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The Volvo XC70 was an upscale wagon that had a luxurious interior. The Swedish automaker made great use of quality materials, had a wide range of advanced safety technology, and offered available all-wheel drive. Part of the Volvo 70 series produced from 1996-2016, the XC70 was designed to be a rugged all-wheel drive wagon that had surprising off-road chops.

What happened to the Volvo XC70? What took its place in the Volvo lineup?

The Volvo XC70

Volvo introduced its 70-series in late 1996 with the Volvo S70, V70, and XC70. The line was derived from the popular 850 models which the automaker had launched in 1991. While the same undeniable Volvo look was still there, the new wagon showed a softer side than its predecessors. It had a mostly new interior and dashboard. 

Built on the same platform as Volvo’s S60, V70 Estate, and S80, the XC70 was crafted to be driven on a wide range of roads, good and bad. A rugged all-wheel drive wagon, it had unexpected off-road abilities. It kicked off the XC segment which was highly successful for Volvo.

Several safety improvements were made for the new XC70s. Volvo designed the XC70 to withstand strong collision forces of all types. Volvo’s whiplash and side-impact protection systems were just two of the standard features included.

The Volvo XC70 was versatile, well-equipped, and offered a lot of impressive technology. It offered an insane amount of available accessories including a picnic table, funboard or ski holders, and a refrigerator that could be installed in the rear. It kept its weight down for greater fuel efficiency and was a little higher off the ground for better road performance. 

The first generation was produced from 1996 to 2000, the second generation from 2000 to 2007, and the third generation ended with the discontinuation of the vehicle in 2016.

The last XC70

The 2016 Volvo XC70 was the last model before the wagon was discontinued. It had everything you could want in a luxury wagon. The problem was that you could get comparable competitor wagons like the Subaru Outback or Volkswagen Golf SportWagen for a lot less money. The XC70 also had one of the lowest predicted reliability ratings in its class.

The last model had three trim levels with the T5, T5 Premier, and T5 Platinum. The base model T5 included a 7-inch screen for the infotainment system, Bluetooth, cruise control, heated front seats, low-speed automatic emergency braking, satellite radio, and WiFi. The base model was a well-equipped wagon and selecting it helped keep the price down.

Those interested in luxury considered the T5 Premier which added leather upholstery, a moonroof, and navigation. The top-shelf T5 Platinum models came with adaptive headlights, blind-spot monitoring, a premium Harman Kardon sound system, and two additional packages.

One was the Proximity package which added a power tailgate, proximity keyless entry, and a rearview camera. The other was the Technology package which offered a suite of additional active safety features.

While the Volvo XC70 was attractive, spacious, and refined, the price, awkward handling, poor reliability rating, and not-so-great fuel economy did it in.

The new Volvo XC90

With Volvo discontinuing the XC70 wagon, there was a gap left to fill according to the folks at Motor Trend. Later in 2016, they launched a newcomer: the Volvo XC90 SUV.

The 2016 model was stylish and kicked off a revival for Volvo design. Now in 2020, the Volvo XC90 is still one of the most visually appealing luxury SUVs available.

The inside is the same and is a study in luxurious Scandinavian design. High-quality materials like nappa leather and genuine wood trim are used along with subtle chrome accents.

Most of the XC90’s systems are accessible from the infotainment touch screen. There’s also a 12.3-inch screen that’s oriented to face the driver that’s used as a digital gauge collection. The SUV also offers an impressive list of safety and driver-assist features standard across all models. Even today, Volvo is very much focused on safety.

The 2020 Volvo XC90 gives you a choice of three four-cylinder engines, one of those a plug-in hybrid. The XC90 is available in either six or seven-passenger layouts.

The predicted reliability is still an issue as are the so-so powertrain choices. Still, with its stunning good looks and interior opulence, the 2020 Volvo XC90 is a nice luxury midsize SUV with lots of space and tech too. It’s handling is composed and it gets good gas mileage. For those who want a luxury SUV, the XC90 has a lot to offer.


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