2008 Volvo XC70
2008 Volvo XC70. Click image to enlarge
Test Drive: 2008 Volvo XC70 3.2

Test Drive: 2009 Volvo XC70 T6

Manufacturer’s web site
Volvo Cars Canada

Review and photos by Chris Chase

The 2008 Volvo XC70 was the third in the line of a crossover that had started in the late 1990s as a variant of the V70 station wagon. This third-generation model wore styling that was a sleeker evolution of the retro-inspired look of its predecessor, which had, in turn, replaced the original’s boxy body, based on the 850 of the early 1990s.

In 2008, the XC70 was offered with a single powertrain, consisting of a 3.2-litre inline six-cylinder engine (235 hp/236 lb-ft), six-speed automatic transmission and electronically-controlled all-wheel-drive system.

This 2008 was a complete redesign that included a painted grille surround to replace the black trim used on previous XC70s. The whole thing looked newer, but seemed to better recall Volvos of the 1960s and 1970s; I’m especially fond of the way “V-O-L-V-O” is spelled out across the tailgate.

2008 Volvo XC70
2008 Volvo XC70. Click image to enlarge

Standard kit in 2008 included 16-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone automatic air conditioning, front and rear fog lights, skid plates, headlight washers, heated mirrors, roof rails, heated seats, leather-wrapped tilt and telescopic steering wheel, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, cruise control, cargo cover, front and rear reading lights, trip computer, and auto up/down windows in all four doors. There were almost as many options offered: adaptive cruise with collision warning, blind spot information system, speed-sensitive steering, steerable bi-xenon headlights, sunroof, park assist, upgraded stereo and navigation.

For 2009, Volvo added a second engine choice, a turbocharged 3.0L inline six-cylinder (281 hp/295 lb-ft), matched with the same six-speed transmission and all-wheel-drive system.

To the base model’s equipment, the turbocharged T6 added 17-inch wheels, power rear door child locks, power sunroof, leather seats, powered-adjustable passenger seat, retractable side mirrors, six-CD stereo and satellite radio.

2008 Volvo XC70
2008 Volvo XC70. Click image to enlarge

A Premium Package on the base model added a number of the upscale features standard in the T6. Other extras included a Luxury Package (active Four-C chassis, steerable dual xenon headlights, park assist, rain sensor, and either heated rear seats or integrated booster cushions), Convenience Package (privacy glass, garage door opener, speed sensitive steering, power tailgate, grocery bag holder and lockable cargo hold) and the DynAudio Package with six-CD/surround sound stereo, and satellite radio in the base model).

In 2010, the base model was split into two trims, to simplify the options list. The Premium model now included the blind spot information system, sunroof, power passenger seat, garage door opener and power liftgate.

The top-trim T6 came standard with the Four-C chassis, steerable headlights, heated rear seats, six-CD stereo, satellite radio, rain-sensing wipers and park assist.

2009 Volvo XC70 T6
2008 Volvo XC70 T6; photo by Peter Bleakney. Click image to enlarge

The 2011 model got refreshed styling and updated powertrains. A 3.0L turbocharged engine replaced the previous year’s 3.2, boosting output to 300 hp and 325 lb-ft; the base model’s non-turbo 3.2 got a power boost to 240 hp, though its 236 lb-ft of torque carried over.

The standard feature list didn’t change significantly, but the cargo cover was now part of the Convenience Package, which also included electric foldable rear head restraints and a sunroof wind deflector.

The 2012 model got new trim designations (again), as well as Volvo’s new “Sensus” multimedia interface, ambient lighting, City Safety, heated seats and a new (optional) adaptive cruise control system with a pedestrian detection component that could bring the car to a complete stop on its own.

Natural Resources Canada’s testing yielded fuel consumption figures of 14.4/9.2 L/100 km (city/highway) for the 2008 XC70, but 2009 brought improvements to 13.7/8.8 L/100 km for the base model, and 13.7/9.0 with the T6’s turbo motor.

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