Overall this is a pretty good car. Having had only Volvo wagons since 1980, I have to say that this 2011 seems more solid and heavy (in a good way) than any of my previous models or later models I have driven as loaners. Generally reliability has been good--with a few
exceptions: At 85,000 miles, the engine started to use a lot of oil. Volvo examined it and replaced the entire engine. They told me that it was a bad batch of piston rings that was responsible, so this wasn't really a "bad" feature of the car. Volvo has never been able to properly balance the wheels, so I have learned to live with a slight steering wheel vibration at around 60 mph. They said the rims were distorted and sent them for repair; but that didn't help. Tire Rack replaced all 4 tires TWICE, with no improvement. The design of the rims is such that mud stays put and makes the balance problem markedly worse. I have never been totally happy with the brakes, but a recent full brake replacement has fixed this problem. There is a really stupid feature of the software: when the fog lights are on, they go out when high beams are selected, but don't come back on when you return to low beams. Interestingly, the second identical model I just purchased doesn't do this! Finally, I am singularly unimpressed with the headlights, specially the high beams. I've replaced the low-beam bulbs with high intensity "silver tip" bulbs, but see hardly any difference. There are no high intensity replacements for the high-beam bulbs, so when I drive at night plplllI envy the bright headlights of much cheaper cars.
LlLL2nd Review 9/1/16: L having now owned my 2nd 2011 XC70 T6 for about 6 months, I can add a little to this review. The 2nd XC70 seems just as well built as my first one. I do, however, miss the folding rear-view mirrors and the front seats don'r seem to be quite as comfortable; but since the car has less than 30,000 miles, it could just be a break-in phenomenon. The headlights are markedly superior to those on the first car (see above review), even with standard bulbs, and there are no problems with wheel balance or braking (see above review). The silly fog-light phenomenon I described for the first car is also absent. In summary, the 2nd car is just as good as the first, and just as robust and "heavy" in a good way. I'd like to replace the first car with another 2011 (it has 130,000 miles); but I don't think I could find a low-mileage 2011 again.
Since the first review (see above), the first car has had the following major repairs (all covered by an extended warranty policy): New A/C compressor, new motor for driver's side mirror (motor failed).
Comparing to 2002 V70XC I traded in for it, it's a mixed bag. Interior feels much more luxurious and refined; also appears somewhat roomier. Exterior design mostly improved on the previous generation, except for those silvery things around fog lights. Actually on mine - painted Electric Silver - they look OK, but on darker cars they're outright out of place. The engine - 3.2 inline 6 - is nominally more powerful than the T5 on previous generation, but feels not as peppy as the older one. Gas mileage is not as good, too. The transmission feels more smooth-shifting and refined. The suspension is tuned more towards ride comfort rather than spirited driving style.
Everything except the engine.
BLIS actually already saved me from quite a few angry honks and finger salutes.