Volvo XC70
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Overall

If there was ever a vehicle that looks like a Volvo, the XC70 is the closest you can get in the current lineup; undergoing the same minor surgery as the rest of its siblings.

Drivetrain

A 240-horsepower inline six-cylinder with available all-wheel-drive; a 300-horse six-cylinder with AWD is optional.

Seeing as the XC70 is the closest thing you’ll find to a traditional Volvo, it’s no real surprise that it stuck around long after the V70 wagon (that it was based upon) faded into black. However it gives buyers a choice of the modern-era XC60 tall wagon, or an XC70 “square back” that’s reminiscent of those brick-like Volvos of old. To further complicate matters, both are priced almost identically. In the case of the XC70, the desired off-roader effect is achieved by bolting on front and rear skid plates to protect the radiator and running gear from damage, and by hiking up the suspension for an extra couple inches of ground clearance. Also like the XC60, the XC70 gets all-new exterior pieces, including front fenders, headlights and LED running lights, grilles and bumpers and redesigned alloy wheels. The base 240-horsepower 3.2-liter six-cylinder is connected to a six-speed automatic transmission with a manual-shift mode. The only optional engine is the 300-horsepower turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder. All-wheel-drive is optional for the entry-level 3.2, but is still standard in the performance-oriented T6. The XC70′s off-road prowess is further augmented with Hill Descent Control that holds downhill speed to a maximum six mph, while Instant Traction immediately shifts all of the engine’s torque to the rear wheels when launching on a slippery surface. The base package includes up-level content such as dual-zone climate control, tilt/telescopic steering wheel, eight-way power driver’s seat, keyless remote entry and an eight-speaker audio system with six-disc CD changer. Popular options are bundled into Premier, Premier Plus and Platinum. If you have maxed out there, you can still choose from a standalone-options list. Depending on which way you go, your XC70 could be decked out with luxo-class goodies such as heated front and rear seats, leather interior, premium 650-watt sound package, hard-drive-based navigation system, power tailgate and adaptive cruise control with collision warning that will help save your bacon if the vehicle ahead suddenly slows. Standard this season are rain-sensing wipers, headlight washers and “Tunnel Detection” that automatically flicks on the headlights when encountering any lengthy underpass.

Base price (incl. destination): $35,400
Type: Four-door wagon
Base engine (hp): 3.2-liter DOHC I6 (240)
Optional engine (hp): 3.0-liter DOHC I6 (300)
Layout: Front-engine, front- /all-wheel-drive
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
MPG (city/hwy): 19/25 (FWD)
Safety: Front airbags; side-impact airbags; side-curtain airbags; anti-lock brakes; traction control; stability control
Weight (lb.): 4,150