New brushed-aluminum roof rails and an eggcrate grille go on 2005 XC70s. A trip computer and rear armrest are also now standard. The headlights and taillamps have been restyled, new front and rear skid plates are installed, and flat-blade windshield wipers are new.
The all-wheel-drive XC70 features a raised suspension and sport utility vehicle-style body trim. Ground clearance is 2 inches taller than other Volvo wagons. Like the V70, this wagon can be set up for either five- or seven-occupant seating.
The midsize 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 profile of a traditional wagon.
Intended for moderately rough trekking, the XC70 has large bumpers that are augmented by moldings around the wheel arches and lower body. Ground clearance measures 8.2 inches, which helps give the wagon an appearance similar to that of an authentic SUV. Alloy wheels hold 16-inch tires, and a moonroof is optional.
The XC70 seats up to five occupants on two front buckets and a split folding rear bench seat. An optional two-place rear-facing third-row seat is designed to carry children. Leather seating surfaces are optional. Cargo capacity is 71.4 cubic feet when the backseat is folded down.
An in-dash CD player and a leather-wrapped steering wheel are standard. Rain-sensing wipers are included in an available Climate Package, and a navigation system is optional.
Under the Hood
The XC70's turbocharged 2.5-liter inline-five-cylinder delivers 208 horsepower and 236 pounds-feet of torque. Volvo's standard Geartronic five-speed-automatic transmission has a feature that permits manually selected gear changes.
Safety features include antilock brakes, side-impact and side curtain-type airbags, and whiplash protection.
Serving as a thoroughly civilized, tightly constructed road machine, the XC70 cruises effortlessly. A touch on the gas pedal can make the car leap ahead, whether the driver is starting off from a standstill or is passing or merging.
Steering is on the heavy side, but it's not ponderous. Volvo's wagons are stable on the highway and corner well, but they can't be called snappy in urban driving. The XC70's firm suspension copes adeptly with bumps. Ride comfort is excellent on smooth roads. Even though you feel commotion on rough surfaces, not much is transmitted to the occupants.