Volvo XC70 Road Test (2008)

Volvo XC70

Volvo XC70 Review

Volvo XC70 ReviewVolvo XC70 Review  | Part Two

It is very well appointed but with an extensive list of optional extras to suit lifestyle choices.

The pricing might seem a little on the steep side but when you take into account all the safety systems and that all XC70 s come with leather upholstery, it seems more reasonable. The SE starts the range specification with a long list of goodies including Electronic Climate Control with Air Quality System and pollen filter, B-pillar ventilation, cruise control, front and rear electric windows, heated and power adjustable, folding door mirrors, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, a leather-clad gear knob and multifunctional steering wheel and a High Performance Sound audio system comprising a single CD/radio with AUX socket and eight speakers. Automatic wipers and front fog lights are also included.

The SE Lux adds power adjustment for the front passenger seat, heated/cooled front seats with perforated leather facings, chrome trims to the air vents, wood trimmings in place of the aluminium, Bi-Xenon headlamps with auto cleaning, power tailgate, rear park assist and the clever Active Four-C chassis, more of which later.

The SE Sport, on the other hand, is the only one with the Speed Dependant Steering system, 18-inch alloys and a rear spoiler. Save for the power tailgate, wood trim and rear park assist, amongst a couple of other items, the rest of the specification is much the same as the SE Lux.

The audio system in the SE is standard throughout the range with optional upgrades ranging in price from £250 to £1,000. A rear seat entertainment pack with DVD and two screens is an extra £1,350; satellite navigation costs £1,850 but is worth it just to see the screen rise out of the dashboard. Integrated GSM telephone and handset is £700 while Bluetooth is £250 but is not available with Volvo on Call: a telematics programme that not only calls the Emergency Services in the event of an accident but allows communication if the car breaks down via the GSM system and can pinpoint the car’s position.

For 2008, the previous 2.5, turbo-charged, petrol engine has been replaced by a 3.2, 6-cylinder, naturally aspirated petrol unit. This engine produces 238PS at 6,200rpm and 320Nm of pulling power at 3,200rpm. The top speed is 134mph after a 0-62mph dash of 8.6 seconds, which is pretty swift but the kick-down is a bit too tardy for my liking.

The D5, 5-cylinder diesel engine is much more entertaining. This turbo-charged unit is available in combination with the Geartronic ‘box or a manual transmission; both are 6-speed. Taking the manual version as an example, the top speed is 130mph and it takes 9.3 seconds to do the sprint. There is less power than the petrol unit with 185PS available at 4,000rpm but the 400Nm of torque between 2,000- and 2,750rpm offers greater engine flexibility.

The fuel consumption of the D5 is way better than that of the petrol with figures of 30.4-, 46.3- and 38.7mpg for the urban, extra-urban and combined, respectively. The 3.2 has relative figures of 17.2-, 33.1- and 24.8mpg while the difference in CO2 emissions is 272g/km for the petrol and 193g/km for the (manual) diesel.

Earlier, I mentioned the Active Four-C system. Four-C is shorthand for Continuously Controlled Chassis Concept and brings together all the other dynamic control systems within the car, at the same time offering different suspension settings for better traction and body control depending on the circumstances.

Visually and in terms of equipment, the XC70 makes a statement; chunky and capable on the outside, soft and luxurious on the inside. It is very well appointed but with an extensive list of optional extras to suit lifestyle choices. Volvo expects the new XC70 to continue the sales trend of around 40,000 units per annum, worldwide and I suspect that most of them will house the D5 engine.

20 March 2008 Melanie Carter
Volvo XC70 ReviewVolvo XC70 Review  | Part Two
Volvo XC70 Road Test Data
Model ReviewedVolvo XC70 3.2 SE Sport
Body TypeEstate
ColourBlack Sapphire Metallic
Performance (manufacturers data) 
0 - 62 mph8.6 Seconds
Top Speed 134 mph
Transmission6-Speed Geartronic Automatic Transmission
Fuel TypeUnleaded Petrol
CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures) g/km
Economy (NEDC Figures) 
Urban17.2 mpg
Extra Urban33.1 mpg
Combined24.8 mpg
Insurance Group17
Euro NCAP RatingTBA
Warranty3-Year / 60,000 Mile Warranty
Price (when tested on the 20/03/08)£35,700

The information contained within this Volvo XC70 review may have changed since publication on the 20 March 2008. The actual model road tested may feature options and functionality specific to that model, which may not be available as on option or be fitted to other models in the range. Options may not be available on UK specification cars. You may wish to check with your local Volvo dealer, before making a purchasing decision. E.&.O.E. You may NOT reproduce this car review in full or part, in any format without our written permission. © 2018