Volvo XC70 Origins
As the first front-drive Volvo to hit America’s shores, the 850 helped propel Volvo’s reputation into a new echelon, thanks to the 850’s inclusion of high-end features previously not offered by other lines. As Volvo’s top-seller during that five-year period, the 20-valve, straight five-engine Volvo 850s came equipped with standard anti-lock brakes, dual front airbags, cruise control, and keyless entry.
For 1998, Volvo altered the way it named its vehicles in terms of body style and car size, with the 850 now known as the 70 series; broken down further depending on which letter precedes the number 70 (S for Saloon, V for Wagon, and C for Coupe), the Volvo XC70 (in this case, the ""XC"" stands for Cross Country) became the model’s largest station wagon, enhanced by a raised suspension, more bottom frame cladding, and some other functional improvements.About the Volvo XC70
As an updated trim option spin-off of the Volvo V70, the Volvo XC70 made its debut in 1998. Touted as an all-weather version of the V70, the XC70 has more of an SUV feel to it with its increased ground clearance, all-wheel drive, and an overall sense of improved sure footedness across slightly more challenging, rougher terrain.
Packed with some of the more advanced safety features of the time, the first generation Volvo XC70 also earns recognition for its roomier cabin, standard all-wheel drive, and the yuppie-friendly SUV feel to its stylishly evolved exterior. According to Volvo, the XC70 contains nearly 1800 improvements over the 850 in terms of safety, vehicle handling, and enhanced powertrains.
Initially saddled with a five-cylinder turbocharged 2.4-liter engine good for an adequate helping of power (190 hp and 199 lb-ft of torque), the Volvo XC70 received a tiny engine tweak for its second generation (2000 to 2007) in the form of more horsepower and torque, leaving it with 197 hp and 210 lb-ft respectively. 2003 engines offer the most enhanced jump in engine gusto, to 207 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque, thanks to a 2.5-liter engine that raises the bar substantially for the Volvo XC70.Volvo XC70 Features
Available in two distinct models, the five-seat Volvo XC70 for 2012 comes in a 3.2 trim (MSRP $32,900) or a T6 with more bells and whistles and a slightly heftier price tag (MSRP $39,100). Other sub-trims include a Premium, Platinum, Climate, and Technology package, each with its fair share of unique amenities.
The 3.2 designation for the base Volvo XC70 refers to its 3.2-liter, inline-six engine that generates 240 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque. With an acceleration rate from zero to 60 mph in 8.5 seconds, the 3.2 boasts a decent EPA-estimated fuel economy of 19/25 mpg city/highway. Moving up to the all-wheel drive T6 option introduces drivers to a stronger turbocharged 3.0-liter, inline-six good for 300 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque. It accelerates from zero to 60 mph in 7.1 seconds but has a slightly lower fuel economy rating of 17/23 mpg city/highway.
Per custom, the Volvo XC70 comes equipped with a wide swath of safety features, with some of the more notable options included in the Technology trim: pedestrian detection, vehicle distance alert, a drive inattention warning system, and an impending collision warning system as well.Volvo XC70 Evolution
Divided into three generations, the Volvo XC70 got off to a slightly shaky start in terms of its market popularity and powertrain pick-up, but after a few years of interior/exterior design tweaking, the XC70 found its niche and loyal consumer base that continues to champion its uniqueness and functionality.
The second generation models (2000 to 2007) began with a minor horsepower and torque improvement from 190 hp to 197, and 199 lb-ft of torque up to 210. For the first time, Volvo offered an on-board navigation system too. 2003 welcomed another engine enhancement (208 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque) along with a wider rear-seat area for passengers, with an added third row four years later.
The 2012 Volvo XC70 hails from the model’s third generation, which launched in early 2007. Initially only available in the base 3.2 trim, in 2008 Volvo wheeled out the turbocharged T6 with its sportier 281 hp output as opposed to the 3.2’s 235 hp. Engine output increased again, to 240/300 hp respectively, in time for the 2011 XC70s. Orthopedic seats, audio sub-woofers, a DVD navigation system, seat belt reminder lights, buoyant seats, and a home safe lighting feature name just a few of the improvements that have been made during the Volvo XC70’s third generation.