The 2012 Volvo XC70 marches on with a few more tweaks intended to keep it competitive. Under the hood, the base XC70's normally-aspirated 3.2-liter inline-6 is now joined by a partial zero-emissions version which sacrifices a few horsepower (230, down from 240) in the interest of reduced emissions and the expectation of slightly better mileage. Meanwhile, the 300 horsepower, 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6 powering the T6 version is unchanged. Both engines are mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. Fortunately, both engines consume regular-grade gas, because the XC70's fuel economy is average at best.
Visually, the XC70 hasn't changed since 2010. There are new 18-inch wheels on the T6, but little else has changed. Inside, the XC70 has an optional 650-watt audio system, and the new Sensus infotainment system with Bluetooth connect ability as well.
Although it's essentially a lifted, all-wheel drive wagon, the XC70 could be considered one of the original players in the premium crossover segment, which has since been joined by a number of appealing alternatives. As to be expected from Volvo, the XC70 has plenty of systems designed to keep it safe and stable, including Volvo's "Instant Traction" and electronic hill descent control.
Bodystyle: 4-door wagon
Engines: 3.2-liter inline-6, 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6
Transmission: six-speed automatic
Models: 3.2, T6
The XC70 continues basically unchanged from 2011 except for some minor trim updates. The T6 has new 18-inch wheels, and a new color: Twilight Dawn with an espresso brown interior.
In an era of fast-appearing and highly styled new crossovers, the XC70 is getting lost in the crowd. Its chunky station wagon design is a throwback to earlier Volvo wagons, but that may be exactly what some are looking for.
The XC70's interior is luxuriously appointed, with an overall theme of flowing sweeps across the dash. The center stack is highlighted by a version of Volvo's signature, free-standing, waterfall center-stack, and attractive, available inlays including wood. Deserving special mention is the highly ergonomic quality of its controls, like the new Sensus infotainment system with Bluetooth connectability.
Performance & Handling
At about 3985 pounds, the XC70 isn't light. But the 240-hp 3.2-liter six moves the XC70 to 60 mph in about 8.4 seconds, while the 300-hp turbocharged 3.0-liter gets the 4279-lb T6 AWD there in 6.9 seconds. Not bad. Otherwise, the XC70 is oriented toward comfort, quietness, and rough-road capability, so don't expect sports car handling.
The XC70 has all the Volvo safety bells and whistles, including City Safety, a driver support system that helps to prevent low-speed collisions. Depending on the vehicle's speed, City Safety will either pre-charge the brakes or automatically stop the XC70 to help avoid a collision. Other preventative safety measures focus on preventing driver distractions with Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Collision Warning with new Full Auto Brake (CWAB), new Pedestrian Detection with Full Auto Brake, Distance Alert (DA), Driver Alert Control (DAC) and Lane Departure Warning (LDW).
EPA Fuel Economy
3.2: 18-19 mpg city/24-25 mpg highway
T6 all-wheel drive: 17 mpg city/23 mpg highway
- All-wheel-drive capability
- Attractive, luxurious interior
- Handsome, if slightly dated, exterior
You Won't Like
Minor updates manage to keep the XC70 in the game
If You Like This Vehicle
- Audi A4 Avant
- BMW 3 Series Wagon
- Subaru Outback