June 19, 2013
Written by Steven Macoy
Wednesday, 14 October 2009 09:36
Near the end of our street, construction crews have been excavating and backfilling the main road with material apparently designed to inflict maximum discomfort on anyone who dares to drive over it. Our cars were administering the requisite punishment whenever we passed the construction zone; then we ran the same gauntlet with a 2009 Volvo XC70.
It was a whole new experience. The gritty, uneven asphalt may as well have been a fresh new sheet of concrete.
The Swedish-built XC70, not quite an SUV but more than a station wagon, is roomy, safe (of course) and more comfortable just to sit in than many cars costing half again as much.
The XC70 comes in two flavors, the 3.2 and T6. Both are powered by inline 6-cylinder engines, a configuration rarely seen nowadays; they produce 235 and 281 horsepower, respectively, while delivering similar fuel economy. We drove the T6 version, which started at $39,500 and came to $46,985 with options; the 3.2 starts at $37,250 for 2009.
For those who love the XC70’s features and personality but don’t need all-wheel drive, high ground clearance and other rugged features, Volvo offers the functionally similar, front-wheel-drive V70. Available only with the 3.2-liter engine, it is more nimble and consumes less fuel than the XC70.
The strengths of the XC70, redesigned for the 2008, are its seating and riding comfort, rugged character, the relentless focus on safety, and the large (71 cubic feet) cargo area accessed by an uncommonly light tailgate. At 22 mpg highway for both engines, it lags the competition on the fuel-economy front; on the plus side, the XC70 is an ultra-low-emissions vehicle.
We’ve always liked the looks of the XC70, and the redesign gives the car a lower and leaner, yet more muscular, appearance. Inside, the audio and climate controls are models of simplicity.
In the past, Volvo sometimes cut corners on interior materials. No more. Volvo didn’t scrimp on the XC70’s interior. Even the map pockets are lightly cushioned.
Leg room in front is extravagant; if you’re 6-5 or taller, the XC70 might be for you. Our 6-foot driver, who habitually levers the seat to the back of its track, had to move it forward after realizing he couldn’t reach the pedals.
Head room in the back seat is sufficient, though knee and foot room are tight when the front seat is all the way back. But unless the driver is an NBA star, it never will be.
Crash tests haven’t been done yet on this new model, but Volvo’s S80, on which the XC70 is based, is an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Best Pick. First-year reliability is below average, according to Consumer Reports magazine surveys, but the previous generation consistently scored better than average.
There are slicker-handling wagons that are less thirsty, but the XC70 is strangely appealing and … well, different. And for many car shoppers, that makes all the difference.
Engine: 3-liter turbocharged inline Six, 281 horsepower, 295 lb.-ft. torque
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Weight: 4,092 lb.
Suspension: Four-wheel independent, MacPherson strut front, multi-link rear
Ground clearance: 8.3 inches
Wheels: 17-inch by 7.5-inch alloy
Tires: 235/55R17 all season
Seating capacity: 5
Luggage capacity: 72 cu. ft.
Fuel capacity: 18.5 gallons
Fuel economy: 16 mpg city, 22 mpg highway
|< Prev||Next >|
The requested URL /components/com_nklf/tent.php was not found on this server.