Volvo XC70

Supremely comfortable off-road estate is roomy and stylish

This is the average score given by leading car publications from 9 reviews
  • Handsome looks
  • Loads of space
  • Comfortable to drive
  • Handling isn’t great
  • Occasionally thumping ride
  • Starting to feel its age

£34,670 - £43,205 Price range


5 Seats


26 - 64 MPG


The Volvo XC70 is basically a normal V70 estate with the ability to go off road. It gets reasonable reviews but struggles to get a lot of praise since it’s not enjoyable to drive and not as comfy on the road as the V70.

When you look at the XC70 in front of other Volvos, its age becomes evident. It neither looks as sharp as the newer cars nor does it drives as well, which is one of the reasons behind the lack of popularity.

The rugged looks help it differentiate itself from the road going V70, but you would be forced to ask yourself if that alone is enough.

Cheapest to buy: D4 SE Nav

Cheapest to run: D4 SE Nav

Fastest model: D5 SE Lux

Most popular: D4 SE Nav

It’s pretty much exactly the same as the V70 estate with front seats like armchairs, a floating centre console, plenty of adjustment in the driver’s seat and steering wheel and the optional integrated child seats are available in this model too. You also get the same big boot with features such as luggage hooks and nets, and straps to hold shopping bags in place.

While the cabin is plus and the space should be good enough for most buyers, rivals like the Skoda Superb and Subaru Forester offer better room, especially for the rear passengers.

For off-road use you get gadgets such as an electrically controlled differential and hill-decent control plus the XC70 has more ground clearance. Reviewers say that it isn’t as good as most proper off-roaders but it’s good enough for anyone that lives on a rough farm track.

On road, there’s a little more grip on wet roads thanks to the four wheel drive system but other than that it’s exactly the same as the car it is based on, brilliant on motorways but unsettled around town.

Three engines are on offer in the XC70: a 2.0 D4 diesel, 2.4 D5 diesel and a 3.0 T6 petrol. All but the smallest D4 come with four-wheel-drive as stndard. You can have a six-speed manual or a six-speed Geartronic automatic gearbox, but some experts say the Geartronic gearbox does hamper performance from the diesel engines. The six-cylinder petrol is quick, but it’s a thirsty blighter so you’ll spend a lot of money in petrol stations.

If you can live without the all-wheel-drive system then the D4 should do the job for you. It returns a little over 50mpg, which should keep the fuel bills pretty low. Want more power? The bigger 2.4-litre D5 diesel is the preferred choice then, because it offers considerably more power (212hp), has an all-wheel-drive system, but won’t be too heavy on the pocket.

Volvo is one of the front-runners when it comes to automotive safety, so much so that the carmaker wants to make sure that by 2020, the number of fatalities in car accidents goes down to zero.

The ageing XC70 might not have any of the latest collision-avoidance technology, but it performs well in terms of safety. To start with, the V70 that underpins the XC70 received the full five stars in Euro NCAP’s crash test, meaning the XC70 should perform equally well.

Driver aids include ABS and traction control, while blind spot information system and lane departure warning are available as optional extras. The XC70 comes with six airbags as standard, and so are Isofix child safety mounts and three-point seat belt for the central rear seat.

It is quite a price hike over the V70 on which this car is based. However, the XC70 sells in limited numbers which means if we’re faced with more bad winters in the future then the car might keep its value. That doesn’t include the 3.0 T6 though. In reality, this car only makes sense if four-wheel drive is a necessity.

For the same price you could get the four-wheel drive XC60 crossover, which is much better looking and has similar capabilities to the XC70.


If you want a comfortable and classy estate with the bonus of some off-road capability then the big Volvo may be for you. Take a look at rivals too though – in some cases the much cheaper V70 may be good enough.

But should you decide to go for the XC70, just keep a few things in mind. The diesels offer much better value, which can be further increased by opting for the front-wheel-drive version. Most critics think the more modern XC60 makes more sense.