Volvo blends wagon styling with a few quasi-SUV attributes in the XC70. Specifically, the all-wheel-drive XC70 2.5T features a raised suspension and SUV-style body trim. The wagon has 2 more inches of ground clearance than other Volvo wagons and, like the V70, can be set up for either five- or seven-occupant seating.
For 2007, Volvo makes stability and traction control standard, as well as adding a standard tire pressure monitoring system and making the dual-screen rear-seat entertainment system a standalone option. The wagon loses its puddle lights.
The XC70 features an all-wheel-drive system with Instant Traction. Volvo says the system "instantly delivers up to 50 percent more torque to the rear axle," automatically and seamlessly.
Closely related in design to Volvo's V70 model, the midsize XC70 wagon 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. Jewel-like headlights flank an eggcrate grille.
Intended for only moderately rough trekking, the XC70 has large bumpers that are augmented by moldings around the wheel arches and lower body. The overfenders and lower rocker-panel cladding are offered in Stone Gray or Brown. Ground clearance measures 8.2 inches, which helps give the wagon an appearance similar to that of an authentic SUV. Alloy wheels hold redesigned 16-inch wheels, and 17-inch wheels are optional. A moonroof is available in the Premium Package, which also includes leather seating surfaces, power passenger seats and wood inlays in the interior.
In basic form, 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 and can be installed by the dealer for 2007, as it's no longer a factory-installed option. Leather seating surfaces are optional. Cargo capacity is 71.5 cubic feet when the backseat is folded and 37.5 cubic feet with all the seats up.
An in-dash CD player and a leather-wrapped tilt/telescoping steering wheel are standard. Rain-sensing wipers are included in an available Climate Package, and a DVD-based 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 all-disc antilock brakes with electronic brake-force distribution, side-impact and side curtain airbags, and Volvo's Whiplash Protection Seating System. For 2007, an electronic stability system is standard.
Serving as a thoroughly civilized, refined and tightly constructed road machine, the XC70 cruises effortlessly. A touch on the gas pedal can make this wagon practically leap ahead at times, whether it's taking off, passing or merging. On other occasions, acceleration feels less stirring.
Steering is on the heavy side but is hardly ponderous. Volvo's quiet-running wagons are stable on the highway and corner well, but they aren't snappy in urban driving. The XC70's firm suspension copes adeptly with bumps, and ride comfort is excellent on smooth roads. Even though you feel commotion on rough surfaces, little unpleasantness is transmitted to occupants.