Autovations: Volvo XC70

The third-generation wagon – suitable for urban and rural commutes – is more sculpted and has new design touches.

Volvo's wagons have always made all kinds of unambiguous statements. When its cross-country variation emerged in 1997, clad in flat-black rubber trim that suggested galoshes, we got the point – even though the "crossover" craze hadn't been spawned.

For 2008, Volvo presents the third-generation XC70. It's more than a V70 wagon, not quite an XC90 sport ute (OK, a moment of ambiguity). The truth is, this $35,000 wagon is as capable a vehicle as most drivers need. More sculpted than earlier versions, and with new design touches, it's four inches longer than the '07 (two inches in the wheelbase) and uses a little more steel.

As big fans of Volvo's inline-5 cylinder engines (especially the 2- and 2.5-liter turbos), we were interested in XC70's use of a naturally aspirated, 3.2-liter inline-6. It makes 235 h.p. and gets out of its own way. We nursed out about 20 m.p.g. in mixed-use driving that included city commuting, not an ideal role. (This Ford-owned firm also has a bifuel XC60 in prototype, and displayed a flex-fuel plug-in hybrid concept this year.)

XC70's towing capacity: about 3,300 lbs. Built-in booster seats hoist kids up high but, of course, keeps them protected by side-curtain air bags. Hill-descent control, easily engaged, walks the car down at about 6 m.p.h. A foot of "fording depth" enables, well, creek crossings. Bolt on some skid plates and this wagon's ready for anything.

About these ads
Sponsored Content by LockerDome

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK