After launching its all-wheel-drive XC (Cross Country) model in 2001, Volvo introduced the all-wheel-drive V70 wagon for the 2002 model year. The V70 AWD uses the same light-pressure turbocharged 197-horsepower engine as the companys S60 AWD sedan, and it has a ground clearance thats a trifle higher than the regular V70 midsize wagon. The Cross Country, which is now called the XC70, has an additional 2 inches of ground clearance than Volvo's other wagons. Most V70s are front-wheel drive (FWD).
Not much has changed for the 2003 model year. The automaker is now offering a larger and stronger 208-hp engine in the renamed 2.5T AWD wagon. An in-dash CD player and a leather-trimmed steering wheel are now standard, and a new AWD system is borrowed from the XC90 sport utility vehicle.
In addition to the 2.5T AWD, three V70 versions are available: the base FWD 2.4, the turbocharged 2.4T and the high-performance T5, which uses a 247-hp, turbocharged 2.3-liter engine. Volvos Dynamic Stability Traction Control is standard on the T5 and optional for other models.
At the Paris Motor Show in September 2002,the Swedish automaker introduced a high-performance V70 R wagon that features Four-C (Continuously Controlled Chassis Concept) technology. Three buttons on the instrument panel select Comfort, Sport or Advance Sport mode, and the settings can be updated 500 times per second. When it reaches the market during 2003, the V70 R will use a 300-hp engine and either a five-speed-automatic or six-speed-manual transmission.
Rounded front corners on the V70 resemble those of the S80 sedan, but the rear half retains the straight lines and body profile of a traditional wagon. All V70 wagons ride a 108.5-inch wheelbase and measure 184.5 inches long overall. A moonroof is available.
The V70 seats five occupants on two front buckets and a three-place, 60/40-split rear bench seat. Cargo capacity is 37.5 cubic feet with the backseat raised, and that space increases to 71.5 cubic feet when that seat is folded down. An optional two-place, rear-facing auxiliary seat is designed to carry children.
Under the Hood
Buyers can choose between several inline-five-cylinder engines. The base V70 wagon uses a 168-hp 2.4-liter that teams with either a five-speed-manual or five-speed-automatic transmission. The 2.4T model gets a light-pressure turbocharged, 197-hp 2.4-liter engine that comes only with the automatic gearbox. A new 208-hp 2.5-liter turbo goes into the 2.5T AWD. Sport-minded shoppers may choose the T5 wagon, which is equipped with a high-pressure turbocharged, 247-hp, 2.3-liter power plant. Volvos Geartronic automatic transmission permits manually selected gear changes, and it is offered as standard equipment on the 2.5T AWD and as an option on the T5. Other models use a conventional automatic transmission.
The V70s safety features include antilock brakes, side-impact airbags, inflatable side curtain-type airbags and a Whiplash Protection System that moves the front seats rearward in a collision. Traction control is included on the FWD models.
Volvos wagons are thoroughly civilized, tightly constructed and have engine choices to suit various driving needs. Their steering is on the heavy side, but its not ponderous. These wagons are stable on the highway and corner well enough, but they cant be called snappy in urban driving.