From £28,330
Fine for the odd off-piste exusrion, but we'd rather have a standard V70

Our Verdict

Volvo XC70
Underneath that protective plastic cladding, the Volvo XC70 is a V70

The Volvo XC70 is a rugged version of the V70 estate with mild off-road ability. It is well built and refined but otherwise fairly dull

  • First Drive

    Volvo XC70 D5 SE Sport

    Fine for the odd off-piste exusrion, but we'd rather have a standard V70
  • First Drive

    Volvo XC70 D5 SE

    Less odd-looking, and slightly better off-road, but still woefully inept on it

What is it?

This is the third incarnation of Volvo’s off-road estate car. It is essentially four-wheel drive V70 estate with a raised ride height, grey plastic body cladding and a Hill Descent Control system borrowed from Ford stablemate Land Rover.

What’s it like?

If you want to do anything more than chug through the odd muddy field with a horsebox, you’ll be disappointed. But then most XC70s will be required to do nothing more strenuous than mount the odd kerb, so its manners as a road car are what really matter.

This is where things get complicated. In many ways, the XC is great. All the usual Volvo safety features are there (including the neat integrated two-stage child booster seats). The interior is luxurious, especially with the gorgeous chocolate leather interior that came in our test car. The engine is also adequately refined (though no fire-breather).

Problem is, you get all this with the common or garden V70 for less money. Oh, and the V70 handles better, avoiding the wallow that the high-riding XC70 suffers from.

Should I buy one?

Put it this way: if you want the butch looks of an off-roader, but don’t want to feel like a social pariah, go for it. As a guilt-free school-run 4x4 the XC70 is great. For almost every other situation, though, we’d choose an ordinary V70 every time.

Matt Rigby

Join the debate


24 May 2008

The key benefit of the XC verses the V70 is the AWD for adverse weather...handling is a mute point when driving in rain, snow, ice etc

10 February 2013

I just HAVE to disagree with the overall review;I live in deepest rural Dorset-2 years ago,when most other vehicles were incapable of getting up the 800' hill behind us-I went up there several times in my XC70, with no problems whatsoever! The same happened just 2 weeks ago! This car is one of the most comfortable 4x4's I have owned! It tows our twin axled caravan brilliantly and the fuel economy is stunning! When you compare price, economy and comfort with my previous Range Rover-I'm sorry Autocar_You're WRONG! there's NO contest!!NM.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Car review
    23 September 2016
    Aston kicks off its ‘second century plan’ with an all-new turbo V12 grand tourer
  • Ford Ka+ 1.2 Ti-VCT 85
    First Drive
    22 September 2016
    A rounded, refined and well-sorted bargain supermini – once you’re used to the confusing role redefinition imposed on the once-cheeky Ka
  •  Maserati Ghibli Diesel
    First Drive
    22 September 2016
    Maserati releases another range of updates for its range best seller, the Ghibli. We've driven the diesel version, but there's little improvement on before
  • Tipo Front
    First Drive
    21 September 2016
    New Fiat Tipo offers impressive space and practicality for a reasonable price. We try the 1.6 diesel on the demanding roads of North Wales
  • Seat Ateca 1.4 TSI 150
    First Drive
    20 September 2016
    The Seat Ateca 1.4 TSI 150 makes perfect sense: it's spacious, tidy to drive for an SUV and cheap to run