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2012 Volvo XC70

Overview
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2012 Volvo XC70 Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 7.2

In these days of big SUVs and crossovers that seem to populate every road and vehicle segment, the 2012 Volvo XC70 is a bit of a rarity: An easy-to-drive station wagon that has seating for five and cargo space galore, along with extra ground clearance and available all-wheel drive (AWD) that enables it to tackle just about any surface almost as well as those more cumbersome utility vehicles. The XC70's main competitors in its niche category are the Subaru Outback and Honda Crosstour, both of which have lower starting prices but lack the premium feel and safety features that are standard on the Volvo.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you desire the cargo space to haul the toys of your active lifestyle and the ability to travel almost any road with them, but don't want a big and bulky SUV, the XC70 is a premium alternative. That it boasts some of the highest-tech safety features available on any car is icing on the cake.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you need to carry more than five passengers or plan to do serious off-roading, a bigger SUV would be a better choice. If the Volvo XC70's mid-$30,000 price tag is too much for you, a Subaru Outback can be had for about $10,000 less in base form.

What's New for 2012

Base versions of the XC70 are front-wheel drive (FWD), which became the standard in 2011. For 2012, trim choices jump from two to seven with the addition of Premier, Premier Plus and Platinum editions in all models. A redesigned instrument panel conveys audio, navigation and other information to the driver via a 7-inch color display, the Bluetooth interface now allows audio streaming and the lower center console has been redesigned with metal framing or wood inlays, depending on trim level. On the safety front, the 2012 XC70 comes standard with City Safety, a system that automatically applies the brakes in lower-speed situations to avoid a collision if the driver is distracted and fails to brake. A higher-power Polestar edition is available on turbo models; a software performance package bumps output from 300 horsepower to 325 and torque from 325 lb-ft to 354, and does not affect the car's warranty.

Driving the XC70

Driving Impressions In standard form with the 3.2-liter base engine, the Volvo XC70 has decent power and acceleration. For a much more invigorating experience, move up to the 300-horsepower turbocharged engine in...

the T6. The added power comes at a price premium, but it helps make the XC70 a much more enjoyable car for those who like the dynamic aspects of driving. The T6 XC70 blasts from zero to 60 mph in just 6.9 seconds, which is fast for a car of this nature. That said, you'll need to dial down the enthusiasm level for turns; with its increased ride height and softer suspension, this car is not made to take curves with great velocity. On the highway, the XC70 is comfortable and quiet. Visibility from the XC70's increased ride height is not as good as a taller SUV, but it is better than most wagons and sedans. We like the easy-to-use, steering wheel-mounted audio controls as well as the climate controls on the dash with the vent-direction buttons depicting a human figure. If you descend steep grades, the Hill Descent Control, standard on all-wheel drive models, will help you down slowly and with confidence.

POWER TAILGATE
Here's an option you'll appreciate every time you find yourself with an armful. The touch of a button raises or lowers the tailgate, leaving your hands free for other tasks.

CARGO ROOM
One of the XC70's best attributes is its generous amount of space. With the rear seats folded flat, it boasts a vast 72.1 cubic feet of room for all those IKEA runs, plus hidden storage underneath. There's so much room that, in a pinch, you could even sleep in the thing.

2012 Volvo XC70 Details
2012 Volvo XC70 photo Interior

The 2012 Volvo XC70, especially in its higher trim level, can pass as a luxury car with its plush leather and accents made from wood and metal. Buttons and gauges are sleek and mostly easy to identify and use. Seating position is good (a higher armrest would help on longer drives) and visibility is a bright point thanks to all those side windows and a rear window whose glass extends below the sides. A two-tone interior injects some excitement into the Volvo's borderline-bland surfaces. Rear-seat room is accommodating and two-stage child booster seats are available. Cargo space is plentiful, with over 33 cubic feet with the rear seats up; with the seats folded flat that space opens up to create what looks like a bed.

Exterior
2012 Volvo XC70 photo

If a station wagon ever had the ability to look rugged, this one accomplishes that feat. With 8.3 inches of ground clearance and a blocky design accentuated by hood bulges, the 2012 XC70 looks like one bulked-up carry-all. That said, it's still a station wagon and won't convince anyone otherwise. With its rectangular shape and three rows of side windows, the XC70 can remind you of Volvos past, as opposed to newer and more rounded models like the chic XC60 SUV.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

A base 2012 Volvo XC70 3.2 features a 240-horsepower 6-cylinder engine, 6-speed Geartronic automatic transmission, front-wheel drive and the City Safety system. Also standard are dual-zone climate control, front and rear skid plates, 8-way power driver's seat, auto-dimming rearview mirror, locking cargo-floor compartment, 160-watt audio system with AM/FM/HD radio, Bluetooth hands-free system and cruise control. The Volvo XC70 T6 adds a turbocharged engine, dual chrome exhaust tips, leather seating, power moonroof and power passenger seat. The XC70 also features Volvo's 5-year/50,000-mile warranty with five years of complimentary scheduled maintenance and roadside assistance.

Optional Equipment

Volvos are known for their safety features, and the XC70 doesn't skimp. Along with the standard City Safety auto-braking system, the wagon can be outfitted with a blind-spot warning system, adaptive cruise control, a pedestrian-detection system with automatic braking, lane-departure warning and collision warning with fully automatic braking. Also available are xenon headlights, dual two-stage child booster seats, heated front and rear seats, interior air quality system, navigation, rear-seat entertainment system with two screens, rear-view park assist camera and a 12-speaker, 650-watt premium sound system with rear headphone jacks and audio controls.

Under the Hood

The standard engine for the 2012 Volvo XC70 is a 3.2-liter inline 6-cylinder of 240 horsepower, but it delivers only acceptable performance in this vehicle that weighs over two tons. While off-the-line acceleration is brisk, passing power could be better. For those who want more performance, choose the T6 with its potent turbocharged engine. For even more power, the Polestar Performance package can be had on the turbo engine and does not sacrifice fuel economy. Both engines can run on regular unleaded and are rated to tow up to 3,300 pounds.

3.2-liter inline-6
240 horsepower @ 6,200 rpm
236 lb-ft of torque @ 3,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/25 mpg (FWD), 18/24 mpg (AWD)

3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6
300 horsepower @ 5,600 rpm
325 lb-ft of torque @ 1,500-4,800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/23 mpg

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2012 Volvo XC70 Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.8
Out of 10

Based on 44 Ratings for the 2008 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.9/10
    Quality
    9.0/10
  • Reliability
    8.9/10
    Performance
    8.7/10
  • Comfort
    9.4/10
    Styling
    9.2/10

LOVE my little red wagon!

By on Wednesday, July 23, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 99,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Great in bad weather, perfect for the kids"

Cons: "max passenger space."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I've driven this car for 4 years now, and still love it. My husband laughs at me for thinking that people drive terribly in the snow and bad weather... because my wagon makes it easy. She growls at snow! I drive the wagon to transport our most precious cargo (our 2 children) to and from school, as well as to the office every day. I do sometimes wish I had more passenger space, but other than that I've been more than happy with this car. Repairs can be pricey, but fortunately they're few and far between (ever heard of an "infotainment" unit?). I like that it stands out in a sea of minivans and obnoxious SUV's. I feel she's a great combination of practical and fun. I'm a firm believer in Volvo after this car."

5 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Absolutely best car I ever owned - bar none

By on Monday, April 14, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This was the first Volvo I owned. I've driven lots of high-end cars and AWD vehicles. The Volvo beats them all. It is superbly quiet, very smooth riding, handles ANY kind of road conditions automatically. Drives effortlessly yet still gives you the sense of the road. Very thoughtfully laid out interior and doesn't have a forest of stems on the column. Premium Sound System is concert quality. The nav is easy to use and kinda fun. And because of Volvo's safety reputation, I feel very secure driving my grandchildren."

15 people out of 21 found this review helpful

Absolutely best car I ever owned - bar none

By on Sunday, April 13, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This was the first Volvo I owned. I've driven lots of high-end cars and AWD vehicles. The Volvo beats them all. It is superbly quiet, very smooth riding, handles ANY kind of road conditions automatically. Drives effortlessly yet still gives you the sense of the road. Very thoughtfully laid out interior and doesn't have a forest of stems on the column. Premium Sound System is concert quality. The nav is easy to use and kinda fun. And because of Volvo's safety reputation, I feel very secure driving my grandchildren."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Absolutely best car I ever owned - bar none

By on Sunday, April 13, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This was the first Volvo I owned. I've driven lots of high-end cars and AWD vehicles. The Volvo beats them all. It is superbly quiet, very smooth riding, handles ANY kind of road conditions automatically. Drives effortlessly yet still gives you the sense of the road. Very thoughtfully laid out interior and doesn't have a forest of stems on the column. Premium Sound System is concert quality. The nav is easy to use and kinda fun. And because of Volvo's safety reputation, I feel very secure driving my grandchildren."

Absolutely best car I ever owned - bar none

By on Sunday, April 13, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This was the first Volvo I owned. I've driven lots of high-end cars and AWD vehicles. The Volvo beats them all. It is superbly quiet, very smooth riding, handles ANY kind of road conditions automatically. Drives effortlessly yet still gives you the sense of the road. Very thoughtfully laid out interior and doesn't have a forest of stems on the column. Premium Sound System is concert quality. The nav is easy to use and kinda fun. And because of Volvo's safety reputation, I feel very secure driving my grandchildren."

Amazing wagon

By on Friday, March 21, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 54,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "The seats and smooth ride....like butter."

Cons: "Cornering but hey, its raised up wagon after all."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"T6 model in sport mode is a hoot. I have owned BMW, Mercedes and Acura and this car has raised the bar. Comfort, quiet and reliable. Need I say more."

4 people out of 9 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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