo XC70$24,988 | 40,357 mi
2007 Volvo XC70$17,995 | 88,123 mi
2006 Volvo XC70$8,500 | 141,857 mi
2006 Volvo XC70$13,991 | 96,364 mi
2005 Volvo XC70$10,999 | 110,495 mi
2004 Volvo XC70$10,577 | 114,766 mi
2003 VOLVO XC70$6,988 | 147,973 mi
2003 Volvo XC70$7,988 | 119,084 mi
Slightly smaller, not as powerful and expensive with options, but a sports-inspired interior and German engineering make this a fair alternative
A lower price tag and more utilitarian, but lacks the Volvo's standard high-tech features and luxurious feel
Roomier, taller and similarly priced, the Flex is a viable CUV alternative
A lower price tag, but also a weaker standard engine, pitiful off-road capability and less cargo room