New XC70 promises a better drive on and off the road
5 March 2007

This chunky-looking beast is the new Volvo XC70, unveiled today (5 March) at the Geneva motor show.

The new XC70 is based on the latest V70 estate, but like its predecessor the suspension has been jacked up and the body clad in tough-looking plastic.

Power comes from a choice of a 2.5-litre turbodiesel engine with 182bhp or Volvo's Welsh-built 3.2-litre 235bhp straight six petrol.

The diesel packs 295lb ft of torque, and in six-speed manual form hits 60mph in 8.8sec. A six-speed automatic gearbox is optional. The petrol car comes only with the automatic gearbox, which helps it to 60mph in 8.1sec.

Volvo says the new XC70 is 15 per cent stiffer than the old one, which should help it to provide a more engaging drive on the road. The previous car at times felt like a V70 on stilts.

More attention has also been paid to the new XC70's off-road ability. Standard four-wheel drive uses an electronically controlled clutch to distribute torque to the wheels that need it most.

The new soft-roader has a wading depth of 300mm, effective ground clearance of 210mm and better approach and departure angles (19.2 and 24deg, respectively) than before.

A hill descent control system that modulates the brakes to keep a steady 6mph during off-road descents. The system also works in reverse – ideal for lowering boats on trailers down slipways.

The cabin will be familiar to drivers of the S80 saloon, but it's got XC-specfiic trim, including raised stitching on the leather and special colour combinations.

As it's a Volvo, the XC70 comes packed with the usual safety features including front, side and curtain airbags. Volvo's award-winning Blind Spot Information System is among the many options.

UK prices will be announced in June, with first deliveries in October. The current XC70 remains on sale until the autumn.

Rory Lumsdon

Our Verdict

Volvo V70

The Volvo V70 is spacious, but suffers from vague steering and old engines

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