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Though the 2007 Volvo XC70 wagon remains a viable alternative for those who need an all-weather vehicle but don't want an SUV, Subaru's more powerful and agile Outback undercuts it on price while offering greater all-terrain capability.
Superb seat comfort, lots of cargo space for a wagon, variety of safety features, strong brakes, excellent snow vehicle.
Not much power for this price range, modest handling, minimal off-road capability despite raised suspension, tight legroom in backseat.
Available XC70 Wagon Models
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The 2007 Volvo XC70 picks up a revised set of alloy wheels and exterior mirrors with integrated turn signals. Additionally, stability control and a tire-pressure monitor are now standard. A dual-screen rear entertainment system is a new option, and the optional bi-xenon headlights are now an adaptive design, better enabling drivers to see around turns on dark roads. The rear-facing third-row seat is no longer available.
Although Volvo has expanded its lineup in recent years, creating SUVs and hardtop convertibles to appeal to a more diverse customer base, the company built its reputation on station wagons. These wagons have come in many different varieties, but the Volvo XC70 is easily the most unique. Originally called the V70 Cross Country (XC), it debuted in 1998, as consumer interest in SUVs was booming. Lacking a sport-utility of its own, Volvo took a midsize V70 station wagon, raised the suspension, fitted it with all-wheel drive and gave it a more aggressive front fascia. The XC proved popular with buyers, and soon the Cross Country accounted for half of all V70 sales. When the V70 was redesigned for 2001, so was the Cross Country. Designers tried to make it into a more serious all-terrain vehicle, giving it an even taller ride height and equipping it with skid plates.
Renamed the XC70 in 2003, this rugged Volvo wagon has never really lived up to its all-terrain promise, but it is a very capable snow vehicle. Driving an XC70 is much like driving a regular V70 2.5T wagon, though the XC's extra 250 pounds of weight make it feel a bit slower and less agile. Inside, the 2007 Volvo XC70 has a utilitarian ambience tempered by fabulously comfortable front seats and an ergonomically sound control layout. The rear seat is also plush, but there isn't much legroom. Cargo capacity, on the other hand, is abundant for a wagon, making the XC70 well-suited for hauling mountain bikes and dogs.
There's no question that the 2007 Volvo XC70 looks the part of an all-weather station wagon, but given its lack of off-road skills, it has no advantage over the less expensive Volkswagen Passat 4Motion wagon, which offers more interior room, lots more power and sharper handling. For buyers who really do want an all-wheel-drive wagon with raised ground clearance, the Subaru Outback is a better bet, as it offers true off-road capability for less money, along with superior driving dynamics on pavement.
An all-wheel-drive midsize wagon, the 2007 Volvo XC70 comes in a single trim level. Standard equipment includes 16-inch alloy wheels, skid plates, a roof rack, a power driver seat with memory settings, dual-zone automatic climate control, a six-speaker CD stereo, a leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel with audio controls, and faux wood trim.
Notable options include a navigation system (packaged with satellite radio), a 325-watt Dolby ProLogic II audio system with an in-dash CD changer, a rear DVD entertainment system with dual screens, adaptive bi-xenon headlights, 17-inch wheels and an adaptive suspension. The Premium Package adds leather upholstery, real walnut trim and a sunroof, while the Climate Package provides seat heaters, rain-sensing wipers and headlight washers. There's also a Four-C suspension option that features adjustable shock absorbers.
Only one engine is offered on the XC70 wagon, and it's a 2.5-liter, turbocharged inline five-cylinder rated for 208 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed automatic transmission sends power to all four wheels in varying degrees, depending on available traction. Under normal conditions, 95 percent of the engine's power is routed to the front wheels for the sake of fuel economy. The Volvo's EPA mileage ratings are 18 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway.
The 2007 Volvo XC70 comes standard with antilock disc brakes, stability control, front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, anti-whiplash front head restraints and Volvo's OnCall telematics. Opting for the Convenience Package equips your XC70 with rear parking assist, integrated child-booster seats and power rear-door safety locks. In government crash tests, the XC70 earned a perfect five stars for its frontal- and side-impact protection.
In standard trim, the XC70's cabin doesn't look or feel particularly luxurious, but leather upholstery is available for those who want a more upscale cabin. The front seats provide excellent comfort, but legroom in the second row is tight. Interior ergonomics are generally good, although a few oddly placed controls take some getting used to. With the rear seats folded down, the XC70 has 71.5 cubic feet of cargo room, slightly less capacity than most midsize SUVs provide but considerably more than most other wagons.
With its soft, forgiving suspension, the XC70 provides a smooth, isolated ride on all surfaces. Sharp handling isn't in the XC's repertoire, but light steering and a relatively small size make for easy maneuvering. Buyers seeking a little extra agility should check off the Four-C adaptive suspension option. The fully automatic all-wheel-drive system assures surefootedness in inclement weather but the XC70 really isn't rugged enough for off-road adventures. On the move, the turbocharged engine is economical and reasonably smooth, with adequate power for most situations, but the automatic transmission is sometimes slow on the draw.
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