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Volvo has used the XC preface on its wagons since 1998. The XC trim has always been reserved for the rough-and-tumble versions of the Volvo wagons. Today, the company makes three XC SUVs. Do you know what the XC stands for?

The first XC wagon came out in 1998

1998 Volvo V70 XC
Volvo V70 XC | Volvo

The first XC car was the taller V70 XC wagon based on the Volvo V70 five-seat wagon. The V at the time stood for versatility, and 70 was the size of the station wagon. The XC stood for Cross Country; in other words a vehicle that had more capability, in this case, some off-road chops that made it suitable for a true cross-country trip. Volvo wanted to add a bit of attitude to the V70, so it went to the now-familiar XC name to denote a tougher stance, and it sort of filled that mission, according to a vintage report from New Car Test Drive.

The XC70 was a bit late to the SUV trend in 1998 as station wagons were seriously losing their cool, but it was one of the first true crossovers. Crossovers are vehicles that combine the dynamics of a car with the rugged abilities of an SUV. The XV70 received a slight lift for clearance, fog lights, and a roof rack, as well as taller tires. It had the same all-wheel drive as the regular V70 wagon, but with the extra goodies could attack some forest roads that the street-focused car would never attempt.

Are Volvo’s XC SUVS considered luxury?

Today Volvo makes three XC SUVs, the XC40, the XC60 and the XC90. The smallest is the XC40, the largest is the seven-seat XC90, and the midsize XC60 is the most popular. They are considered luxury SUVs, but they appeal to a certain demographic that prefers a clean, uncluttered look. The interiors of the Volvo XC SUVs have been improved over the last few years and now include a host of connectivity improvements thanks to Volvo’s Sensus Connect system. Basically, they are powered by Google’s Android Automotive system (though Apple is supported).

Today’s XC series SUVs have a large screen in the middle of the dash. That funky floating center stack and dust-collecting screen pocket are gone. Also, they all have driver’s assistance features, like lane-departure warning, and automated emergency braking.

Will there be an XC60 Recharge?

In 2021 Volvo launched its Recharge SUVs, which are all-electric SUVs or hybrid SUVs. The seven-passenger XC90 Recharge combines a gas motor with batteries to make an impressive 455 horsepower, and it has an EV range of 36 miles. The XC60 Recharge T8 is a plug-in hybrid version of the XC60 and it has a similar 455-horsepower powertrain with a slightly different battery. In the smaller SUV, it should be a hoot to drive quickly. It has 35 miles of electric range.

The new EX90 is an ultra-posh, expensive, all-EV version with the new EX designation. The XC40 Recharge, which is all electric, has been available since 2021. It has a range of 223 miles and a total of 402 horsepower. But unlike its SUV siblings, the Recharge versions are tuned for electric efficiency and crossing the country without any emissions, not venturing into the woods.


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