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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.
For 2011, a new front-wheel-drive model, the base Volvo XC70 3.2, joins line-up. Both the naturally-aspirated and turbocharged engines see a gain in horsepower and torque. Sirius Satellite Radio is now standard, while a rear park assist camera has been added to the Multimedia package.
Some minor trim upgrades and new package options mark the big changes for 2010. A new PZEV (Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle) 3.2-liter V6 is now available in certain states. The PZEV engine reduces engine emissions, but also reduces engine output from 235 to 225 horsepower.
The Volvo XC70 can best be thought of as a rugged version of the popular V70 wagon. Not quite a full-blown crossover or SUV, the XC70 provides the manageable size and reasonable comfort of a wagon teamed with a sophisticated all-wheel drive system and superior ground clearance. Think of it as the twenty-first century version of the quirky AMC Eagle. The XC70's primary competition comes from the Subaru Legacy and Outback wagons and, to a lesser degree, the Dodge Magnum all-wheel-drive wagon.