The Volvo XC70 is an all-weather version of the now-discontinued V70 midsize wagon that boasts all-wheel drive as well as increased ground clearance and SUV-like styling cues. The latter two features are mostly for show, however, as the XC70 has never had much in the way of serious off-road hardware. What the XC70 has consistently offered is a more sure-footed demeanor in foul weather conditions, and it has become progressively more stylish and luxurious through the years, while maintaining its SUV-grade cargo space and superior reputation for safety.
The current generation Volvo XC70 is ruggedly handsome, and it continues to offer many of the same virtues as previous versions: confidence-inspiring all-wheel drive, top-notch safety, a luxurious cabin and enough cargo space to satisfy all but the most haul-happy families. With the base inline six-cylinder engine, however, performance is lackluster -- other midsize wagons and a handful of crossover SUVs are both more satisfying to drive and comparably or more frugal at the pump. The turbocharged T6 model addresses the speed issue at least. The XC70 is a solid family vehicle, especially for those living in colder climates. Still, there are competing models that have similarly appealing traits, as well as superior power and/or efficiency.
Current Volvo XC70
The Volvo XC70 technically competes in the midsize wagon segment, although its available all-wheel drive, raised ride height and SUV-like features make it competitive with crossover SUVs as well.
Offered in base, front-wheel-drive 3.2 or uplevel all-wheel-drive T6 trim, the XC70 comes well equipped with alloy wheels, skid plates, roof rails, dual-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth connectivity and an eight-speaker audio system with satellite radio and an iPod interface. The T6 adds bigger wheels, dual exhaust outlets, a power sunroof, leather seating and a "watch dial" instrument cluster. Major options include front/rear park assist, a navigation system, heated front and rear seats, a rearview camera and adaptive bi-xenon headlights. Of course, there are also available cutting-edge safety features that include adaptive cruise control, a collision warning system and a lane-departure warning system.
Under the hood of the base model is a 3.2-liter inline-6 that sends 240 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque to the front wheels (all-wheel drive is optional) via a six-speed automatic transmission. Although those numbers aren't bad, the XC70's acceleration and fuel economy are both decidedly unimpressive. The T6 shares the six-speed transmission and AWD system, but adds a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-6 that pumps out a more satisfying 300 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque.
The stylish XC70 should please any family that requires all-weather capability, carlike handling and an upscale cabin with plenty of cargo space. But with the proliferation of crossover SUV offerings in recent years, there are numerous competing models that boast similar strengths along with better overall performance, particularly compared to the XC70 3.2. We'd recommend taking a good look at what the market has to offer before deciding on the XC70, though those who ultimately go with the Volvo likely won't be disappointed.
Read the most recent 2014 Volvo XC70 review.
If you are looking for older years, visit our used Volvo XC70 page.