2011 Volvo XC70

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$32,000

starting MSRP

2011 Volvo XC70
2011 Volvo XC70

Key specs

Base trim shown

Overview

The good:

  • Sleek cabin styling
  • Standard side curtain airbags
  • Standard stability system

The bad:

  • Excessive body cladding
  • No manual transmission

2 trims

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price

Wondering which trim is right for you?

Our 2011 Volvo XC70 trim comparison will help you decide.

Notable features

  • Choice of six-cylinders, including turbocharged engine
  • Seats five
  • FWD or AWD
  • Available built-in rear booster seats

2011 Volvo XC70 review: Our expert's take

By Kristin Varela

The verdict:

Versus the competiton:


Volvo has always been a leader in vehicle safety as well as the unofficial savant at designing practical, family-hauling wagons, and the 2011 Volvo XC70 exemplifies the two.

With family-centric safety features such as available integrated booster seats, a seat belt reminder for all five seating positions and, of course, the huge cargo area afforded by the wagon design, the XC70 is a fantastic option for families wanting hauling space but not an SUV.

The XC70 is a long wagon with a cavernous cargo area. Despite the length, I was impressed with its reasonable turning radius of 18.8 feet, which is close to the 2011 Subaru Outback’s 18.4-foot turning radius.

To a driving enthusiast, the ride might feel floaty, but the drive quality was spot-on for daily family hauling and soft enough for light off-roading without too much bumpy discomfort. Optional all-wheel drive helps the XC70 manage rugged terrain. Speaking of off-roading, families who camp will also enjoy the standard hill descent control feature that keeps scary-looking hill descents feeling safe and manageable.

The XC70 starts at $32,150, and my test car, a top-of-the-line T6, had a top-of-the-line price of $45,675.

EXTERIOR
The Volvo XC70 is the closest car on the road today to the old wood-paneled station wagon that I rode in to school in the neighborhood carpool as a child. The shape really hasn’t changed much. Sure, the corners have been rounded off a bit, but it’s still square, still boxy and still has a big butt. Some people really like that kind of thing. As a matter of fact, I’m pretty sure there are websites dedicated to it; others take spin class every day to manage it. It’s subjective.

Because the XC70 is indeed designed for some light off-road usage, it has a good amount of ground clearance. This, in addition to the lack of a reachable B-pillar handle, might create a slight challenge for young kids climbing in and out of the XC70 on their own.

Conversely, the cargo floor’s load height is manageable, even for families regularly hefting double strollers in and out of the cargo area. There’s no lip on the cargo floor to have to lift things up and over. The cargo floor is also used to disguise an under-floor system of storage compartments. Sweet! The liftgate opens manually — no optional power liftgate here — but it’s low enough that I could reach it even though I’m 5-foot-3.

The XC70’s large rear end doesn’t slow my test car down too much since it sported an optional 300-horsepower, turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine that’s paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. This engine uses premium gas and gets an EPA-estimated 17/22 mpg city/highway. The standard engine — a 240-hp, 3.2-liter six-cylinder — gets 18/24 mpg when paired with all-wheel drive.

SENSE AND STYLE
Family Friendly (Not Really, Fair, Great, Excellent): Excellent
Fun-Factor (None, Some, Good Times, Groove-On): Some

INTERIOR
Volvo has a great start on the XC70’s interior. The front seats are impossibly comfortable, and there’s enough backseat legroom to accommodate gangly teens or kids in rear-facing child-safety seats. And to keep those kids cool while they’re busy growing, separate air vents are provided for backseat passengers.

There are a few major missteps with the XC70, however. This is 2011 and I want keyless entry with keyless start. In the T6 trim level I drove, I could get into the car without the use of my key, but then I had to fish through my purse to find the key, insert it in the slot and then press the button to start the vehicle. What’s the point of keyless access without keyless start? Keyless start is available on the XC70. Volvo should make this a standard feature, and it did for the 2012 model year.

The XC70’s navigation system needs a complete overhaul. Someone at Volvo thought it’d be high-tech and gadgety to use a remote control to operate the nav system. That’s right; those gurus of safety will make you keep track of a loosely floating remote control inside the car. These are the same people who will tell you that anything loose inside a car can become a dangerous projectile in a crash.

As the driver, you can control the navigation system through some difficult-to-decipher steering-wheel-mounted controls. Theoretically, the remote allows the front passenger to use the navigation system while the driver is busy driving. That definitely doesn’t jibe well with Scandinavian simplicity.

IT’S THE LITTLE THINGS THAT COUNT
Storage Compartments (Puny, Fair, Ample, Galore): Galore
Cargo/Trunk Space (Puny, Fair, Ample, Galore): Galore

SAFETY
This is a Volvo so it will shine in the safety arena. It has standard front-wheel drive, four-wheel-disc antilock brakes, an electronic stability system, traction control and six airbags.

My test car also came equipped with the optional Technology Package that includes adaptive cruise control, driver alert control to make sure you don’t fall asleep at the wheel, a lane departure warning system and collision warning with auto brake. All-wheel drive and a backup camera are also optional features.

My all-time favorite in-car feature is in the XC70 and that’s the available integrated booster seats. The XC70 has two of them in the backseat’s outboard seats. They adjust to two different heights to keep the seat belt properly positioned on kids ranging in weight from 33 to 80 pounds. The integrated seat was especially useful for my 11-year-old daughter who is itching to get out of a booster seat, but at only 62 pounds and 4 feet 6 inches, she still needs a little lift. The XC70’s integrated boosters are an awesome way to quietly keep her in the booster for as long as possible.

With three kids in booster seats, I wanted a third pop-up booster in the center seat. However, there was enough space between the two integrated boosters to squeeze a narrow aftermarket backless booster into the center position. This solution worked perfectly for us, though it did make for a tight squeeze when it was time to reach their seat belt buckles.

With little ones it seems I’m always waiting to make sure all three girls are safely buckled before I start driving. The XC70’s standard Belt Minder gave me a visual indication in the driver’s instrument cluster of which occupied seats were buckled and which occupied seats were not yet buckled. This seems like a small feature, I know, but for a busy family, this thoughtful element made things just a little simpler for us, and I’ll take all the help I can get.

After many years of writing about this, I’m still amazed that Volvo has some of the most difficult-to-access lower Latch anchors of all the cars I’ve test-driven. The XC70 is no exception. The two sets of lower Latch anchors are buried in the seat bight, where the back and bottom cushions meet. It’s a tight squeeze to try to get fingers and/or the Latch hook wedged into it.

Get more safety information about the 2011 Volvo XC70 here.

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.7
  • Interior design 4.6
  • Performance 4.5
  • Value for the money 4.5
  • Exterior styling 4.6
  • Reliability 4.8

Most recent consumer reviews

4.6

Another great Volvo wagon design!

Great design with the Cross Country XC70 all wheel drive. We have owned many Volvo wagons for many years. We did compare to the Subaru Outback, which is an excellent all wheel drive wagon, but found the Volvo fit and finish and overall ergonomics to be superior.

5.0

Perfect for small family

Amazing driving vehicle with just the right amount of room and comfort for a small family. Interior is beautiful and the motors last forever. I highly recommend this vehicle for the everyday cruiser.

4.6

Great for all occasions

I've had mine for a couple of years now and I find it to be a very comfortable and reliable vehicle. The seats are extremely comfortable and though I have the non turbo it seems to be plenty of power. I imagine the turbo is extremely quick. It's hard to find something to complain about. If I had to I would say that I wish it had a temperature gauge and I personally don't like electronic emergency brakes. Volvo batteries are also extremely expensive ($300+) and you need to replace the battery more often than other cars I've owned. It's the only vehicle I've ever owned that I could fit an upright bass behind the seat. I've always had to put it between the seats because it was too long. My bandmates are jealous of all the room I have with performance and comfort. With good Nokian snow tires it's better in the snow than Jeeps I've owned in the past and I'm in Colorado so that says something.

See all 12 consumer reviews

Warranty

New car and Certified Pre-Owned programs by Volvo
New car program benefits
Bumper-to-bumper
48 months/50,000 miles
Corrosion
144 months/unlimited distance
Powertrain
48 months/50,000 miles
Roadside assistance
60 months/unlimited distance
Certified Pre-Owned program benefits
Maximum age/mileage
Less than 5 years/less than 80,000 miles
Basic warranty terms
5 years/unlimited miles , upgradeable up to 10 years
Powertrain
N/A
Dealer certification required
170- plus point inspection
Roadside assistance
Yes
View all cpo program details

Have questions about warranties or CPO programs?

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