By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating:
In these days of big and mid-sized SUVs that seem to populate every road and vehicle segment, the 2013 Volvo XC70 is something of a rarity. It's an easy-to-drive station wagon that has comfortable seating for five adults and cargo space galore, plus generous ground clearance and available all-wheel drive (AWD) that enable it to tackle just about any surface nearly as well as the more cumbersome truck-like vehicles. The XC70's main competitors in this niche are probably the Subaru Outback and Honda Crosstour, and while both of those have lower starting prices, they don't come close to the premium feel and advanced safety features that are standard on the Volvo.
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 such high-tech safety features is a bonus.
If you need to carry more than five passengers or plan to do serious off-roading, a bigger, more conventional SUV would be a better choice. Or if the XC70's mid-$30,000 price tag seems high, a Subaru Outback does pretty well for a third less.
For 2013, the Volvo XC70 gets some minor equipment upgrades. Rain-sensing wipers, headlight washers and Tunnel-Sensing headlights are added across the line. A Sport mode is added to the T6's automatic transmission and depending on packages, keyless entry and starting, xenon headlights and Road Sign Information are now available.
Driving Impressions In standard form, with the 240-horsepower 3.2-liter base engine, the Volvo XC70 has acceptable acceleration, but for a much more invigorating experience and some reserve power for passing, move up...to the 300-horsepower turbocharged engine in the T6. The added power helps make the XC70 a much more engaging car, especially for those who enjoy the dynamic aspects of driving. The T6 XC70 runs from zero to 60 mph in 6.9 seconds. That said, you'll need to rein in the enthusiasm in turns – with its increased ride height and softer suspension, this car is not made to claw around curves at great velocity. On the highway, the XC70 is comfortable and quiet. The steering-wheel-mounted audio controls are easy to use, as are the climate controls on the dash with the vent-direction buttons representing a human figure. Hill Descent Control, standard on all-wheel-drive models, adds confidence on slippery slopes.
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.
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 plus hidden storage underneath. In a pinch, you could sleep in the thing.
The 2013 Volvo XC70, especially in its higher trim levels, can pass as a luxury car with its plush leather and tasteful accents in wood and metal. Buttons and gauges are sleek and mostly easy to identify and use. The seating position is good (some drivers would like a higher center armrest on long drives) and outward visibility is excellent. Rear-seat room is spacious and 2-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
If a station wagon can look rugged, this one does. With 8.3 inches of ground clearance and a blocky design softened by gentle arcs and bulges, the 2013 XC70 looks like one stylish but bulked-up carry-all. Still, it's 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.
A base 2013 Volvo XC70 3.2 features a 240-horsepower 6-cylinder engine, 6-speed Geartronic automatic transmission, front-wheel drive and Volvo's City Safety low-speed accident-prevention system. Also standard are rain-sensing wipers, dual-zone climate control, front and rear skid plates, an 8-way power driver's seat, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a locking cargo-floor compartment, a 160-watt audio system with AM/FM/HD radio, Bluetooth hands-free communication, and cruise control. The XC70 T6 adds a turbocharged engine, dual chrome exhaust tips, leather seating, a power moonroof and power passenger seat. All XC70s feature Volvo's 5-year/50,000-mile warranty with five years of complimentary scheduled maintenance and roadside assistance.
Safety features figure high on any Volvo's equipment list, including the XC70's. Along with the standard City Safety automatic-braking system, the wagon can be outfitted with Volvo's Road Sign Information system, 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, an interior air quality system, navigation, a rear-seat entertainment system with two screens, a rear-view park assist camera, and a 12-speaker, 650-watt premium sound system with rear headphone jacks and audio controls.
The standard engine for the 2013 Volvo XC70 is a 3.2-liter inline 6-cylinder with 240 horsepower. In this over-2-ton vehicle, the engine delivers acceptable performance, but only just. Passing power, especially, could be stronger. A much better choice, if the budget allows, is the T6 model's potent 300-horsepower turbocharged powerplant. And for even more power, the dealer-installed Polestar Performance package retunes the turbo engine for 325 horsepower without affecting the fuel economy or warranty. Both the naturally aspirated and turbo engines can run on regular unleaded fuel. A 6-speed manually shiftable automatic transmission is used on all XC70s. This transmission offers a selectable Sport mode on the higher-performance T6. The base 3.2 comes with either front-wheel drive (FWD) or all-wheel drive. The T6 is all-wheel-drive only.
240 horsepower @ 6,400 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 @ 2,100-4,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/23 mpg
Note: The dealer-installed Polestar Performance Package increases the XC70 engine output to 325 horsepower and 354 lb-ft of torque. The fuel economy figures are not affected.
The 2013 Volvo XC70's Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starts at $34,345 for a front-drive Volvo XC70 3.2. Choosing all-wheel drive adds $2,000. A T6 version with the turbocharged 6-cylinder engine and standard AWD starts at $40,995. Adding the Polestar Performance upgrade for even more power is about $1,500. A top-line XC70 loaded with options can easily surpass $55,000. The less-expensive Subaru Outback is nearly as capable but not as luxurious. Be sure to check KBB.com's Fair Purchase Price, which shows what others in your area paid for the XC70. Over a 5-year period we expect the XC70's retained resale value to be about average for the segment.
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