Volvo XC70 Side View
Volvo XC70

How It Drove - Ride and Handling

All XC70 models get Volvo's innovative AWD (All-Wheel Drive) transmission as standard. This advanced system automatically apportions torque front-to-rear on demand.

The handling is a little floaty and does not have the precision of Audi's allroad quattro A6. Although there is plenty of grip from the (AWD) four wheel drive system, rarely did the DTSC system cut in. However, under hard cornering it did not always feel that reassuring as there is a fair amount of body roll.

You can however, specify an Active Four-C Chassis (Continuously Controlled Chassis Concept) and Speed Dependent Steering System with 3 Settings, which is standard on the SE Sport model, which makes the Volvo XC70 far more enjoyable to drive.

Off course the Volvo XC70 is backed up with Volvo's DSTC (Dynamic Stability and Traction Control) an electronic stability and traction control system that stops skids and slides, it uses sensors to detect if any of the wheels is losing traction or grip and if this happens power is cut to the relevant wheel. If the sensors detect early signs of a skid, the system automatically brakes the relevant wheel to reduce speed and regain control.

Off Road

The four wheel drive system or as Volvo prefer to call it all wheel drive is controlled by a computer-aided Haldex Coupling which automatically sends torque to the wheels with most grip, ensuring maximum possible traction. The front-to-rear torque split changes constantly, as the sophisticated electronics control a hydraulic clutch that determines the most effective distribution of torque.

The Volvo XC70 has ground clearance of 210 mm (74 mm higher than the V70) and has the ability to clamber up or down steep slopes. With ramp angles of 19.2 degrees approach, 19.8 degrees break over and 24 degrees departure, the new Volvo XC70 betters its predecessor (16, 18 and 20 respectively) in all three areas.

There is Hill Descent Control which allows drivers to descend slippery slopes with complete peace of mind and speed is modulated irrespective of conditions. The electronic one-touch system, standard on automatic or manual gearboxes, utilises the ABS anti-lock brakes to control speed and maintain stability, ensuring a steady and safe 6mph throughout the descent.

We did not take the Volvo XC70 too far off road, just down a local green lane which is not passable in a two wheel drive car. The Volvo XC70 coped very well but the lack of low ratio gearbox and ground clearance prevented us going too far off road. Volvo have increased the torsional rigidity of the XC70's body by 15 per cent and there is 74mm more ground clearance than the Volvo V70 for better cross-country ability which gives it a wading depth of 300mm.

Volvo XC70 Review | Part Three
Volvo XC70 News

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