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2015 Volvo XC70

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 3/12/2015 Stefan Ogbac

New for 2015

After a mild cosmetic refresh for the 2014 model year, the Volvo XC70 gains a host of mechanical and equipment changes for the 2015 model year. The new front-drive T5 Drive-E model comes equipped with the brand’s new turbocharged 2.0-liter I-4 making 240 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. It also features a new ECO+ mode with modified engine stop-start technology, ECO-coast and ECO-climate. However, the XC70 T5 Drive-E is only available with front-wheel drive, while all-wheel-drive variants soldier on with the older powertrains.

Research

All models now gain a power passenger seat, Sensus Connect and Volvo On-Call with a six-month complimentary subscription, power lumbar support, three-spoke leather-wrapped steering wheel, and shimmer graphite aluminum inlays. The Premier Plus trim is no longer available, as the Premier grade now comes with navigation and dark walnut inlays. Two new packages have been added: the Proximity Package, which includes hands-free keyless access, rearview camera, and a power liftgate, and the Convenience Package, which adds quick-fold front passenger seat, HomeLink, digital compass, cargo cover, grocery bag holder, 12V power outlet in the cargo area, power folding rear head restraints, and private locking. Keyless Drive and the Harman Kardon sound system are new standalone options for the 2015 model year and come standard in the Platinum trim along with HID headlights, the Proximity, Convenience, and Technology Packages.

Vehicle Summary

The 2015 Volvo XC70 is a raised luxury wagon/SUV available in front- or all-wheel-drive configurations. It is based off of the S80 luxury sedan and slots above the compact V60 and V60 Cross Country wagons. Despite its refreshed exterior styling, the XC70—like the S80 sedan—looks dated when compared to the newer entries in Volvo’s lineup such as the S60, XC60, V60 and the 2016 XC90.

Overview

In addition to the 2015 Volvo XC70's new turbo-four, two I-6 engines are offered on all-wheel-drive models: a 3.2-liter with 240 hp and 236 lb-ft in the 3.2 AWD and turbocharged 3.0-liter rated at 300 hp and 325 lb-ft in the T6 AWD. Both are mated to a six-speed automatic and come standard with all-wheel-drive. Fuel economy is decent with the all-wheel-drive variants at 18/25 mpg city/highway with the 3.2 and 17/24 mpg in the T6. The new T5 Drive-E equipped with the new turbo-four is the most efficient at 24/31 mpg. Between the two all-wheel-drive models, the T6 is the better buy since it doesn’t come with a big sacrifice in gas mileage for the additional 60 hp and 89 lb-ft of torque. Volvo’s racing partner, Polestar, also offers a tune for the T6 model that increases horsepower and torque to 325 and 354 respectively. This also doesn’t void the car’s warranty since it is a dealer-installed accessory.

Acceleration is brisk especially in the T6 due to it having so much low to mid-range torque, making passing and merging a breeze. The raised suspension and 8.3 inches of ground clearance means that the XC70 is able to do some mild off-roading and go through muddy trails. Room inside the XC70 is generous with enough space for adult passengers in the second row and up to 72.1 cubic feet of cargo with the rear seats folded down. Since it's a Volvo, the XC70 also comes with a long list of availale safety features including City Safety, blind spot warning, adaptive cruise control, collision warning with full auto brake for objects, pedestrians and cyclists, lane departure warning, and distance alert.The 2015 Volvo XC70 has not been crash tested by the NHTSA and the IIHS.

What We Think

Despite its aging exterior styling, the 2015 Volvo XC70 remains a competent luxury wagon for families seeking a safe and roomy vehicle with the ability to do some mild off-roading. In a 2008 First Drive review, we said that the XC70 drove well with good levels of stability and a smooth ride, making it an ideal high-speed cruiser; however, due its raised suspension, it rolls a lot more than traditional wagons. The amount of safety features also enables the XC70 to stand out with a host of driver aids meant to prevent accidents.

You’ll Like

  • Powerful T6 engine
  • Plenty of safety features
  • Roomy interior

You Won’t Like

  • Unimpressive fuel economy in the 3.2 AWD model
  • Dated exterior styling
  • New turbo-four isn’t available with all-wheel-drive

Key Competitors

  • Audi Allroad
  • BMW X1
  • Land Rover Range Rover Evoque
  • Volvo XC60
  • Subaru Outback

Rating

3 star

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