2005 XC70 New Car Test Drive
Volvo's flagship 70 series wagons have been further refined for 2005, and these superb vehicles are better than ever. Mild styling revisions freshen their appearance. The 70 series represents a range of vehicles offering everything from comfortable sophistication to off-highway capability to high-performance barnstormer.
The Volvo XC70 Cross Country can be a great substitute for a sport-utility as we found out on rough, rock-strewn trails in the Baja. The Cross Country boasts an elevated chassis for ground clearance, no-dent body armor to brush aside trail debris, and all-wheel-drive traction for slippery conditions. Yet it offers the smooth ride and agile handling of a luxury car, while coddling occupants in a luxurious leather cabin.
The Volvo V70 2.4 offers a smoother ride and front-wheel drive. The V70 T5 kicks it up a notch with sharper handling with the refined demeanor of a European luxury sedan; the T5 gets more power, sportier handling and other improvements for 2005. If that isn't enough for you, there's the V70R, a high-performance model with big Brembo brakes and a 300-horsepower engine.
The V70 and XC70 wagons are based on the same platform as Volvo's ultra-smooth flagship sedan, the S80. Their interiors are elegant and well designed. All are practical wagons with an adaptable seating arrangement and a cavernous cargo compartment complete with tie-down hooks and other useful accessories. Unlike many SUVs, the cargo floor is flat when all the seats are folded.
Safety is what made Volvo famous and the 70 series is no exception: Occupants are shielded by a safety-cell structure and active seats designed to prevent whiplash injuries. Airbags are positioned ahead, beside and above. Responsive steering, electronic brake enhancements, and optional traction control are designed to help drivers avoid accidents in the first place.
The Volvo 70-series wagons offer a wide range of engines, suspensions, and packaging. The V70 2.4 ($28,760) is powered by a 2.4-liter five-cylinder engine that develops 168 horsepower (165 in California) and drives the front wheels. It comes standard with a five-speed manual transmission. A five-speed automatic is optional ($1000). Standard equipment includes power four-wheel-disc brakes with ABS, 15-inch aluminum wheels, and a long list of luxury, safety, and convenience features.
V70 2.5T ($32,110) has more power, using light-pressure turbocharging with intercooling to coax 208 horsepower from the same basic engine. Volvo's Geartronic automatic with manual override is standard. Befitting its extra brawn, the 2.5T comes with wider tires on 16-inch wheels, and adds power seats and automatic climate control.
For 2005, the V70 T5 ($36,010) comes with a more powerful 257-horsepower 2.3-liter inline five-cylinder engine with high-pressure turbocharging and the five-speed Geartronic automatic transmission. The T5 also comes with firmer suspension settings and wider (P215/55R16) tires for a sporty flavor, and adds a few more comfort/convenience items to the standard-equipment list. Volvo's Dynamic Stability and Traction Control (DSTC) is standard.
XC70 Cross Country ($34,810) features advanced Haldex all-wheel drive, a higher ground clearance, a front skid plate, and unique appearance and trim items. It is powered by a 2.5-liter inline-5 with light-pressure turbocharging, developing 208 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. Cross Country comes standard with the Geartronic automatic transmission. The XC70 uses a simpler traction control system called TRACS; the more sophisticated DSTC is optional ($695). For 2005, the sophisticated Four-C (Continuously Controlled Chassis Concept) active chassis system of adjustable shock absorbers is available as an option ($995). The Cross Country comes with slightly taller P215/65R16 tires. Luxury appointments resemble those of the T5.
V70R gets a turbocharged, twin-intercooled 300-horsepower version of the 2.3-liter engine, featuring bigger brakes with four-piston Brembo calibers, a six-speed close-ratio gearbox, and the exotic active Four-C suspension system.
Many options and option packages are available. Premium Packages for each variation add leather upholstery, a sunroof and features that come standard on higher-level models. Leather upholstery is available as a standalone option for the T5 and XC70 ($1450) and V70R ($1550).
Dynamic Stability and Traction Control (DSTC) may be added to the 2.4, XC70 or 2.5T ($695). A navigation system ($2120) is optional on all models.
Safety features include dual-threshold front airbags, dual side-impact airbags, front and rear head-curtain airbags, WHIPS active whiplash protection, and ISO-FIX and LATCH anchors for child seats.