Volvo XC70

Car Review: Volvo XC70 (2003-2007)


As a car enthusiast, I have always been intrigued by the Volvo XC70. This wagon has been a popular choice for young drivers and adventurers alike, thanks to its combination of luxury, safety, and off-road capabilities. In this article, I will review the 2nd generation 2003-2007 Volvo XC70 wagon and provide you with all the necessary information you need to decide whether this car is right for you.

The Volvo XC70 was first introduced in 1997 as the V70 Cross Country. It was designed to be a rugged version of the V70 wagon, with higher ground clearance and all-wheel drive. In 2000, the V70 Cross Country was renamed the XC70, and it continued to be produced until 2016.

Volvo XC70

Tech Specs

The XC70 is built on Volvo’s P2 platform, which it shares with the S60, S80, V70, and XC90. It comes in two trim levels: the base model and the higher-end XC70 Ocean Race Edition. The base model has a 2.5-liter turbocharged engine that produces 208 horsepower (182 horsepower for the diesel model), while the Ocean Race Edition has a 2.5-liter turbocharged engine that produces 210 horsepower.

The XC70’s 5-cylinder 2.5-liter engine is paired with either a five-speed automatic or six-speed manual transmission and is available in gas or diesel. It has a cargo capacity of 72.1 cubic feet with rear seats folded down and a ground clearance of 8.2 inches, which is higher than the previous V70 wagon. The curb weight is around 3,800 pounds and can tow up to 3,300 pounds.

The XC70 is known for its excellent handling and all-weather capabilities, thanks to its all-wheel-drive system and stability control.

Inside, the XC70 is well-appointed with features like leather seats, a premium sound system, and a dual-zone climate control system. The Ocean Race Edition adds sports seats, a sport-tuned suspension, and unique styling elements like blue instrument dials and aluminum roof rails.

The Pros

Volvo XC70 has always been a popular choice for car enthusiasts – and for good reason. Its safety record is one of the biggest positives, with the XC70 receiving top marks in crash tests conducted by both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

In addition to its safety features, the XC70 also boasts impressive off-road capabilities, thanks to its higher ground clearance and all-wheel drive. This makes it an ideal choice for adventurers looking to explore rough terrains and unpredictable weather conditions. Heated seats for the driver and front passenger are a definite bonus for icy conditions.

When it comes to reliability, the XC70 doesn’t disappoint either. With its sturdy build and reliable performance, it has proved to be a dependable vehicle for many years. Volvo XC70 reviews have been particularly positive, with many drivers praising its robustness and durability.

If you’re considering buying a used Volvo XC70, it’s important to note that its overall performance and user experience are equally impressive for its age. From its sleek design to advanced features like lane departure warning and adaptive cruise control, the XC70 offers a well-rounded driving experience that caters to all your needs. You will also get the cool retro CD player for playing your newly acquired collection of old-school favorites.

You will notice the Volvo XC70 has a decent amount of usable cabin space and cargo room because of the square-shaped trunk making it easier to fit rectangular furniture pieces easily into the back – especially with the rear seats folded down.

On the topic of space, a person who is 6 foot 2 inches tall will comfortably sit behind the wheel or in the passenger seat, and the XC70 has a good amount of workable space around the engine bay making it easy to service and less costly to access for various problems that may arise.

Because the XC70 is now a couple of decades old, the years have shown that there are plenty of examples that have easily exceeded 250,000 miles over their lifetime and are still going strong.

Overall, the Volvo XC70 is a vehicle that ticks all the boxes – safety, off-road capabilities, reliability, a touch of luxury and overall performance. It also comes with a bonus sunroof!

Volvo XC70

The Cons

One of the negative points of the XC70 is its fuel economy. The 2.5-liter engine is not very fuel-efficient, and drivers can expect to get around 18-20 miles per gallon in the city and 24-26 miles per gallon on the highway.

Another negative of the XC70 is its outdated technology expected from a car of this age. The car was produced between 2000 and 2007, and as a result, it lacks some of the modern features that drivers have come to expect in newer cars. For example, it does not have Bluetooth connectivity or a touchscreen infotainment system. Unlike newer cars of the last few years, it does have a bit of cabin noise which is expected of an older vehicle.

There is a 3-step system to folding down the rear seats involving pushing the seat part up and forward, then releasing the headrest, and finally unlatching the back so it folds down. Most other cars have a simple 1-step fold-down system in place.

Finally, the XC70 is not a very sporty car. While it handles well, it is not designed for high-performance driving. If you are looking for a car that has racetrack capabilities and a lot of horsepower, the XC70 may not be the best choice for you.

Recalls, Reliability and Safety Ratings

Like a lot of cars, the XC70 has had its share of recalls over the years. Some of the most notable recalls include a 2006 recall for faulty fuel pumps and a 2007 recall for faulty electrical systems. However, overall the XC70 has a good reliability record, with Consumer Reports giving it a score of 4 out of 5 for reliability.

As mentioned earlier, the XC70 has received top marks in crash tests conducted by the NHTSA and the IIHS. It has also received high marks for its safety features, which include side airbags, traction control, and stability control.

Maintenance and Servicing

The XC70 is a well-built car that requires regular maintenance to keep it running smoothly. The Volvo XC70 has a timing belt that should be replaced every 100,000 miles or 10 years (whichever comes first). If you are planning to use the XC70 off-road, then you will need to regularly check the tire pressure and tread and have regular tire alignments done.

It is also important to keep up with any recalls or service bulletins issued by Volvo.

Expert and Customer Reviews

Experts and customers alike have praised the XC70 for its safety, comfort, and off-road capabilities. ‘Car and Driver’ calls it “a wagon that’s as capable as an SUV,” while ‘Edmunds’ says it “excels as a comfortable and safe family hauler.”

Customers have also praised the XC70, with many citing its spacious interior and all-weather capabilities as some of its best features. However, some customers have noted that the car’s fuel economy and outdated technology are drawbacks.

Off-road Capabilities of the Volvo XC70

The XC70 is known for its off-road capabilities, thanks to its all-wheel-drive system and higher ground clearance when paired with a decent set of tires. It can handle rough terrain and harsh weather conditions with ease, making it a great choice for adventurers who like to explore the great outdoors. Although it’s more of a beginner’s off-roader, some XC70 owners have taken their cars on serious off-road adventures, including river crossings and built-up rocky trails.

Tips for Buying a Used Volvo XC70

If you are considering buying a used XC70, there are a few things to keep in mind.

First, you may well want to check for correct wheel alignment and inspect the suspension and exhaust if you suspect it may have been subjected to something more arduous than a grassy car park. The ramp and departure angles of the car aren’t the best so take a look at the underside for scuffing or other damage, and make sure there’s not a lot of suspension noise going on. Power steering should feel tight and the car should turn without any problems.

Secondly, check for transmission issues when you take it out for a test drive. Ask if there have been any previous problems and whether the transmission has been replaced in the past (and how long ago) as this can be a costly repair.

Thirdly, have a look online at what your budget will get. Most used Volvo XC70s on the used car market have over 100,000 miles on the speedometer so make sure the timing belt has been replaced, or factor the cost of replacing it into the price when it comes to negotiation.

Be aware of the car’s maintenance history. Look for a car that has been well-maintained and has had any necessary repairs done.

Finally, if you’re happy with the wagon, be sure to have the car inspected by a qualified mechanic before making a purchase. This will help identify any potential problems which could sway your decision one way or the other, or even help when bargaining for a lower price.

Comparison Cars

If you are considering the XC70, you may also want to take a look at some of its competitors. Some of the most popular competitors include the Audi Allroad, the Subaru Outback, and the Volvo XC90.

The Audi Allroad is a luxury wagon that offers excellent handling and renowned all-wheel drive. It is known for its sleek design and powerful engine. The Subaru Outback is a rugged wagon that offers all-wheel drive and excellent off-road capabilities, as well as fuel efficiency. Finally, the Volvo XC90 is a luxury SUV rather than a wagon that offers all-wheel drive and plenty of space for passengers and cargo.


8 out of 10

Overall, the Volvo XC70 is an excellent choice for adventurers who want a solid car that is safe, comfortable, and capable with a touch of luxury. While it may not be the best choice for drivers who prioritize fuel economy or high-performance driving, it is a well-built car that is luxurious and ahead of its time for the age that is sure to provide years of enjoyment.

If you are considering buying a used XC70, be sure to do your research and take the car for a thorough test drive. With the right care and maintenance, the XC70 can be a reliable and enjoyable car for many years to come.

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