Volvo XC70: The Swedish Outback

Volvo Xc70

Volvo has been making a comeback of sorts in recent years especially with its much acclaimed SUV line. There was a time a Volvo wasn’t considered as a true luxury brand and was deemed as a fringe player in this segment. However, after the Chinese takeover, the Swedes have been on a comeback trail, and have established themselves as a true luxury car brand. Having the XC90 SUV as a flagship, the new Volvos feature a revolutionary new design that has them competing with the traditional old guard of German brands. Thus, meet the Volvo XC70 which looks like a Subaru Outback drives like an Outback, however feels very different from an Outback. Its similarities to the Outback aside, the XC70 draws its inspiration from the V70 sedans.

The History

Initially the XC70 was known as the Volvo V70, which was the estate version of the S70 saloon car. Its former name was split into two with the V standing for versatility and the 70 as its platform size. The V70’s first generation remained in production from 1996-2000. Later, in its second generation the V70 adopted the XC70 name in 2003.

Current Model

Currently, we are on the third generation of the XC70, which was launched in 2007. In its current form, it became a full-fledged crossover model. Sharing the P3 platform, this Volvo featured a large number of its components and styling from the S80. However, it is important to note that the XC70 reached the end of its production cycle in May this year. Also, the V70 suffered the same fate earlier in April. They are both scheduled to be replaced by the V90 II, sometime later this year.

The Variants

When it comes to trims, depending on your needs you’ll have to make a choice between these:

  • T5 Drive-E
  • T5
  • T5 Drive-E Premier
  • T5 Premier
  • T5 Drive-Platinum
  • T5 Platinum

Volvo XC70

The Powertrain

For power you’ll be spoilt for choice, as the XC70 offers different sets of four cylinder, five cylinder and six cylinder engines. A bi-turbo six cylinder petrol engine that belongs to the T6 AWD trim is ahead of the bunch, it churns out a mammoth 300 hp and 440 Nm of torque. Other powerful petrol options include a turbo four cylinder engine that produces 200 hp and a turbo five cylinder engine that gives out 250 hp. As for diesel engines there isn’t any six cylinder variant here. However, there are some interesting five cylinder turbo engines to choose from with a single turbo four for more diversity. At the top of the diesel variants a five cylinder bi-turbo engine is the star of the show, while churning out 212 hp and an incredible class leading 420 Nm of torque. Depending on your trim, your engine will be coupled with either a 5-speed manual, 6-speed manual, 5-speed auto, 6-speed auto or an 8-speed auto for transmission.


Inside the cabin is where the XC70 draws its strength from. At the dash you can expect Volvo’s floating centre console, coupled in with friendly dials and controls. Spacious, comfortable and well-designed that’s what this Volvo’s impressive interior has to offer.


XC70 is not particularly one of Volvo’s greatest looking cars, though it is more of bland than ugly. Definitely, it isn’t a head turner, but does manage to look contemporary enough.

Our Verdict

To be really honest, I wouldn’t be critical if I said that Volvo have built better cars. It seems that this model symbolizes the brand image that Volvo is trying to escape, where they are being compared with Subarus. You should really take a look at the Subaru Outback and this Volvo they are strikingly similar. However, a new model for this line couldn’t arrive any sooner and considering the hope provided by the XC90, Volvo can be excused for being a little giddy with the upcoming launch. With the XC90 they broke the mold, and they were now featuring in the minds of clients against other top brands like Mercedes, Audi or BMW.

Back to the car and it drives well, has a somewhat bland exterior but a plush, spacious and comfortable interior. As for its Achilles heel, it has to be its rather reluctant handling. All in all we expect for a luxury brand like Volvo to wow us and this car doesn’t really do that for us. Let’s wait for the V90 II to see if it will offer this model line any redemption.

Pricing for the XC70 starts from $ 37,100.

Which new features would you like to see in the new V90 II, which is to be launched this year? Have your say, leave a comment.

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