2014 Volvo XC70
The Volvo XC70 is an impressive and versatile wagon. Striving to combine the benefits of a luxury car with SUV ruggedness, its smooth, stable, secure, fast and very comfortable on the open highway.
Most models have all-wheel drive, which makes the XC70 a good choice for foul weather, be it torrential rain, deep snow, or glare ice. But its on primitive roads where the Volvo XC70 shines. It handles gravel and dirt roads quickly and ably, with stable, predictable handling and excellent traction. We think its the most compelling car in the Volvo lineup.
The Volvo XC70 3.2 uses a 3.2-liter inline-6 engine making 240 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque, while the XC70 T6 AWD holds a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6 to make 300 horsepower and 325 pound-feet.
The XC70 3.2 has standard front-wheel drive. That should appeal to flatlanders in warm weather: for example, Texans and Floridians. All-wheel drive is optional, and standard on the T6. Equipped with that full-time AWD, an XC70 is prepared for serious travel through unpaved wilderness areas. Furthermore, its suspension is raised to increase both movement range and ground clearance. Dent-resistant lower body cladding and protective skid plates underneath protect it from damage. Hill Descent Control makes ascending steep, slippery trails easier and safer.
Like other Volvo models for 2014, the XC70 gets a substantial freshening. The grille has been revised, front and rear bumpers are new, and the lower front intake redesigned. New LED daytime running lights are installed, along with reworked taillights. Standard Valder alloy wheels hold 17-inch tires. Inside is a new standard analog instrument cluster. An enhanced tire pressure monitoring system now alerts the driver as to which axle has a tire thats lost pressure.
Premier trim adds an auto-dimming mirror and adaptive digital instrument cluster with three selectable themes for 2014. Premier Plus gains a quick-fold front passenger seat and rear park assist camera. The Technology Package adds cyclist detection to the passenger detection system. The Climate Package gains a heated windshield and heated steering wheel.
Advanced Quick Shift in the T6 AWD includes revised shift-management software for the automatic transmission, for quicker gear changes. The T6s Technology Package includes adaptive cruise control with queue assist, collision warning with full auto brake, distance alert, driver alert, lane departure warning, road sign information, and active high beam.
Either XC70 model is engineered for serious gear-hauling rather than posing at the mall. Cargo capacity of 72.1 cubic feet is on par with mid-size SUVs, slightly better than a Subaru Outback. The seating arrangement is flexible and the cargo compartment has tie-downs and other useful accessories. With the rear seats folded, the XC70s flat floor and low lift-over height make loading bulky cargo easier than with many SUVs. Its rated to tow up to 3,300 pounds, enough for a small boat or camper.
We found the handling of the Volvo XC70 T6 AWD on primitive logging roads to be excellent. This would be a good car to drive to the top of Alaska in the middle of winter. We know, weve done it. Weve also driven it off-highway in Baja, and on unpaved logging roads. All-wheel drive made driving around corners easy and predictable on gravel, dirt, mud, and snow. The suspension had just the right amount of compliance to keep the tires on the trail, yet give the driver lots of control. Bumps in the middle of turns never upset handling.
On paved roads, the XC70 is stable and comfortable. Its a good car for long trips and great daily transportation. It rides smoothly, doesnt float or lean excessively through curves, and should deliver better real-world gas mileage than most mid- and full-size truck-based SUVs. Also, its equipped with all the safety features that form Volvos well-deserved reputation for safety engineering.