KBB Editors' Overview
By KBB.com Editors - Updated Date: 2/21/2014
While families and active individuals flock to SUVs for their versatility and steadily improving ride quality, the 2015 Volvo XC70 proves the station wagon is still relevant, and as capable and sophisticated as ever. The XC70 actually splits the difference between a traditional wagon and an SUV. It has the cargo room, ground clearance, and available all-wheel drive of an SUV, yet retains the driving manners and ease of entry associated with a sedan. And being a Volvo, the XC70 is loaded with safety features, including a system that automatically brakes to prevent a collision. The XC70 also finds a happy medium among its main rivals in terms of price and amenities, falling between the higher-end Audi Allroad and more mainstream Subaru Outback.
You'll Like This Car If...
If you want a spacious, well-equipped hauler that tackles snow and light trails like an SUV, but drives and maneuvers like a car, the XC70 deserves your attention. Other benefits include Volvo's reputation for safety and this buffed-up wagon's ability to stand out from the crowd.
You May Not Like This Car If...
If you need to carry more than five passengers, tow over 3,300 pounds or are among the few who plan to do serious off-roading, look to a larger SUV. If you desire an all-wheel-drive wagon with a sub-$25,000 price, the Subaru Outback remains an affordable all-star.
What's New for 2015
The big news for the 2015 XC70 is the addition of a powerful yet efficient 4-cylinder engine/8-speed transmission setup that can be had instead of the wagon's 6-cylinder/6-speed offerings. Other changes include a standard power-operated passenger seat, and all-wheel drive as standard on 3.2-liter 6-cylinder models.
You may not equate a station wagon with invigorating acceleration, but the 2015 XC70 can flaunt just that if you choose one with a turbocharged engine. The 240-horsepower 4-cylinder has impressive power delivery, and the matching 8-speed automatic transmission is excellent. Go full boat with the 300-horsepower turbocharged inline-6, and you'll have a station wagon that can beat some sports cars off the line. In the middle is the naturally aspirated (non-turbo) inline-6, which provides acceptable power for passing and getting up to speed. Despite its potentially surprising straight-line acceleration, you'll want to dial it down in the corners. Volvo's big wagon sits higher than a normal vehicle and has a suspension made to soak up bumps, not tear around tarmac. In normal driving, the XC70 is hushed, and its driver's seat is among our favorites. Those venturing off the beaten path will appreciate Hill Descent Control, which keeps the car at a steady pace when descending slippery slopes.
City Safety is the name of Volvo's automatic braking feature, and it monitors what's happening ahead even when you don't. The system was designed for slow-speed and stop-and-go driving of up to about 30 mph, and can apply the brakes to prevent a collision if the driver fails to act.
With the rear seats folded flat, Volvo's all-purpose wagon boasts a vast 72.1 cubic feet of room plus hidden storage underneath. In some XC70 models, the front passenger seat folds to accommodate long items like lumber or a surfboard. In a pinch, you could sleep in this vehicle.
For vehicle details and pricing notes…