If you need a vehicle with the cargo space, ground clearance and all-wheel drive found in an SUV, yet want the driving manners and ease of entry associated with a sedan, the Volvo XC70 may be the car for you.
The Volvo XC70 proves that the station wagon is still a relevant model and can be as capable and as sophisticated as ever. It boasts the ability to handle anything nature throws at you, plus it’s loaded with safety features and a comfortable, premium-feeling interior.
The XC70 splits the difference between its main rivals as well. In terms of price and amenities, the Volvo finds a happy medium between the higher-end Audi A4 allroad and the more mainstream Subaru Outback.
While the XC70 looks more brutish than other Volvos, it still has as much ingenuity as its siblings. Starting in the massive cargo area, the space is well thought out to accommodate just about anything you could need to carry. The loading floor is flat with aluminum rails to help you slide items in. Add to that the plethora of practical cubbyholes, an area divider and side tie-down points, you can keep the cargo bay organized as well.
The rear seats are split three-ways and the centre seat can fold independently to provide even more adaptability. The two outside seats are spacious and comfortable, and passengers won’t be bothered if you need to carry longer items.
Now, for less money the Subaru Outback offers similar cargo space and limited off-road capability, but the Volvo XC70 has a vastly superior interior. The cabin materials are high quality and everything feels luxurious. The standard leather front seats are designed to allow you to drive for hours without you feeling any aches and pains.
Volvo’s are not cheap cars, but that’s because all models come with a lot of standard equipment. Even the base model XC70 comes with heated front seats, dual-zone climate control, cruise control, Bluetooth, and Volvo On Call – an app that allows you to start the engine, lock/unlock the doors, warm/cool the cabin and get roadside assistance remotely from your phone.
Though the XC70’s interior may not look as contemporary as an Audi’s, there is a solid feel to everything in the cabin. The switches feel like they will soak up decades of abuse.
Volvo has a reputation of delivering excellent safety to live up to. Every XC70 in the range is fitted with City Safety technology. Designed to operate at low speeds and stop-and-go traffic, this system can apply the brakes to prevent a collision if the driver fails to act. Also included are many airbags, intelligent braking systems to prevent skids, and seats designed to reduce whiplash in an accident.
With all the added nanny systems, you may think the XC70 will be no fun to drive. However, both available engines provide good off-the-line acceleration.
New for 2015 is a powerful yet efficient turbocharged 4-cylinder engine/8-speed transmission combination. Impressive power delivery results from 240 hp and the gearbox keeps fuel consumption down to an estimated 8.8L/100km combined rating. This set up is only available in front-wheel drive, however.
The all-wheel drive system comes with a 3.0-litre turbocharged 6-cylinder engine. The 300 hp allows this station wagon to stun many sportier-looking cars.
However, the ride in the XC70 is set up more for comfort than carving through corners. Its raised suspension soaks up bumps, making it a very smooth highway cruiser. But, its ride height and AWD with Hill Descent Control means it’s not afraid of a little adventure.
Tell us what you think about the Volvo XC70. Are you willing to give this versatile wagon a test drive?