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2012 Volvo XC70 T6 AWD Review By John Heilig

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2012 Volvo XC70 T6 AWD

By John Heilig
Pennsylvania Bureau
The Auto Channel


Model: 2012 Volvo XC70 T6 AWD
Engine: 3.0-liter turbocharged 6
Horsepower/Torque: 300 hp @ 5,600 rpm/325 lb. ft. @ 2,100 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed automatic with sport Mode
Wheelbase: 110.8 in.
Length/Width/Height: 190.5 x 73.3 x 63.1 in.
Tires: P235/50R18
Cargo volume: 33.3/72.1 cu. ft. (seats up/down)
Fuel economy: 17 mpg city/23 mpg highway/22.1 mpg test
Fuel capacity: 18.5 gal.
Curb weight: 3,985 lbs.
Sticker: $51,170 (includes $875 destination charge and $10,195 in options)

Top 5 Reasons To Buy This Vehicle

1. Typical Volvo solidity
2. Good performance
3. Comfort
4. Utility
5. Typical Volvo safety

The Bottom Line: Although the Volvo XC70 is classified as a sport utility vehicle, in reality it's the old Volvo station wagon with 4-wheel drive added and a new name. This is a good thing, as the Volvo wagons are legendary. And, you get the utility of an SUV without having to drive a small truck.

With the trend to sport utility vehicles these days, it's nice to know you don't have to drive a truck to get all the utility one would normally need. A case in point is the Volvo XC70, which is classified as an SUV, but has all the utility of a good old station wagon. It doesn't even look like an SUV; it looks like a wagon.

Now, Volvo wagons are legendary, and for a long time they were the top selling wagons in the USA. Why? Well, you have a vehicle that looks a lot like a car (and here's the only drawback - it looks like an older-styled Volvo, not the newer ones), yet can be converted with the flip of the seats to a monster cargo carrier. there are 33.3 cubic feet of cargo capacity in the back of the wagon that explodes to 72.1 cubic feet when you fold down the back seats. That makes our old Ford LTD wagon look like a piker.

We took the XC70 on a couple of long trips. the car was solid, with a comfortable ride. We got good performance from the turbocharged 6-cylinder engine. It was smooth, with none of the turbo lag you get in smaller turbocharged engines. Granted, we kept the XC70 in cruise control for most of our trips, which accounts for the excellent 22.1 mpg test mileage.

Since the temperature during our runs was in excess of 100 degrees F, we were grateful for an HVAC system that did its job well. The HVAC and audio controls are in the thin center stack that allowed us to put the keys behind it. With remote door unlocking and a pushbutton start/stop, they weren't needed for the ride. The engine runs silently, though, and we did leave the car in a parking lot with the engine running.

The front seats are very comfortable with good side support. In the rear, there's good leg room with a wide fold-down arm rest. The rear seat backs fold 40-20-40, providing a wealth of varieties of storage spaces.

The cargo floor is flat, with a couple of lift-up dividers that allow you to customize how you place articles back there. In addition, there are side rails to tie your cargo down if you want, and a compartmentalized deep tray below the cargo floor with seven different areas. Below that is a space-saver spare.

We liked the audio system. It had the standard assortment of options - we used iPod all the way. There is a learning curve required to operate the audio system properly, but if I can figure it out, you can.

For storage, there's the space behind the center stack, a small cubby (that may be an ash tray in other times) by the cup holders and a deep center console/arm rest that contains the USB outlet.

The Volvo XC70 is a nice package. It's a nice driver and a nice rider. While the styling is not as modern as some newer Volvos, it is timeless and will still look good ten years from now, when it will probably still be running.

2012 The Auto Page