With its potent turbocharged engine and sport mode option on its transmission, you would think the 2013 Volvo XC70 Crossover SUV would be winning all the awards, but it’s not without its flaws. Mediocre fuel economy and unimpressive handling keep this vehicle from really excelling, when it comes to performance. Both available engines for the XC70 pack a powerful punch. Standard is a 3.2-liter inline-6, capable of producing 240 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. It accelerates zero to 60 mph in 8.4 seconds, and all-wheel drive is optional. Unfortunately, fuel-economy with all-wheel drive is only 18 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway. The T6 AWD gets a 3.0-liter inline-6 turbocharged engine that can spring to 60 mph in 6.1 seconds, thanks to 300 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque. Average fuel-economy is 20 mpg. XC70 can tow 3,300 pounds, which is impressive considering its size. Now, the ride is smooth and with a turning circle of only 37.7 feet, parking is relatively easy, but this crossover handles quite poorly on the road. It is sluggish when accelerating, steering seems loose and there is a surprising amount of body roll, which is unacceptable considering the low curb height.
• Audio - A high-performance system includes an in-dash CD player, USB/iPod interface, Bluetooth connectivity, HD Radio® and eight loudspeakers. A premium sound system is also available with in-dash DVD player and 12 speakers.
• Rear Seat Entertainment - This available option includes dual DVD players and two LCD monitors in the back of the front headrests. They can be used individually or simultaneously.
• Navigation - The optional navigation system is designed to get you where you need to go without having to stop and ask for directions. It features Real Time Traffic too, so it can detect roads with traffic disruptions and offer alternate routes.
Although crash tests have not yet been done on the XC70, Volvo has long had a solid reputation for its innovative safety features. For example, the vehicle comes with a Personal Car Communicator that will talk to the keyless ignition if it detects an accelerated heartbeat in the car, such as that which would be caused by an intruder. Other safety features include:
• Collision warning
• Lane-departure warning
• Driver alert control
• Anti-submarining protection
• Energy absorbing interior
• Seatbelt pretensioners
• Side-impact protection system
• Whiplash protection system
• Child safety seats
• Engine immobilizer
The XC70 looks more like a wagon than a crossover, but in a cool retro flashback sort of way. It does not try to appear aerodynamic or contemporary, but its softer curves, sporty fog light openings, six-spoke wheels and roof rails give this classic look a modern twist.
The stunning interior of the XC70 is definitely a strong selling point. The front seats are unlike those that you will find in any other vehicle. Chiropractor-approved seating hugs the body and offers gentle support and although legroom is a little lacking in the back, most will find the space rather comfortable. The “floating” center stack that Volvo is so well known for finds itself on display with thoughtfully designed controls, leather trim and matte finish wood. A 7-inch color monitor offers access to infotainment system and although attractive and easy to use, it does seem a bit dated when compared to others.
With the rear seat in place, you are granted 33 cubic feet. This certainly is not much, but would be a welcome improvement to someone coming from a coupe. Fold the seat down though, and you get a generous 72 cubic feet of space.