By KBB.com Editors
Volvo's XC70 wagon, formerly known as the Cross Country, occupies a big place in a very small field. Rugged wagons capable of off-road ventures are few and far between, and with the Audi A6 entrant long gone, Subaru's Outback becomes the closest rival. Good as it is, the Outback can't match the Volvo's luxurious premium-brand panache, nor can it equal the XC70's long list of standard and optional features. If a crossover SUV is more car than you care for, and you don't require three-row seating, the all-new XC70's artful blend of beauty and brawn (not to mention safety) make it ideal for the active family's lifestyle.
If your next vehicle needs such off-road attributes as all-wheel drive and Hill Descent Control, but a bulky SUV doesn't fit your image, the 2008 Volvo XC70 is the car for you.
If you need seating for six or a price tag starting in the $20,000 range, a vehicle like the Jeep Commander or Subaru Outback is a better choice.
Despite a trend toward large crossover SUVs, Volvo's third-generation XC70 reiterates the Swedish manufacturer's commitment to the station wagon set. With only a handful of premium brand wagons available to consumers, the XC70 is poised to capture both safety-conscious families and active-lifestyle individuals.
Driving Impressions The XC70's S80-based platform delivers a stable, quiet and controlled ride that belies the vehicle's off-road abilities. The 3.2-liter in-line six is a capable powerplant, but feels like it could...use a bit more oomph, perhaps from something along the line of Volvo's turbocharged models. The XC70 handles better than any truck-based SUV we've driven, but the added height and big wheels and tires don't return the same feel one might experience from a V70 or V50 wagon. Leave dry pavement, and the XC70's attitude changes. Gravel roads, deep mud and slushy snow prove little match for the XC70's all-wheel drive abilities. The Hill Descent Control feature is invaluable for both novice and experienced off-roaders. Once engaged, the system uses the vehicle's braking system to maintain a constant speed of around six-miles per hour, a useful tool when descending steep and slippery slopes.
Hill Descent Control
With the push of a button, the XC70's Hill Descent Control manages the steepest descents, holding the car to a near crawl without the need for driver intervention.}
Anyone caught in the rain with two arms full of groceries will appreciate this feature. The power tailgate can be activated via a button on the remote key fob.
Despite its rugged exterior, the 2008 Volvo XC70's interior is one of the most elegant and comfortable cabins ever to grace a Volvo vehicle. The clean and simple dash design puts controls within easy reach of both driver and passenger, while Volvo's new signature open-back center console adds a touch of style not usually associated with the family wagon. A number of options, including the Blind Spot Information System and Adaptive Cruise Control, make driving easier. Families who have outgrown child safety seats will appreciate the optional two-stage child booster seats (rear outboard seating), which allow young children a higher perch, putting them within coverage of the side-curtain airbags.Exterior
The 2008 Volvo XC70 touts a stylish yet rugged exterior. Gone is the tacked-on side cladding, replaced by a more streamlined treatment covering the molded bumpers and lower door panels. Volvo has also lowered the rear glass beyond that of the side windows for better visibility and integrated the taillights into the tailgate to create a wider opening. An aggressive front fascia adds a sporty feel to the XC70's demeanor, while helpful features such as an optional power tailgate confirm the XC70's premium luxury-car status.
Every 2008 Volvo XC70 features a 3.2-liter engine, six-speed automatic transmission and Instant Traction all-wheel drive. Other notable standard features include Dynamic Stability and Traction Control, Hill Descent Control (keeps the vehicle at approximately six miles per hour when descending steep grades), front and rear skid plates, heated side mirrors, dual-zone electronic climate control, eight-way power driver's seat with memory and lumbar support, 16-inch alloy wheels and a 160-watt AM/FM stereo with MP3-compatible CD player and auxiliary input. Standard safety features include front, front side-impact and front and rear side-curtain airbags and Whiplash Protection System (WHIPS).
Stowing groceries has never been easier thanks to the power tailgate, which opens and closes via a push-button key fob. Volvo's Adaptive Cruise Control uses radar to keep a safe distance between you and the vehicle ahead. Other options of note include heated leather seats, Blind Spot Information System (BLIS), remote engine start, rear seat child boosters, rain-sensing wipers, eight-way power passenger's seat, Bi-Xenon headlights with washers, navigation, 18-inch alloy wheels, Bluetooth hands-free communication, dual-screen rear DVD entertainment system, power glass sunroof, SIRIUS Satellite Radio and a Dynaudio Premium Sound system which includes a 650-watt amplifier, six-disc CD changer, Dolby Pro-Logic II Surround Sound and 12 speakers.
Volvo's 3.2-liter in-line six is a strong engine, but delivers only acceptable performance in the 4,000-plus pound XC70. Off-the-line acceleration is brisk, but passing power could be better. On the flip side, fuel economy is good for this class and engine noise and vibration are barely detectable from inside the car.
3.2-liter in-line six
235 horsepower @ 6200 rpm
236 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/22
By petre (PA) on Saturday, April 27, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 15,000overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"Good for what it does. soft comfortable ride, mediocre handling but safe. Was t-boned, and the car saved my cups. When rear seats folded down, plenty of luggage space. Turbo is a necessity for a wagon of this weight. Overall, if you are looking for solid, but plain styling in a family wagon this is a good choice. But if you are want sportiness, styling and handling, look elsewhere."
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful
By sun (CA) on Friday, March 15, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 11,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Comfort, safety features, beautiful interior"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This car has amazing seats. Test drove many other makes and models...Mercedes, BMW, Toyota, and Honda. We just kept coming back to the Volvo for those seats! I'm always confused as to why this Wagon is compared to other sport wagons. This Volvo Wagon is just the perfect daily or long trip vehicle for busy people with kids and/or pets. Our other family car is a BMW 335i, so if we want sport driving, that's the car we take. However, even my husband agrees, as fun as the BMW is to drive, you just can't beat those Volvo seats."
4 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By USCELT (CO) on Wednesday, March 06, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 62,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Strong safe and reliable drive"
Cons: "Should have a standard rear camera."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Very Safe, very reliable and very strong. Great for a family or for hauling substantial loads long or short distances. Great pick up off the turbo and 70 comes up very quickly and makes for safe overtaking and "idiot avoidance". Good seats make for comfortable distance driving and the AWD makes for sure footed handling with reasonable fuel economy on std gas. Stereo pretty good and interior fittings show no rattles, squeeks or bumps after 60K miles. Well Done Volvo (Ford as was)"
3 people out of 3 found this review helpful
By v4life (CT) on Thursday, August 23, 2012
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 92,000overall rating 3 of 10rating details
Pros: "IPOD hook up is nice"
Cons: "relaibility after 80k stinks"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"After 86k the car became the least reliable car I have ever owned and very expensive to repair. The car died on the highway stranding me - had it flat bedded to the garage then flat bedded to the dealer to find that the gas hose had become tangled around the fuel sensor causing it to think it had no fuel and setting off all of the computer sensors to first over react and then shut down. An obvious Volvo design / build flaw - no help at all from them. Cut the exhaust, drop the tank, re-route the lines, put it back together + tows I spent about $1400 dollars. Less than 6 months later on a family vacation 6 states away the a/c compressor binds up, saws through the belt and strands my family and I once again. New compressor + tow another $1400. Lately the gas cap gasket letting go, releasing the cap and causing the check engine light to come on. I currently own 5 Volvos and this is the worst I have ever owned. One more problem and I am going to have the car crushed so no one else has to ever suffer through owning it"
8 people out of 10 found this review helpful
By Bubba (FL) on Wednesday, March 21, 2012
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,500overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "quieter ride better vision"
Cons: "none so far"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"traded a cadillac SRX for this XC70. Much quieter and more comfortable. Also much better gas mileage"
5 people out of 6 found this review helpful
By Brooke (NY) on Monday, December 12, 2011
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 7,500overall rating 3 of 10rating details
Pros: "Lots of great features, very comfortable"
Cons: "Software glitch that they cannot fix"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2
"Have had the car for only 4 months and have had it in the shop 5 times already. Some minor issues, but the recurring major issue is that the "low oil" light comes on every few thousand miles. Generally the oil is fine, and they have upgraded the software twice, soon to be three times as the car is having the issue as I write this. But as there doesn't seem to be a fix, you basically have to allow an extra 20 minutes to get anywhere in case you have to stop and check the oil. Or alternatively, you essentially lose your low oil warning feature because you ignore it and continue driving (at the risk that this time the oil is actually low). Having this reliability issue at this price point is inconceivable."
7 people out of 8 found this review helpful