By on July 20, 2007

2563_2_14.jpgIn 1998, Volvo was SUV deficient. As they didn't have a truck chassis upon which to build, those crazy Swedes grabbed a station wagon, raised it a couple of inches and added all wheel-drive. Since then, the XC70's ground clearance has risen, transforming a slightly jacked-up joy rider (6.5") to a Jeep-wannabe (8.2"). The move leaves Volvo with a fully-fledged… something. Whatever it is, it is what it is. And now that Volvo has a "proper" SUV, the question must be asked: is the XC70 an anachronism whose time has come and gone?

On the outside, Volvo's anti-stylists went for Eddie Bauer off-road chic: front and rear skid plates, flared wheel arches and enough protective side cladding to fend off a flotilla of angry supermarket shoppers. The designers also swiped the side mirrors off an XC90, creating an elephantine addendum that's more Dumbo than dirt devil. In sum, the result is as intended: a cross between a V70 wagon and a Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo.

2146_2_1.jpgThe XC70's interior architecture is bog standard Volvo, save the area between the armrest and the shifter. That hallowed (hollowed?) space offers front seat passengers a grab handle for forays into the rough stuff, whether it's speed bumps in Neiman Marcus' parking lot or genuine off-road action. The leather seat's "rugged" stitching provides a welcome alternative to French seams, while the Berber floor mats' thicker, tighter loop is more durable and less likely to show footprints than standard surfaces– which is, you know, important for a station wagon cum mud plugger.

Despite being seven years old, the XC70's interior's fit and finish is superb, with panel gaps and materials that wouldn't seem out of place in an Audi. The XC70's wood inlays (real or simulated, your choice) are applied with perfect restraint, and the doors close with more of a thud than you'd imagine for a vehicle once famous for schlepping college professors to liberal arts universities. The only blot on the copy book: the made-like-Rubbermaid instrument cluster cover.

2038_2_1.jpgOn the road, the XC70 pitches and wallows like pre-oil embargo American land yachts. While you would expect whale-like manners from a Jeep product, the XC70's car-like interior atmos clashes with the SUV ride. Fortunately, Volvo's [optional] Four-C active chassis system banishes the high seas body roll, as well as nose tip and dive– without detracting from the XC70's off-road prowess.  

With 208 turbocharged ponies and 236 ft.-lbs. of twist on tap, the XC70 isn't slow. Nor fast. Volvo's corporate 5-cylinder mill's rabid tip-in will no doubt make XC70 owners feel quick. But after half throttle is engaged, even Scottie can't get any more power (Captain). The five-speed automatic gearbox shifts smoothly enough, but when it comes to downshifting, it's inclined to decline on an incline. It's a pity Volvo's parts sharing party didn't include the 257hp or 300hp versions of this engine. [Next year's U.S. model gets the 3.2-liter 236hp engine shared with the S80 and XC90.]

2142_2_1.jpgAnd yes, I did say off-road prowess. The XC70's approach, break over and departure angles (16°, 18° and 20° respectively) are none too shabby for a glorified grocery getter. The wagon's ground clearance makes short work of streams and dismisses small boulders in a single bound.

On rough dirt roads, the XC70 feels wonderfully well poised and reassuringly secure. The wagon's all-wheel-drive system's front wheel bias also keeps handling predictable when the roads get slick. The system engages so quickly that it's almost impossible to elicit anything more than a slight slip before the electronics shuffle power around (Volvo claims less than one seventh of a tire rotation before power transfer).

2143_2_1.jpgIn the redwood forests inhabiting the Santa Cruz Mountains, the XC70's stiff chassis, low curb weight and low center of gravity made hooning around the dirt tracks as simple as choosing the correct CD accompaniment. The XC70s rudimentary skid plates provided welcome protection from the rocks and sticks of outrageous scenery. And despite YouTube videos to the contrary, the XC70's Haldex AWD system proved a faithful companion when one or more wheels went airborne.

You could say the XC70 is a slightly underpowered, slightly over-priced, slightly more luxurious Subaru Outback. But then that wouldn't give credit where credit's due. For people who need an extremely capacious go-anywhere wagon, there really isn't any suitable alternative. Now that Audi's Allroad has been deleted from Ingolstadt's lineup (in favor of the grotesque Q7 SUV), there's no vehicle that compares directly with Volvo's $45K wagon-on-stilts.  

2565_2_12.jpgIf you need/want this sort of thing, it's most definitely NOT an irrelevance. Better yet, Volvo is evolving the model for '08, adding the aforementioned more powerful engine, more ground height, better approach/departure angles and hill speed control. The XC70 may fill a relatively small not to say obscure niche, but it fills it very well indeed. 

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43 Comments on “Volvo XC70 Review...”

  • avatar

    I’ve always liked the XC70. Consumers keep saying (I think): give me an SUV with car-like road manners, room for my family and stuff and make it look good. Well here’s Exhibit A. I think it is ironic that SUV’s are evolving (devolving?) towards the XC70. They’re halfway there with CUV’s. Hopefully in about five or ten years, it will no longer be a marketing sin to talk about station wagons anymore and we can have a plethora of XC70 choices to get what many people know deep down, what they really ever wanted was a cool AMC Eagle.

  • avatar

    My present winter driver is a 2000 Jeep Cherokee, which is nice but unrefined. I’m a rabid Subaru fan so I imagine one of those will replace the Jeep sometime, but were I a wealthier man the Volvo XC70 would be my choice. I think this car is handsome, luxurious, and capable of hauling myself and everything I could ever want across the Upper Midwest come the winter holiday season. I agree that it is basically an upmarket Subaru… boo SUVs, yay wagons!

    p.s. I miss the Allroad…

  • avatar

    Why this product niche hasn’t taken off is beyond me.

    A AWD wagon makes the perfect alternative to an SUV. Better mileage, better handling, and just about as much practicality.

    Trouble with the XC70 however, is that it really shows its age. The slab slides confirm the “boxy but good” image, while the interior looks like it was hasn’t changed since the early ’90s.

    The Outback is far better looking, inside and out. It lacks the caché(?) of the Volvo name.

    When did Volvo become associated with “luxury” anyways? Anyone who’s ever been inside a 240 certainly can’t put the two together. People used to buy Volvo 240s because they were built like tanks and reliable as the morning sun.

  • avatar

    in favor of the grotesque Q7 SUV

    Good word for it. Parked beside one the other day. How Audi thought that was a good idea, I don’t know.

    Anyway, back to the Volvo. The car does seem like a reasonable compromise between car like and SUV like. However, I think that apart from Volvo’s internal test staff and the press, no one else will ever take these offroad. Ever.

  • avatar

    New they may be expensive, but a year or two really brings down the price.

  • avatar

    My Aunt had a 2003 XC70 that was as comfortable as it was versatile. I don’t know if I’ve ever sat in more comfortable seats. As Alex states above, the only feature one could knock was the rubbermaid instrument cluster. H-E-I-N-O-U-S. But the rest of the car made up for it.

    Too bad she got side-swiped by a cement truck as she was merging onto good-old I-95.

    Kazoomaloo: Check out used All-Road prices online. 3yo models are in the low $20k’s. Your financial planner might not like the idea (or the repair bills out of warranty), but if you like it that much, give it a shot. We only live once…

  • avatar

    They’re not even that expensive new; since this model is being phased out there are currently huge incentives. I shopped one last month but I didn’t like the 5 cyl. powerplant, too buzzy with bad vibrations. I noticed the monster mirrors as well. I thought the interior was beautiful too.

    I bought an XC90 instead. Love it so far.

  • avatar

    Nick, you just revealed the problem. Why is it that Americans think that to travel on a gravel road they must have a full size SUV. I know a few people who live down very well maintained gravel roads with GMC Yukons and Jeep GCs, their reason? The road. You could take a Lotus Elise down those roads without a problem. The American mentality seems to be that if its not the size of the titanic, it can’t be good offroad.

  • avatar

    What a waste, if you need AWD and lots of room, get a Chevy Tahoe. If that is too big try the Ford Explorer. Either would be suited for the task at hand. This Volvo is nothing but an overpriced station wagon for people that have more money than sense.

  • avatar
    Alex Dykes

    The cure to the ghastly instrument cluster lid is to buy the one that the S60R/V70R get, it’s 100% leather and solves this eye-sore easily. Or you could just get a 1980’s velour dash cover.

    I agree that the Subaru Outbacks and Volvo XC70s are just as capable off road as 99% of SUV buyers will ever need. The Subaru’s permanent AWD should logically be more robust, but the Haldex system allows full disconnect for better efficiency. Either way, when I had this mid-size Swede in the Santa Cruz mountains I enlisted the help of a GMC Envoy with locking 4WD just in case someone got stuck. As it so happens, someone did get stuck, and I am honestly shocked to report that the XC70 did a great job of towing the Envoy out of trouble. I have to say I went into this thinking: wimpy soft roader. I came out with the opinion that unless you are on the Rubicon Trail daily, “real” SUVs are a waste of money [and oil]. Pity 99% of XC70 owners in the USA consider parking lots “off road”.

  • avatar

    I have mixed feelings about the new Volvo line. Styling, inside and out, is excellent, and build quality/performance is good… however…

    In my opinion, Volvo needs to bring back a RWD midsize platform in the vein of the 240/940, with equivalent made-for-the-long-run durability. Offer cloth or mb-tex (license that stuff from MB – it’s great) seats, keep it simple. The Volvo wagons I know have been used far more as utility vehicles than any SUV I’ve known, and have lived to tell the tale. The old school model for Volvo luxury was not avant-garde styling, AWD, Crossovers, so on – it was bank vault build quality, simple engines with a turbo option for people that liked to have a bit of fun, and comfortable seats. Anything beyond that just dilutes the idea of ‘Volvo’ in my opinion.

  • avatar
    Alex Dykes

    It is a safe bet that Volvo will stay FWD with transverse engines for quite some time. The reason is crash safety. Volvo discovered after the 850 was crash tested extensively that a FWD transverse engine allows more crush room in the engine compartment and compliments the safety structures in an accident better than a longitudinally mounted engine. Their tests are based on their own models, not the IIHS/NHSTA models which are honestly not very insightful due to the low speeds involved.

    As to Volvo’s positioning as a luxury brand, I think that their current position is not a bad one. With labor costs in Sweden and Belgium (where Volvo’s factories are located) it would be difficult to build a car that would be price competitive in the middle market in the USA. This is most likely why we never see the “cheap” versions of the Volvo products in N. America. Traditionally Volvo has occupied the “entry level luxury” market with the 164, 260 and the Amazon, the P1800, the PV series, etc, but again I believe much of the market positioning was due to the underlying cost structure.

  • avatar

    We have an XC70 in the family and out of all of the vehicles in the fleet, this one is our favorite (especially when the Benz is in the shop for what seems like the hundredth time.)
    With the square tail end, our golden retriever has plenty of room to get in and out and stare at traffic and the accessory pet “cage” doesn’t block her view and keeps her safe.
    During the massive Presidents Day 2003 blizzard that crushed Washington, DC and Philadelphia with over 3′ of snow, the Volvo was a tank with the modern AWD and (at the time) new Scorpion tires. We never got stuck once and there was just so much snow.
    On highway cruises, I’ve gotten around 25-26mpg and the amazing Volvo front seats don’t have pressure points that makes you to want to pull over. The interior has some extra high-quality plastics compared to the competition.
    This is a decent soft-roader as I’ve used it in the Poconos to get to some hiking trails. I wouldn’t boulder-hop with it, but in ruts, mud, and slop, it does just fine.
    Nits to pick? City fuel economy isn’t too bad, but if you dive into the turbo to get the slow-shifting automatic to downshift, economy drops into the teens.
    The steering is your typical AWD steering feel – none. It doesn’t want to return to center either.
    The back seat’s legroom is a bit tight for tall people, but most of the family is tall…oh well.
    Whoever designed some of the radio controls should be dumped in the coldest regions of Sweeden right now.
    Quality has been decent – still no squeaks and rattles on a five year old wagon. There was a transmission problem when the laughable cupholder in the dash dumped the contents (Sprite) onto the transmission area of the console. 24 hours later, the car wouldn’t move. Believe it or not, the Volvo tech found soda under the console. It was replaced for free.
    The 2008 is being considered to replace our 2002. There is just no need for a SUV (the Volvo replaced a Tahoe) and with the pets, home projects, family trips, high gas prices, and even the image of Volvo, I think the 2008 will be our next car.

  • avatar

    Volvo’s interior (once so nice) is really showing its age — thankfully the new V/XC70 will fix this. Love the interiors on the S40 & 80, and am glad to see this one follow suit.

  • avatar

    “What a waste, if you need AWD and lots of room, get a Chevy Tahoe. If that is too big try the Ford Explorer. Either would be suited for the task at hand. This Volvo is nothing but an overpriced station wagon for people that have more money than sense.”

    Gottleib, please justify. I can’t see anything an explorer can do that the XC70 can’t, except for towing. it’s just as roomy, just as efficient off-road, and it has better road manners, fuel economy, and interior.
    If a luxury wagon such as this one is too expensive, then the Subaru Outback or Forrester await!

  • avatar

    The American mentality seems to be that if its not the size of the titanic, it can’t be good offroad.

    Most cars will perform well enough on unimproved surfaces and in snow. I used to take old, 2WD 4-banger Rangers all over the place. Even got my Neon on some dirt roads a couple times. When we got ~10 inches of snow last winter, my Protege was 1 of about 6 cars compared to 50 SUVs I saw out that day. Of course, that probably says more about me than my car.

    I’ve always liked the look of Volvos but I think its a WRX for me in a few months. In the snow belt once you’ve tasted 4WD, there’s no going back.

  • avatar

    Volvos are way too pricey. $50k CAD up here and thats for regular V70. They need to get their vehicles priced more like Toyotas or perish. As much as I like them, I will not lose any sleep if ever TTAC starts a volvo deathwatch series. I bought a fully loaded Mitsubishi Outlander XLS which does everything just as well or better as this beast minus the big turning radius.

  • avatar

    The idea that a Chevy Tahoe or Ford Explorer would be a good alternative to this vehicle is silly.

    What is it that so many people hate about station wagons? I will never understand that.

    I suppose that those kids who grow up in today’s times will one day say “ewwwww, not an SUV like my MOM drove ….”.

  • avatar

    jthorner – I really think that is starting to happen. It might be hard to tell given the gas prices are forcing some to sell the guzzlers. In the midwest, I see a lot of Honda Fits, Mazda CX-7s, Scion xB, Nissan Muranos, and especially Honda Pilots. These aren’t body-on-frame truck-utes. These are just the jacked-up cars to look like trucks. It would be interesting to find out who is buying the used crossovers (like the ones coming off of leases.) My guess it is the 22-30 demographic.
    I guess I can’t spell Sweden in my previous post…
    Gottleib – we traded in our 1998 Tahoe for the Volvo XC70 and never looked back. The Volvo is much easier to load, get in and out of (for both people and dog), gas up without tears, maintain, and is just easier to drive. There are so many highway miles on all of our cars and that Tahoe as just a handful everytime we went through a tunnel (white knuckles trying to stay in a lane) or one of the nice high bridges in and out of NYC (great crosswind and poor steering reduce safe feelings!!!)
    We did look at the BMW 3- and 5-series (previous generations) but both cargo areas were too small. The Saab 9-5 wagon was also considered, but we liked the feel of the Volvo better.
    The Tahoe did serve a purpose – it did haul a trailer and horse supplies, but once that stage of life ended, so did the need for the Tahoe.
    It’s funny – and I’m comparing usable space here – the flat load floor of the Volvo is as large as or even larger than many mid-sized SUVs. The SUVs might have the illusion of more cargo room, but who is going to stack boxes to the ceiling with people in the back seat? One slam of the brakes = head injury!
    Seth – 100% agree with the cost of buying a Volvo. They need to step back and hold the price line. The prices for a non-nav S80 can crash through 50K very quickly. I’m not sure if Canada has different import taxes compared to the USA but it sounds like you pay through the nose on non-American cars. That might explain why my trips through your fine country, I have seen so many GM vehicles and not many imports at all.
    I wish Volvo would at least consider an XC50 smaller wagon with maybe a 28-30K price to start. That sould sell.

  • avatar

    I think Volvo’s confused in pricing. I am all for them making a profit, but these cars are not BMWs, Mercedes or Audis. I think above Toyota, Subaru, Honda prices is reasonable, but the $50K S80 is crazy to me. While luxurious, I still don’t think Volvo should try to compete against the Germans.

    Agreed on the midwest infestation of the Honda Pilot also have seen many newer XC70s on the road in the last few months. A lot of Tahoes that were on lease seem to be going back to their maker and being replaced by the XC70 or Pilot.


  • avatar
    Alex Dykes

    While not 100% on topic, Volvo’s pricing on the XC70 is about right for their market, the S80 is clawing up, but is that right? That’s probably a topic for a different article. For reference, the S80 starts at $38K for the 3.2L I6, $42K for the 3.0L turbo I6, and $47K for the V4.4L V8. Considering the turbo and the V8 get you AWD in addition to the already good 6 speed auto, its not too bad until you look at the price difference between the T6 and the V8 and see that the V8 isn’t buying you much.

  • avatar

    I bought a 2007 C70 in February. The reason why I did not buy a BMW 335ic is because of the front wheel drive. I live in central Mass and it is quite snowy here. I only have the Volvo as my car and have driven it in 9 inches of snow.

    Also the C70 is nicer looking then the 335ic and got me 31 MPG on a trip from Texas at 80 mph.

    The C70 has a ROPS system that deploys if the car rolls over and that plus the side curtain air bags makes it one of the safest convertibles on the road. Only the Saab ties it for being safest.

    Yes I wish it had more horses, but the front wheel drive is important to me.

  • avatar

    The XC70 is the new AMC Eagle. First produced in 1980, the Eagle had all-wheel drive and was arguably the first CUV. You can still find a few battered examples on Wyoming back roads–delivering mail, hauling groceries, and bucking snow drifts.

  • avatar


    There was a transmission problem when the laughable cupholder in the dash dumped the contents (Sprite) onto the transmission area of the console. 24 hours later, the car wouldn’t move. Believe it or not, the Volvo tech found soda under the console. It was replaced for free.

    So the Volvo tech replaced your Sprite for free? PARR-TEEE!

    I understand we’ll be getting a new version for 2008 that will use the S80’s 3.2 liter inline 6 as standard. The price should stay about the same. It sounds good to me.

  • avatar

    With the typical Volvo markup, a 60 cent Sprite ended up costing the dealer $3.00! (Memo to other Volvo owners – if your car is still under warranty and your transmission is acting up, might I recommend a root beer or Mountain Dew. Spill one of those on the transmission lever and wait!)
    I’ve driven the S80 with the 3.2 liter engine and it should be a great (and non-peaky) engine for the XC. I’ve always liked the turbo rush but the smoothness of the 3.2 makes it a better engine.
    I am still catching up on the possible sale of Volvo from Ford – to Robert and the rest: Are there any upcoming editorials about what an impending sale might mean for the brand or is it still too early? For whatever reason, I’ve liked Volvos for years now and while I still cringe at times when I think about Ford running Volvo all of these years, Ford has helped Volvo right the ship (same with Mazda – the Mazda6 and CX-7 are prime examples.) While Saab is waiting for the ship to sink, Volvo hopefully has a future.
    I wish the new C70 fit the lifestyle…oh well…

  • avatar
    Terry Parkhurst

    Supposedly the vehicle that “happening now” (as the saying went back in the Seventies) is the crossover. If that’s true, then the timing for this vehicle to take off is now. It seems that maybe Volvo was actually ahead of the curve; but yes, since Americans are obssessed with zero to 60 mph times, more power might help sales. Although how many people are going to bracket race with a Volvo?

    I enjoyed not only this piece, but the intelligent and truly thoughtful comments following – especially Saabophile’s. I think the term “bigger is better” was coined in the States, was it not? But maybe the economist E.F. Schumaker (sic) had it correct when he titled a book, “Small is beautiful.”

  • avatar

    i bought a creampuff 2002 v70xc on ebay last fall for $16k. it was cheaper than a comparable subi outback. we really like it so far. they are very popular here in downtown manhattan for the usual reasons and because they are tough enough to stand up to our horrendous potholes and they don’t charge us the suv fee on top of our over the top parking ripoff situation (i get a special deal of $450/mo because i’m a long time tenant).

    i’m very impressed with the build quality on this thing: still very tight after 5 years. also, i’m an old school curmudgeon when it come to electronics in cars. i was terrified to have a modern car after selling my manual ’83 benz 240d last year but the computer system on the volvo just gets it. you really can leave the climate control on a set temp and leave it alone. the alarm system works so well that i don’t even know it existed for two months. the window switches are too sensitive but that’s being nitpicky…

    as to the way it handles, i have a 2002 which is a little lower than the current setup. based on the review, i’d say that raising it was a mistake. mine handles quite well without any active chassis control. definitely has some understeer and noticeable turbo lag but nothing too awful. it’s not a driver’s car like the passat i was considering but it has confident road manners and enough getup to go…

  • avatar

    I bought a 99 V70 (not the XC though) about 18 months ago for less than an equivalent Scooby would’ve been. I don’t know why they depreciate like that, but they do.

    I’m hoping it’s just that the owners tend to want the “newest thing” instead of holding onto them. That’s fine by me. I love my GLT.

  • avatar
    Alex Dykes

    I would say that with this particular vehicle, the highway numbers are closer to the 2007 EPA rating than the 2008. I averaged a solid 24MPG with the car (540 miles in 4 days, AC on the whole time) in a mixture of city and highway driving with lots of heavy traffic. Highway economy of 27MPG at 65MPH was my average. Not stellar, but compared to a Jeep Grand Cherokee and many other 4WD SUVs, it is a decent improvement.

  • avatar

    >>…conned into believing this 1980’s vintage$40,000+ pile of Swedish meatballs …

    That is an interesting point. Isn’t this a rehashed Volvo 850, the fwd golden boy, trouble-ridden at introduction and disdained by fans of the old bulletproof Volvos.

    Perhaps one reason the resale is so bad is the sad reliability record and price of parts once out of warranty.

    If this was an American car of similar DNA and vintage we might have given it antiprops.

    Incidentally, I think this is a great package and wouldn’t mind having one(if still under warranty), but would appreciate it being a little bit bigger (94 Vista Cruiser wagons being my benchmark).

  • avatar

    Outback-ing the V70 was a great move by Volvo. The XC70 is all over the roads in eastern MA, and appears to be especially popular amongst the ladies-who-lunch crowd in the upper class.

    Saab missed an opportunity to do the same to its 9-5 wagon. Thanks GM.

  • avatar

    I think our reviewer Mr. Dykes and more than a few of you posters have a sentimental screw or two loose. Since my previous attempt at inserting some real-world critical perspective into this discussion was myteriously deleted, I’ll give it another shot:

    1. The V70XC’s EPA 16 City is absurd. That a few of you feather-foots manage to pull out 24 on the highway is nice, but irrelevant. Real world economy is execreble.

    2. The car is overweight and badly underpowered. A 1967 Ford Fairlane wagon with a base 6 cylinder did better, and it was a nail. Trust me. I know.

    3. The car is absurdly overpriced. Decently equiped cars will run you $45,000 out the door, and $50,000 is a distict possibility with Nav and taxes. Drive it off the lot and you have a $26,000 used car. This gives new meaning to the phrase “upside down.”

    4. This car is a lineal decendant of the 1991 940, which morphed into the unloved FWD S80 around 1998, which in turn became the S70 series. The cargo volume of 72.8 cf is identical to the 940’s, The XC70 represents ancient, late 1980’s packaging, and is thourougly uncompetitve in today’s marketplace. It is outsold by 100:1 or more by the Forester, RX300, Grand Cheroke, and at least half a dozen other decent, modern crossovers & SUV’s for a very good reason.

    5. What ladies who lunch in eastern Massachusetts buy to transport themselves says far more about the perverse damand for luxury goods than it does about the intrinsic merits of the XC70.

    6. THe XC70 is Exhibit A confirming the continued truth of Big 3 automaker cost-accountant think: “There is no product like a dead product.” We need to bury Caesar, not praise him.

    I’ll say it again: The Reviewer needs to rethink his preposterously generous FOUR STAR appelation on this (at best) TWO STAR warmed-over Swedish meatball.

  • avatar
    Captain Neek

    BTW, Audi Allroad has been replaced by new (2008) model.

  • avatar

    I was wondering about the optional third row and would be interested in hearing from anyone with experience of using it.

    I want a wagon and a third row for occasional use would be great. Do any manufacturers other than Audi and Volvo offer a wagon with an optional third row?

  • avatar

    Buy the loaded Outback, pocket the 10 large.

  • avatar

    The fact that this cars total height and (presumably) center of gravity has not increased more that its ground clearance vis-a-vis that of the standard V70, is a good indication it was designed by reasonably competent engineers targeting reasonably intelligent buyers.
    Its interior volume / smallest possible ‘garage’ ratio also looks OK. Not to mention how useful a near vertical rear window is for standing suitcases vertically when picking up 4 people at the airport.
    I have never driven one, so can’t comment on execution, but the design sure looks refreshingly inspired.

  • avatar

    i get an overall 23 mpg in my 2002, are the later models really getting 16 mpg city?

    my mother has had ’92 940 since new and i’m very familiar with it. maybe i’m dense but other than a high build quality, i don’t think these cars share very much dna. the 940 is a 4 cylinder rear wheel drive brick and the v70 is transverse mounted 5 cylinder fwd/awd non-brick with a hell of a lot more acceleration.

  • avatar

    sorry, i had some trouble with the tags. here goes again…
    July 22nd, 2007 at 11:59 am

    1. The V70XC’s EPA 16 City is absurd. That a few of you feather-foots manage to pull out 24 on the highway is nice, but irrelevant. Real world economy is execreble

    i get an overall 23 mpg in my 2002, are the later models really getting 16 mpg city?
    4. This car is a lineal decendant of the 1991 940, which morphed into the unloved FWD S80 around 1998, which in turn became the S70 series. The cargo volume of 72.8 cf is identical to the 940’s, The XC70 represents ancient, late 1980’s packaging, and is thourougly uncompetitve in today’s marketplace. It is outsold by 100:1 or more by the Forester, RX300, Grand Cheroke, and at least half a dozen other decent, modern crossovers & SUV’s for a very good reason.
    my mother has had ‘92 940 since new and i’m very familiar with it. maybe i’m dense but other than a high build quality, i don’t think these cars share very much dna. the 940 is a 4 cylinder rear wheel drive brick and the v70 is transverse mounted 5 cylinder fwd/awd non-brick with a hell of a lot more acceleration. i agree there overpriced new but the v70 series is a better buy used than the other three moderncars you mentioned. the forrester is too small and the lexus too expensive. the cherokee is nice but it’s hardly more modern than the volvo.

  • avatar
    Jordan Tenenbaum

    Volvos aren’t for everybody, and I’m okay with that. Keeps our gene pool cleaner.

  • avatar

    I like it, I am a huge wagon fan. I always like the old Subaru 4×4 wagons. I think this is a great and safer alternative to SUV’s. It will get you though as much if not more than most all cumbersome SUV’s and do it with class.

  • avatar

    I’ve owned many 4×4 vehicles over the years, Toyota, Nissan, GMC, Ford, Jeep to name a few. I’ve also owned a Subaru Forester turbo and got rid of it because of the lousy fit and the fuel economy inherent with 411 gearing behind a 4 speed auto tranny.

    Although a much heavier vehicle, the XC70 is much more refined in terms of fit and finish. I have driven twenty hours straight (P breaks excluded) in the XC towing a loaded Uhaul full of motorcycle gear, all at 120 KMs per hour. I smile to myself when I look back and when I see men and women whose egos are shored up by the size of their trucks.

    The XC70 is not a SUV, nor is it a sports car. Those of us who have purchased this beautiful vehicle know just how practical it really is whether you live in the deep South or the far North. It is more than a old maids grocery getter.

    I fully back this review and agree with four stars. I do believe though that the front end could have been tighter to alleviate body roll but then again I am not driving a BMW.

    Some of you may want to have a look at this fellows journey with the XC70;

    2002 XC70 Ocean Race

  • avatar

    I have to agree. Just finished testing the XC70 in the snow up north and it was brilliant. Left me wondering if how many people jumped to an SUV when they didn’t need to.

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