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2006 Volvo XC70 Full-Size Luxury Station Wagon

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Base MSRP Range: $35,700

Base Invoice Range: $33,593

MSRP As Tested: Not Available

Versions: XC70

Vehicle Category: Full-Size Luxury Station Wagon

Engine Location: Front Engine

Drive Wheels: All-Wheel Drive, Rear-wheel drive.

Standard Engine: 2.5-liter, Dual Overhead Cam, Turbocharged, I-5, 208 - horsepower at 5,000 rpm and 236 lb-ft torque at 1,500 - 4,500 rpm.

Transmission: Five-speed automatic.

Fuel Economy (city/hwy): 19/24.

Standard Safety Features:

  • Anti - Submarine Seats
  • Daytime Running Lights (Halogen Semi - Sealed with Replaceable Bulb)
  • Dual - Stage Front Airbags for Driver and Front Passenger
  • Inflatable Side Curtain (IC)
  • ISO - FIX Baby / Child Seat Attachment
  • Rear Door Child Safety Locks
  • Rear Fog Light with Auto - Off
  • Safe Approach and Home Safe Lighting
  • Five, 3 - Point Inertia - Reel Belts. Five have Pretensioners and Front have Height Adjustment
  • Security System
  • Side Impact Airbags (SIPSBAGS II™)
  • Side Impact Protection System (SIPS)
  • Top - Tether Child Seat Anchorage Capability
  • Whiplash Protection Seating System (WHIPS)
  • ">Antilock brakes

Competition: Audi A6, Infiniti FX, Mercedes-Benz E-Class.


Volvo vehicles have long been heralded as some of the safest cars on the market. In recent years, they've improved the interior, moving their cars from a "safe" bet to a "great" bet. The combination of continued safety and better interior materials in the new SUV-like 2006 Volvo XC70 station wagon make for a great family car.

With standard all-wheel-drive, an interesting shape, and a turbocharger, the XC70 may not be as refined as some luxury SUVs from Mercedes of BMW, but it surpasses them in practicality. The styling is also better and more progressive than wagons from those same competitors. It has a good combination of everything you would expect in a luxury wagon, but it is also significantly less expensive than anything similar sold by Mercedes or BMW. Admittedly it doesn't get the best gas mileage -- at 18 MPG in the city and 24 MPG on the highway -- and that is an important consideration nowadays given the price of gas and the damage CO2 does to the environment.

Volvo offers two versions of the XC70 for 2006, the XC70 AWD ($36,135) and the XC70 AWD Ocean Race Edition ($40,735.) The Ocean Race Edition offers special Ocean Race Blue Metallic paint, as well as special VOR upholstery.


Safety starts with the XC70's skeleton, which is the four-C chassis also found on the V70 wagon and S60 sedan. The steering wheel is collapsible so it compresses in on itself, not on the driver. Crumple zones are found in the front and rear of the chassis, so collision impact is absorbed at specific points and, again, not on occupants. Most of the chassis parts are made of high-strength, boron steel, including the roof pillars, to keep the passenger cabin isolated from the brunt of an impact.

The Side Impact Protection System (SIPS) reinforces a number of crucial components for a stronger overall body. Front seats have special tubular sections integrated into them, and a special box-shaped device between the seats helps to further distribute the force of a collision. All doors have side beams and energy-absorbing materials.

Airbags are ample: dual-front, front-side and curtain-side. Supplementing the airbags are the front-seat, active head restraints, which lift up and forward to cradle occupants' heads and help prevent serious whiplash injuries. The Whiplash Protection Seating System (WHIPS) further assists in keeping passengers safe; it automatically moves the seatback into the best possible position for cradling the body in the event of a collision. It works especially well for rear-end accidents.

Seat belts get automatic-lock retractors (with the exception of the driver's seat.) Rear seats have ISOFIX frames, which help keep children's' car seats in place; there are also upper-tethers for car seats, making it even safer. And should the kids decide to play with the window controls, simply flip a switch to deactivate the rear window buttons.

Also standard are an antilock, four-wheel, disc brake system, anti-skid system, and daytime running lights (important on long trips, particularly through deserts.) And thieves won't be getting inside the XC70 easily as it has Volvo's theft-deterrent system.

Get the convenience package to add a rear-obstacle detection system (among other features listed below.) This system scans the road behind the driver, and alerts her when she's getting too close to external objects.

One can also add two integrated rear child seats, a navigation system, or the ever popular rear-facing third-row seat -- a favorite with kids, since this writer can remember.


For a great daily ride, the XC70 sure has kick to it. The 2.5-liter, inline-5 cylinder engine is turbocharged, pushing out 208 horses (at 5,000 RPM) and 236 lb.-ft. of torque (at 1,500 RPM.) Some complain it has too-little power when starting from a complete stop, and then too much power once up to speed. But that's ridiculous. It has a turbo-charged engine. They always have a bit of a lag when you first press the gas pedal, until it kicks in. And if you're similar to me and like the ability to pass on the freeway, you'll appreciate this set-up.

Volvo has also equipped the XC70 with a standard, five-speed Geartronic automatic transmission with Auto-Stick capabilities. Geartronic offers two modes: manual (shifted with the shiftstick), and automatic (acts like any regular automatic.) The automatic mode isn't quite as peppy, but that's to be expected.

One of the best features is the electronically-controlled, all-wheel-drive, which is, surprisingly, standard on all xc70s. Cornering is a little easier and safer!


Volvos are famous for their drivability; and it's not hard to find a 20- or 30-year-old Volvo still going strong down the freeway.

Electronically Controlled All Wheel Drive makes for a very responsive vehicle, providing good grip especially with the traction control system activated. The raised suspension reduces that jostled-feeling passengers often experience in SUVs. There's a mild amount of float on some roads that is a bit more than other wagons, but considerably less than most SUVs. For the most part the XC70 is fairly quiet, and quite comfortable.

Acceleration on this turbo-charged beauty is great, once you get familiar with the turbo's whirring; the gas pedal definitely knows when it's being touched, even lightly.

The only real problem comes in the form of blind spots. There are lots of them with door pillars and rear headrests in the way. So be careful switching lanes.

We found the navigation system to be quite complicated -- but at least it isn't integrated in with all the rest of the controls (radio, DVD, climate, etc.) as most other luxury vehicles do. Gauges could use a little more back lighting, and there could be a skosh more shoulder room for adults sitting in the second row. But overall there's little to complain about.


Volvos are also known for their interior comfort, particularly with respect to the seats. The XC70 does fall a little short in thigh support for rear passengers, but otherwise everything is extremely supportive and plush.

Drivers are kept comfortable with power steering and a tilt/telescoping, leather-wrapped, steering wheel with radio controls. The cruise control is within easy reach as well. The eight-way, power driver's seat with lumbar adjustment and memory system (for seat and mirror positions) add some high-tech, low-confusion luxury. Cloth seats come standard. Volvo's leather doesn't stick to your backside when you travel in shorts like some leather does. The front has bucket seats. And both the front-passenger and rear seats all fold flat withe the ones in the back being split for versatility.

Keep the interior temperature right where you want it regardless of the other occupants' preferences with the dual-zone, automatic, climate controls. And allergens won't be a problem with the special interior air filter.

Find creature comforts in the ample center console (complete with cupholders,) premium AM/FM/CD player, digital clock, outside temperature indicator, and remote keyless entry with an immobilizer. The CD player comes with Dolby B Noise reduction, 4-by-25-watt amp, and six speakers. Intermittent windshield wipers are standard for both the front and rear windows.

The XC70 is totally powered up. It has power door locks, windows, and heated mirrors. The interior lightning is thoughtfully placed with illuminated visor mirrors, front map lights and rear reading lighting for your passengers.

Planning on taking trips? Check out the relatively, simple-to-use, trip computer. It gives tons of interesting information . Or add a navigation system. We love navigation systems -- especially for Saturday-morning garage sale trips -- but Volvo's is confusing to use at first, and glare from the windshield often makes reading the dash-mounted screen difficult.

This family wagon with SUV attributes has a little of everything, but really takes off in the cargo department. A cargo cover is standard and all seats (except the driver's of course) fold flat to create a cargo area that is definitely not little. It is wide and long. With a rear door that opens very wide, it can easily accommodate the kitchen sink -- should it need transporting. We're talking 71.4 cubic feet of cargo space here. That's enormous.

Want more? The Convenience Package adds that Rear-Obstacle Detection System, along with great seating additions like a second-row, three-way split folding seat (instead of two-way.) The package includes minor features that are a big help: an automatic day/night rear view mirror, a trunk grocery-bag holder and cargo net, and a cargo-area auxiliary power outlet -- indispensable in a big cargo area like the XC70's. Finally, rear privacy glass rounds out the options.


There's little chance of mistaking the XC70 for anything other than a Volvo; its classic shape has changed substantially over the years, but somehow maintains the Volvo "essence."

Lighting comes in the form of big, bright headlamps, front fog lights, and rear fog lights with auto-off. Entry/exit lights come on automatically. Headlamp washers are optional. Opt for bi-xenon headlamps for $700 more. Add a glass moonroof for $1,200, or a rear window tint as part of the Convenience Package. Regardless of what you add, exterior rearview mirrors get a hydrophilic treatment to repel water. Also get roof rails, alloy wheels, and 215/65HR16 tires standard.


All around, a great car for the family. The XC70 offers the same features as an SUV, but without being quite as thirsty on the gas.

Bumper-to-bumper warranty is better on the XC70 than most at 4 years, or 50,000 miles. Made in Sweden, Volvos are now part of the Ford Motor Company, which many find, shall we say, repulsive. However, whether the quality has gone up, or down, is anybody's guess, but it's definitely hard to tell in the 2006 Volvo XC70.

Pros: A great car for the family. Luxurious, safe, fund to drive and comforable.

Cons: Gas mileage.

Ratings (1-10)

  • Style: 9
  • Performance: 8
  • Price: 8
  • Handling: 8
  • Ride: 9
  • Comfort: 9
  • Quality: 7
  • Overall: 8

More Data

Where Built: Sweeden

Major Options: Premium Package, Convenience Package, Climate Package.
Four-C Chassis, Antiskid system, Navigation system, Power sunroof, Leather upholstery, Rear-facing 3rd-row seat, AM/FM w/in-dash 6-disc CD changer, Satellite radio prep, Interior air quality system, Xenia alloy wheels,

Seating: 5.

Number of Rows: 2.

Length in Inches: 186.6

Warranties: 4 years/50,000 miles Bumper to bumper, 12 years/unlimited miles Corrosion protection, 4 years/unlimited miles Free roadside assistance.

Weight in Pounds: 3699 lb.

Cargo Capacity in Pounds: Not available.

Gross Maximum Vehicle Weight in Pounds: Not available.

Towing Capacity in Pounds: 3300 lb.

Gas Tank Capacity in Gallons: 18.0

Destination Charge: $695