- Genuine off-road ability
- Efficient D4 diesel engine
- Incredibly practical
- Diesel engines are noisy
- Not especially fun to drive
- Expensive from new
Rugged 4x4 Estate
The Volvo XC70 is the Swedish manufacturer’s beefed up version of the V70 estate. First introduced in 2003, the XC70 is now in its third generation, and remains a popular choice for adventurers. With its raised ride height, and 4x4 capability, it really is a go anywhere car. It’s far from being rugged on the inside however, as it features a high-end interior to match the very best executive cars. And with its estate-sized boot, it’s as practical as any family car on the market. It might not be exactly cool, but the XC70 has everything in its locker. So if you’re a sensible buyer with a penchant for the outdoors, the XC70 might just be the car for you.
Superb quality, immense practicality, and generous equipment
The Volvo XC70 might look like a rugged go-anywhere car from the outside, but step inside its cabin and you’ll be surprised at the quality on show. Open the boot and you’ll be equally impressed with its storage capacity, and when you see the equipment list, you’ll realise just how good value for money the XC70 is.
The dashboard design of the XC70 does look a little on the dated side, but it has that timeless quality that we all love from Swedish design. The choice of materials by Volvo is also exceptional, with soft-touch textures, and classy chrome finishes adorning the swooping dash. Build quality is also excellent, with every material used feeling like it’s really built to last a lifetime. The ergonomic controls are easy to use, and whilst it might not be quite as luxurious as an Audi A6 Allroad, the XC70 is significantly cheaper.
One area in which the XC70 really excels is in its practicality. The back seats offer more than enough head and legroom for five adults to sit comfortably, even for longer journeys. And as you’d expect from a Volvo estate, the boot capacity is class-leading. With all five seats up there’s 575 of squared off luggage space, with more than enough room for family needs. Take the rear seats down and you’ll get a cavernous 1,600 litres, just in case you need to lug a wardrobe about with you.
Equipment levels in the XC70 are also impressive, even if you choose an entry-level model. The most basic SE Nav trim isn’t what most people would accept as basic, as it includes climate control, electric windows, leather seats, and plenty of other goodies. More than enough for the majority of needs. To get leather seats on an entry-level model is a huge bonus, their wipe-cleanability is ideal for adventurers.
Overall the inside of the XC70 is an impressive package. The design might not be as futuristic as you’d find in some modern executive cars, but it more than makes up for it with quality and refinement. And with a huge practical boot, and a generous kit list, there’s very little to complain about with the XC70’s interior.
Comfortable with genuine off-road ability.
The Volvo XC70 isn’t a car that’s designed to be a match for the best handling cars on the road, but it still manages to perform pretty well. The four wheel drive system restricts understeer, and there’s plenty of grip through the corners. And whilst the steering is a little vague, it handles pretty well. The main ace up the XC70’s sleeve is its off-road ability. Unlike most estate cars, the XC70 has genuine off-road ability. OK it’s not quite as versatile as a Land Rover Defender, but the electronic differential and hill-descent control make it more than capable enough once you’re off the beaten track.
Suspension and Chassis
If you think that the XC70’s rugged character will make it uncomfortable on the road, you’d be mistaken. The Volvo XC70 is impeccably comfortable in nearly all situations. The soft suspension setup means that the XC70 easily deals with poor quality British roads, so that even the deepest potholes don’t send shudders down your spine. Road and wind noise are apparent at high speed however, so the XC70 isn’t the most refined motorway cruiser.
Gearbox options in the XC70 come in two guises. The standard throughout the range is a six speed manual transmission. As with most Volvos, the gearbox is built to last, whilst the smooth shifting mechanism make it a pleasure to use. A Geartronic automatic is also available with the range-topping D5 model, and whilst it does the job, it can be a little slow to react for when you need a quick burst of acceleration.
Gruff diesel engines feel a little dated.
When it comes to deciding how you want to power your XC70 you’ve got two options. Diesel power is the name of the game, with the D4 offering lower emissions, and the D5 offering greater power. Both can be quite noisy however, but they are relatively fuel efficient.
If it’s all-out power that you want from your XC70, the option to go for is the 2.4 litre D5 diesel unit. It produces 212bhp and will accelerate from 0-62mph in 8.2 seconds. That might not seem rapid on paper, but it’s certainly the engine with the most grunt in the XC70 range. The added power makes it more flexible than the lower-powered D4, but you will pay when it comes to road tax and fuel costs.
Buyers concerned with the environment will definitely want to go for the 2.0 litre D4 diesel engine. With just 115g/km of CO2 being emitted, the XC70 pretty reasonable for such a capable 4x4 estate. It won’t cost a great deal in road tax either, costing just £30 each year. This option is also the best option for money savers, and not just because of tax. With fuel efficiency of up to 64mpg, it isn’t going to cost you a lot at service stations each month.
In the end, which engine you go for depends on your individual needs. If you’re not too bothered about marginal power gains, the D4 is the one to go for. It’ll be cheaper to run, cheaper to tax, and is better for the environment. The D5 is more powerful, but most buyers won’t need the marginal advantage that it offers.
Not yet tested by NCAP, but this is a Volvo…
Volvo is one of the market leaders when it comes to safety standards, but unfortunately the XC70 hasn’t actually been tested by the boffins at NCAP. Despite this, you can be rest assured that the XC70 is incredibly safe. As the XC70 is based on the V70 estate, which easily achieved the highest possible 5-star NCAP rating, it would be safe to assume that the XC70 would do at least as well under testing.
This theory is strengthened when you take a look at the standard safety kit. All XC70s come with City Safety technology, which automatically brakes at low speed if it spots an upcoming accident. You’ll also get a full array of airbags, electronic stability control, and anti-skid technology, even on the most basic model.
Great value for money, if you avoid the cost of new-car depreciation.
The Volvo XC70 represents solid value for money for buyers. This obviously depends on which model you choose to go for, but if you stick to the lower-powered D4 diesel engine, you’ll get low a low road tax bill, and impressive fuel consumption, so it won’t cost you an arm and a leg to run day-to-day. The D5 diesel is however thirstier, and will cost more to tax, so unless you absolutely need the extra power, it might be one to avoid.
Insurance groups for the XC70 again vary between model to model. The range starts in group 28 for the entry-level D4 SE Nav, and range up to group 31 for the top of the range D5 SE Lux. Whichever model you go for, you’ll be paying significantly less than you would for a rival such as the Audi A6 Allroad.
Depreciation is a large factor with the Volvo XC70, but only if you choose to buy from new. With first year depreciation as high as 40%, you’re better off opting for an inspected used equivalent.
The Volvo XC70 is one of the very best go anywhere estate cars. Its rugged looks, high-end interior, and efficient engines make it incredibly easy to live with. And whilst it might not be the best handling car on the market, it is comfortable, safe, and incredibly good value for money if you go for a used model. So if you’re in need of space, but have a love of the great outdoors, the XC70 might just be the perfect car for you.
Buying a used Volvo XC70 online with Carspring
If you’re after a used Volvo XC70 for sale, it can all feel like a bit of an ordeal. What, with long days spent around gigantic car supermarkets, or time spent trawling through classified websites, looking for that ideal used XC70. Carspring makes it simple. Buy your next used Volvo XC70 online with the touch of a button. Simply decide on the model you want and choose how you want to pay.
Looking to finance your used Volvo? Not a problem, we work with our carefully selected finance partners to ensure that, if you’re paying monthly for your used Volvo XC70, you know you’re getting the best rates. What’s more, with any Carspring used XC70, you also get our 14-day money-back guarantee and 6 months’ free Warranty. Plus, you don’t have to leave your home. We’ll deliver your used Volvo to you at a time and place of your choice.
*This is an approximate figure based on the range of the car’s list price and the AA’s average 1st-year depreciation cost of 40%.