By KBB.com Editors
Volvo's XC70 wagon, the descendent of the cult-classic Cross Country Wagon, 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.You'll Like This Car If...
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 (or garage), the 2009 Volvo XC70 will definitely strike a positive note.You May Not Like This Car If... What's New for 2009
A T6 trim joins the base 3.2 model. It features a 281-horsepower turbocharged engine, 17-inch wheels and visible dual exhaust pipes. Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity is now standard equipment.Driving It 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 it's the turbocharged T6 that delivers the kind of power that impresses. 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.Favorite Features
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.