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Expert Reviews 1 of 2
By Jim Flammang
July 16, 2004
Vehicle Overview Volvo’s SUV-like Cross Country wagon got a new name, XC70, and featured a new 208-hp, turbocharged 2.5-liter inline-five-cylinder engine for 2003; this engine is also available for the V70 wagon. For 2004, new ZF rack-and-pinion steering is installed, remote keyless entry has been added and bi-xenon headlights are optional.
Safety features in the XC70 include antilock brakes, side-impact airbags, side curtain-type airbags and a Whiplash Protection System that moves the front seats rearward in a collision. Like the V70, this wagon can be set up for either five or seven occupants.
Ever since 1998, the Swedish automaker has offered an XC Cross Country wagon that gives its buyers a taste of sport utility vehicle characteristics. Equipped with all-wheel drive instead of front-wheel drive, the XC70 sits higher than regular V70 wagons and displays some rugged SUV-like styling cues with its special body trim. Ground clearance is 2 inches taller than other Volvo wagons. Volvo also offers a full-fledged SUV called the XC90.
Exterior Closely related to other midsize Volvo wagons, the XC70 rides a 108.8-inch wheelbase and measures 186.3 inches long overall. Rounded front corners resemble those of Volvo’s S80 sedan, but the rear half retains the straight lines and body profile of a traditional wagon.
Intended for moderately rough trekking, the XC70 has large bumpers and fog lights that are augmented by moldings around the wheel arches and lower body. Ground clearance measures 8.2 inches, which also helps give the wagon an appearance similar to that of an authentic SUV. Alloy wheels hold 16-inch tires, and a moonroof is available.
Interior The XC70 seats five people on two front buckets and a 40/20/40-split rear seat that features a removable center section. An optional two-place rear-facing auxiliary seat is designed to carry children. An optional Premium Package includes leather seating surfaces. Cargo capacity is 71.5 cubic feet when the backseat is folded down and 37.5 cubic feet with all the seats raised.
An in-dash CD player, a leather-trimmed steering wheel and a wood-trimmed dashboard are standard. The XC70’s standard Climate Package includes rain-sensing wipers. A navigation system is optional.
Under the Hood A 2.5-liter turbocharged inline-five-cylinder engine delivers 208 hp and 236 pounds-feet of torque. Volvo’s standard Geartronic five-speed-automatic transmission has an “Auto-stick” feature that permits manually selected gear changes.
Safety 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.
Driving Impressions Serving as a thoroughly civilized, tightly constructed road machine, the XC70 cruises with seeming effortlessness, which gives little hint of the abundant power lurking within. A touch on the gas pedal can trigger a virtual leap ahead, whether the driver is starting off from a standstill or is passing and merging.
Its steering is on the heavy side, but it’s not ponderous. Volvo’s wagons are stable on the highway and corner well enough, but they can’t be called snappy in urban driving. The XC70’s firm, yet almost cushiony, suspension copes adeptly with bumps. Ride comfort is excellent on smooth roads. Even though you feel the commotion on rough surfaces, not much of it is transmitted to occupants.
Expert Reviews 1 of 2
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