Overall: Traditionalists will be pleased that this wagon is still around, but their power choices have been cut for 2016.
Drivetrain: A 240-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder “Drive-E” continues with front-wheel-drive T5; both six-cylinder engines are gone and replaced with new-old 2.5-liter turbo-five with 250 horsepower and all-wheel drive.
Volvo’s version of a Subaru Outback finds two forms for 2016: the new V60 Cross Country, and the carryover XC70. In both, the off-roader effect is also achieved by bolting on front and rear skid plates to protect the radiator and running gear from damage, and by hiking up the ride height for an extra couple inches of ground clearance. However, the XC70 still pips its sibling slightly in cargo room. The base engine in the front-wheel-drive T5 is a turbocharged 240-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder connected to an eight-speed automatic transmission. For 2016 both an old 3.2-liter and turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinders, previously used in all-wheel-drive models, have been replaced. The older 2.5-liter turbocharged five-cylinder offers 250 horsepower and is mated with a six-speed automatic transmission under the XC70 T5 AWD. The XC70’s off-road prowess is augmented with Hill Descent Control that keeps 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. 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 or stops. Also available are rain-sensing wipers, headlight washers and “Tunnel Detection” that automatically flicks on the headlights when encountering any lengthy underpass.