By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 7.0
While the SUV is certainly popular, its large proportions and high center of gravity are not for everyone. Unfortunately not many manufacturers produce wagons and even fewer offer them with all-wheel drive (AWD) and high ground clearance. If the Subaru Outback or Honda Crosstour prove too generic for your taste, then the 2014 Volvo XC70 is likely to catch your attention and keep it. In addition to an available turbocharged engine, the XC70 offers a far more luxurious interior and more amenities than the Outback, although the Volvo cannot match the Outback's fuel economy. Still, if you're looking for a family vehicle with a proven safety record plus a premium luxury-car feel, the XC70 is probably it.
If you like getting off the beaten path, but you also like to be coddled when traversing paved roads, the 2014 Volvo XC70 wagon has you covered. The XC70 can take on light off-road challenges or deep snow with ease. Volvo's reputation for safety and comfort is exemplary.
The XC70 can't carry more than five passengers, really four in comfort, and it can't do any serious off-roading. If you just need the XC70's AWD abilities but not its premium brand name and price tag, the Subaru Outback makes a far better choice.
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For 2014, the Volvo XC70 gets a slight front and rear-end freshening, some new equipment and a revised interior including a new adaptive digital instrument cluster on T6 models. Cyclist Detection is added to the Technology Package while the Climate Package adds a heated windshield and steering wheel.
Driving Impressions The base XC70 models are propelled by a 240-horsepower 6-cylinder engine that provides acceptable acceleration and passing power. For those who prefer a more spirited run, the T6's turbocharged 300-horsepower...... engine is far more desirable. The added power is better suited to the added weight associated with the AWD system, although to be fair, even the front-wheel-drive (FWD) trims are far from being lightweight. The T6 for 2014 is capable of sprinting to 60 mph in just under 7 seconds, but that is straight-line performance. Once a curve appears, you'll want to dial back throttle input a bit as the XC70's increased ride height and softer suspension settings make it lean noticeably in tight turns. On the highway, the XC70 is comfortable and quiet. Hill Descent Control, standard on AWD 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 2014 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 2014 XC70 looks like one stylish but bulked-up carryall. 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 2014 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 skidplates, 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, adaptive digital instrument cluster, 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 cyclist-and-pedestrian-detection system with automatic braking, lane-departure warning, and collision warning with fully automatic braking. Also available are xenon headlights, dual 2-stage child booster seats, heated front and rear seats, an interior air-quality system, navigation, a rear-seat entertainment system with two screens, a rearview park-assist camera, and a 12-speaker, 650-watt premium sound system with rear headphone jacks and audio controls.
The standard engine for the 2014 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 AWD only.
240 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm
236 lb-ft of torque @ 3,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/26 mpg (FWD), 18/25 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: 17/24 mpg
Note: The dealer-installed Polestar Performance Package increases the XC70 turbo-engine output to 325 horsepower and 354 lb-ft of torque. The fuel economy figures are not affected.
The 2014 Volvo XC70's Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starts just under $35,500 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 just under $42,000. 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.