This is going to be hard. In fact, it is taking all the strength I have to make the following statement: I am driving a station wagon, and I like it. There. I said it, ok?
In my defense, this isn’t just any station wagon, it is the Volvo XC70 and its purpose in life is to be able to go off-road. I know it sounds a bit strange, but this wagon is intended to be an alternative to an SUV, and somehow it works. Hence, Volvo calls this a Special Purpose vehicle.
The interior of the XC70 is so nice you lose sight of what you are driving. It is pure luxury down to every last detail. The configuration is seating for five adults with a lot of cargo room behind the second row. My test car has leather seating in a light cream colored tan and it is stunning from the moment you open the door. There is a substantial amount of cargo room in back and it becomes a massive amount when you fold the back seat down flat.
Under the hood, the XC70 comes with a V6, turbocharged engine that is putting out 300-horses. There is a little turbo lag, but it is not substantial enough to annoy you. It comes with a 6-speed automatic transmission
The ride and handling is really terrific and the XC70 gives you great visibility all the way around. Because it sits up pretty high, the ease of getting in and out of the XC70 is noticeable and your view of the road ahead is spectacular.
My test SPV has the Platinum package which gives you a terrific navigation system, rearview camera, keyless entry, push button start, heated seats, and blind spot warning system. This one has a power moonroof, Bluetooth, Sirius XM, and a really good stereo system.
We know Volvo is known for safety and the XC70 has some of the greatest safety features you can get on any vehicle, including City Safety. The system works by monitoring traffic in front of the vehicle. When driving at a speed of between two and 19 miles per hour, the car can apply the brakes if traffic stops in front of you or if a pedestrian steps out in front of the car. It’s amazing technology and has received high praise from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
This really is an enjoyable vehicle to drive and if you can get past the stigma of it being a station wagon, I can’t imagine not loving it. I admit to having sticker shock when I saw it was $49,000. If you listen to my radio show, you know one of the things I always do is compare my review vehicle to similar cars. There is the problem with the XC70 because nothing else compares to it. XC70 is unique and more than a station wagon by far.
What I liked most: Ride, drive, visibility, and interior are exceptional.
What I would change: Fuel economy could be better.
MSRP: Base price, $39,100. As equipped $49,070
Fuel Economy: 17 in town/23 highway, I am getting 21 overall.
2012 XC70 in a few words: More than just a station wagon.