The Volvo XC70 was an all-weather version of the V70 midsize wagon that boasted all-wheel drive as well as increased ground clearance and SUV-like styling cues. The XC70 never had much in the way of serious off-road hardware, but what the XC70 consistently offered was a more sure-footed demeanor in foul weather conditions. It also became progressively more stylish and luxurious through the years while maintaining its SUV-grade cargo space and superior reputation for safety.
Over the course of its life, the XC70 added more luxury and shifted to more fuel-efficient engines. The all-wheel-drive system used in the XC70 was also updated between generations to provide better off-road performance. The final generation of Volvo XC70 was ruggedly handsome, and it continued 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. The XC70 is a solid family vehicle, especially for those living in colder climates, and a deal on the used market can provide a safe family hauler with luxury trimmings at a reasonable price.Used Volvo XC70 Models
The final, third-generation XC70 was produced from 2008 to 2016. At first it was available only with the base, 235-hp 3.2-liter inline-six. But the following year Volvo brought out the more spirited T6 model with its turbocharged 281-hp 3.0-liter engine. For 2010, the grille's styling was tweaked (including a larger Volvo emblem) and the navigation system was revised, though it was still clunky to use due to its odd steering-wheel controls. The next year brought an output boost to both engines and the debut of a front-wheel-drive variant.
In 2011, output for the T6 increased to 300 horsepower. Then, in 2015, a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine making 240 horsepower was added as the base engine, offered only with front-wheel drive. All-wheel drive became standard on the 3.2 and T6. For its last year, the 3.2-liter inline-six was replaced with a turbocharged 2.5-liter inline five-cylinder engine, and the T6 was dropped from the lineup. The turbocharged engines offered more torque than the non-turbocharged six-cylinder, making the five-cylinder a solid engine choice. Buyers looking for the most power, however, will be best served by post-2011 T6 models.
In 2012, a 7-inch color display, loaded with a much-improved user interface, became standard equipment. Buyers looking for more advanced tech will want to stick to XC70 models produced from 2012 on. In 2014, the traditional gauge cluster was replaced with a fully digital display. While this is a neat-looking update, the old gauges were perfectly functional and readable.
In its final generation, the XC70 was offered in base, front-wheel-drive 3.2 or uplevel, all-wheel-drive T6 trim. The base model included alloy wheels, skid plates for added off-road toughness, roof rails and dual-zone automatic climate control. Bluetooth connectivity and an eight-speaker audio system with satellite radio and an iPod interface were available from 2012 on. The T6 added bigger wheels, dual exhaust outlets, a power sunroof and leather seating. Major options included front/rear park assist, a navigation system, heated front and rear seats, a rearview camera and adaptive bi-xenon headlights. Cutting-edge safety features including adaptive cruise control, a collision warning system and a lane departure warning system were optional extras.
In reviews, we noted that the 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 available by the end of its run, numerous competing models boasted similar strengths along with better overall performance, particularly compared to the XC70 3.2.
This final generation of XC70 sported the most advanced all-wheel-drive system in the car's history, so it's the best choice for buyers who plan to leave the pavement behind or drive in low-traction situations. For our money, XC70s produced after 2012, with the 7-inch screen, are the best all-around proposition.
The second-generation XC70 was available for the 2001 to 2007 model years. Like its V70 sibling, this V70 XC sported a sleeker shape and a new platform shared with the first-generation S80 sedan, as well as a striking interior layout largely borrowed from the S60 sedan. In 2002, Volvo changed business tactics, dropping the V70 from the car's title and marketing it separately from the V70 line as the Volvo XC. In 2003, the 70 designation returned, giving us the first official Volvo XC70.
Second-generation cars could be equipped with a navigation system for the first time. The 2.4-liter engine was tweaked to produce 197 hp and 210 lb-ft of torque, yielding satisfactory if not thrilling performance. In 2003, the 2.4-liter engine was replaced by a 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine that pumped out 208 hp and a healthy 236 lb-ft of torque, which made the XC70 feel rather quick. Rear-seat room was improved over the rather cramped first-generation car, though we still weren't overly impressed, and a third-row seat was available in every model year except 2007. Other available features included adjustable rear seats, four-zone climate control, and a DVD entertainment system with front headrest-mounted TV screens.
If you care about performance, 2003 and later XC70s are the logical choice since they offer a useful 26 extra lb-ft of torque as well as 11 more hp. Otherwise, you won't be missing much if you go with the 2001 or 2002 model.
The XC70 originally debuted in 1998 as the V70 Cross Country (XC for short), an upgraded trim level for the V70 wagon. With its advanced safety features (including side airbags from its inception), spacious interior, all-wheel-drive utility and trendy SUV looks, this endearingly boxy people-mover quickly became a strong seller. Powered by a turbocharged 2.4-liter five-cylinder engine, the first-generation V70 XC was rated at 190 hp and 199 lb-ft of torque — adequate in its day, but not exactly scintillating. This first-generation vehicle also relied on a rather primitive all-wheel-drive system, so buyers concerned with off-road or low-traction performance would do well to stick to later generations.
Read the most recent 2016 Volvo XC70 review.
If you are looking for older years, visit our used Volvo XC70 page.