Volvo XC70

It's been a 'bumper' year for Volvo, with the V70, S60 and XC70 all getting new front end treatment and a minor interior facelift. But of the three, it's the XC70 that's most different.

The XC70 remains a solid car with useful carrying ability. Yet despite boasting a better interior, it still looks expensive compared to some rivals. Nevertheless, the big Volvo benefits from unsurpassed levels of passenger comfort and the build quality is exceptional, making it an attractive choice in this slightly offbeat market sector.

It's been a 'bumper' year for Volvo, with the V70, S60 and XC70 all getting new front end treatment and a minor interior facelift. But of the three, it's the XC70 that's most different.

On the outside, the big estate features more angular lights, while the one-piece bumper and grille give it a more muscular off-roader appearance than the outgoing car. Underbody protection at the front and rear add to the model's butch appeal, along with smoked tail-lamp lenses lifted from the V70.

And the theme continues inside. The XC's cabin was always functional and clearly laid out, but Volvo has upped its game by making the steering wheel, door handles, stereo and instrument binnacles more user-friendly. Our fav-ourite additions to the facelifted V70 and S60 are the new front seats - and thankfully the Swedish firm has installed them in the XC70 as well.

The model line-up remains the same, with a 2.5-litre petrol engine and a 2.4-litre turbodiesel, but a six-speed manual gearbox is now fitted as standard on the D5 to appeal to company car drivers. Until now, the oil-burner was available only with the Geartronic transmission, which spluttered out a filthy 226g/km of C02. But the manual reduces this to 199g/km, while also decreasing fuel consumption by 4mpg.

Other than the new box, nothing has changed under the skin, which means the four-wheel-drive set-up still provides safe and steady handling. But the drive remains uninvolving and there's plenty of noise from the engine and tyres.

However, you can now add Volvo's Four-C active chassis, giving a choice of two suspension settings - Comfort and Sport. Previously available only on the S80 and sporty R variants, this is a £1,100 option on the XC70.

Standard equipment on all models has been bumped up to include a six-CD multichanger, electric-folding water repellent door mirrors and automatic windscreen wipers. Yet in spite of the additional kit, prices for the XC70 D5 SE Lux have come down by £3,215.

All of which makes the Volvo a more attractive package than before - but it's still not the best model in class, and we'd advise potential buyers to consider the similarly priced and equally capable Audi Allroad before placing an order.

Most Popular

Average speed cameras on motorways get approval from drivers
Average speed camera
News

Average speed cameras on motorways get approval from drivers

UK drivers are in favour of average speed cameras on motorways despite the majority admitting to breaking 70mph limit
10 May 2021
Appreciating cars: classic cars that go up in value
Appreciators: Renault 5
Features

Appreciating cars: classic cars that go up in value

Looking to invest in a modern classic? Here are some cars destined to appreciate in value
4 May 2021
Vauxhall Mokka vs Hyundai Kona vs Nissan Juke
Vauxhall Mokka vs Hyundai Kona vs Nissan Juke
Vauxhall Mokka

Vauxhall Mokka vs Hyundai Kona vs Nissan Juke

Can the all-new Vauxhall Mokka make an impact in the small SUV market? We test it against the Hyundai Kona and Nissan Juke to find out
8 May 2021