2014 Volvo XC70
The Volvo XC70 is almost completely fresh following a thorough interior revamp for 2013 and a subtle exterior nip/tuck for 2014. The latest luxury crossover wagon from the safety experts gets a macho new grill design with giant honeycomb pattern, LED fog lights, an LED running light blade in each headlight, a freshened LED taillight design and additional matte-finish silver trims all around.
The XC70’s boxy profile is part of the lasting charm that gives Volvo wagons such huge cabin space and cargo area capacity. This latest model finally addresses the main critiques of post-Ford Volvo: few meaningful updates to keep the line fresh and competitive.
The latest XC70 fights perception that it might be slow and pack dated cabin infotainment solutions. For 2014, this five-passenger crossover gets ultramodern TFT instruments, a new touchscreen HDD nav solution called Sensus Connected Touch, quicker automatic transmissions and a Polestar engine upgrade on the official options list.
With the last two enhancements, this stops being just an ultra-plush and luxurious family car and starts fighting back with real performance credibility – acceleration to 60 mph for the top engine falls from about 6.9 seconds down to just 6 seconds flat.
The XC70 is a niche choice but an exceptional vehicle in a segment flooded with floppy crossovers. How does it compare with the Subaru Outback and the new A4-based Audi allroad?
Updated 8/5/2013: Volvo has just unveiled all of the pricing details for the 2014 XC70. The crossover starts at a base price of $34,500 and peaks out at just over $46k. See all of the details after the jump.
Click past the jump for the full review of the 2014 Volvo XC70 with exclusive images of the new LED fog and running light designs.
2014 Volvo XC70
Horsepower @ RPM:240 @ 6400
Torque @ RPM:236 @ 3200
0-60 time:8.0 sec. (Est.)
Top Speed:130 mph
Layout:Front-engine, Front-drive (AWD Opt.)
This Volvo design only seems like it has been around forever. In fact, the color choice of these images makes it difficult to quickly distinguish between the 2014 model and the past decade of XC70s that also were popular in this bronze hue.
The biggest updates are to the wheels, grille and the fog light bezel designs. The grille is now larger and drops the cross-hatch pattern from before in favor of a jumbo honeycomb internal mesh for the upper grille and a tighter matching mesh below. The fog light bezels are a new, more metallic finish and form just a check over the lamps instead of a rounded box as before. The front and rear bumper skid plates and taillight trims are also this new finish and look sharp - despite losing to the Audi allroad for overall presence and style.
This grille still includes Volvo’s external black box of safety sensors in the left-hand side of the front badge, but the box does not protrude as embarrassingly as the first few generations did. The tech could be much better integrated behind the bumpers or deeper in the grille, such as the similar Cadillac tech that hides all the scanners within the bumpers and grilles.
The LEDs are where the real action is. There is a new white LED vertical blade between the low-beam projector and the high-beam reflector that acts as a daytime running light accent. The LED combines nicely with new dual-xenon lamps. These headlights run four total xenon bulbs for independent high-beam control and truly astounding forward lighting.
This is in contrast the bi-xenon lamps in many other premium cars. The typical design has a motorized shutter inside the single projector ball that repositions the bulb for high beam needs. The Volvo design is rare and offers more total illumination but can be less helpful when flashing to pass.
Xenon bulbs often take a few seconds to power up completely and using a second set for the high beams means they are not as quick-reacting as bi-xenons. It is worth it for the miles of high beam light the XC70 delivers on a dark night.
The fog lamp is now an LED design similar to that used on some high-trim XC90s recently. It uses a single high-power bulb with a quad reflector that produces an extremely bright and crisp appearance on the road. LED fog lamps are also very helpful because the type of light they emit causes road signs to shimmer with clear detail.
The new taillight design is less of a departure but sees brighter LEDs swoop across the shoulder of the Volvo and up the rear pillars. It’s still unique and classy light signature that helps the understated XC70 feel worth the money in traffic.
2014 Volvo XC70 – Exterior Dimensions:
|Track - Front (in.)||63.5|
|Track - Rear (in.)||62.2|
2014 Volvo XC70 – Standard Exterior Features:
- Active dual Xenon headlights with LED accent blade
- Front LED fog lights
- Central power door locks with remote keyless entry, tailgate and fuel filler locks
- Chrome trim accent around side windows
- Hill Descent Control (HDC)
- Power glass moonroof with slide/tilt positions, sliding sunshade and auto-open
- Power heated outside mirrors
- Power tailgate
- Protective bodyside moldings
The interior of the Volvo XC70 for 2014 is defined by the new adaptive digital instruments and the updated Sensus Connected Touch system to control the nav and infotainment functions. The center stack is also redesigned and helps the XC70 to feel wide and extremely luxurious inside. The XC70’s dashboard runs a broad wood trim across its horizontal surface and twin rectangular central vents. This looks much better than the ugly single center vent that mars the cabin of other Volvos.
The adaptive displays are familiar from Jaguar Land Rover but have all-new graphics and features, including a personalized startup screen and three driving themes. From Elegance with traditional gauge faces, to Eco with a green tint and eco monitors, to a red-lit Performance setting that adds a digital tachometer display.
The Sensus Connected Touch runs a dash-mounted 7-inch infrared-mapped touchscreen that can register clicks even if a user is wearing gloves. The Sensus system provides far better navigation performance, Bluetooth voice and audio streaming, 3G/4G web access (via subscription or data tether using a smartphone’s internet) and dozens of must-have app integrations like Spotify and Pandora.
The system is a huge improvement over previous designs and easy in daily use. Traditional climate controls, steering-wheel toggles and dash knobs help make fast changes outside the touchscreen.
The interior of all XC70s is very nice with some of the world’s best seats. These chairs offer bear-hug support and long-haul comfort, as well as safety via side airbags and a whiplash prevention system. The XC70 does without some of the wilder woods and leathers from Volvo’s new Inscription personalization service on the S80, but does come with technical fabric or three leather choices in higher trims.
The base models look slightly nicer than the loaded cars because the T6 models all come with a red cherry wood that is not to all tastes.
There is a lovely cream and saddle color option that looks very nice. As ever, Volvo provides an excellent audio system as standard and it is upgradable to high-performance sound in higher trims. Don’t be fooled by the lack of co-branding by a major speaker maker: this stereo has all the clarity, bump and thump of the competition’s high-dollar optional systems.
The Volvo XC70 comes standard with a backup camera and front/rear parking sensors in most trims. It also includes a power-operated tailgate, power rear headrests and optional power-operated rear child locks (a la the Audi A6).
The major interior options are a front parking camera for $795, blind-spot assist for $700, the tech pack for active safety at $2,200 and a climate pack with heated seats all around for $900.
The rear-facing jump seat in the third row is no longer available as a factory-installed feature, due to some slight safety concerns from the extra-careful company. Dealers will typically install the folding jump seat with seatbelts for about $1,500.
2014 Volvo XC70 – Interior Dimensions:
|Front Seating Capacity||2|
|Rear Seating Capacity||3|
|Headroom - Front (in.)||37.8|
|Headroom - Rear (in.)||38.5|
|Legroom - Front (in.)||41.9|
|Legroom - Rear (in.)||34.6|
|Shoulder Room - Front (in.)||57.4|
|Shoulder Room - Rear (in.)||56.5|
|Hip Room - Front (in.)||54.8|
|Hip Room - Rear (in.)||55.1|
|EPA Cargo Volume (cubic-feet)||33.3|
|EPA Cargo Volume - Rear Seats Folded (cubic-feet)||72.1|
2014 Volvo XC70 – Standard Interior Features:
- New-for-2014 Ambient Light designs for programmable interior LED accent lighting
- Ergonomically Designed Seats: Power Front Passenger Seat; Power Driver’s Seat w/3-Position Memory
- Flat-folding Three-split 40/20/40 Rear Seat; Flat-folding Front Passenger Seat; Power Folding Rear Head Restraints
- Heated Front Seats; Heated Rear Seats; Heated steering wheel
- Power Glass Moonroof
- Auto-dimming Rearview Mirror; Illuminated Vanity Mirror
- Park Assist Sensors, Front and Rear
- Electronic Parking Brake
- Power Retractable Door Mirrors with Ground Lighting
- Volvo Sensus Driver Control Interface: Navigation System w/Voice Control, Real Time Traffic & Map Care
- Bluetooth Hands-free System with Audio Streaming
- Park Assist Camera, Rear
- High-Performance Sound System; Volvo Premium Sound System
2014 Volvo XC70 – Optional Interior Features:
- Remote Engine Start ($499)
- Blind Spot Information System ($700)
- Rear Seat Entertainment (RSE) Dual Screen w/Dual Players ($1,800)
- Park Assist Camera, Front Blind View ($795)
- Technology Package ($2,100): Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Queue Assist; Collision Warning with Full Auto Brake (CWAB); Pedestrian Detection with Full Auto Brake; Distance Alert (DA), Driver Alert Control (DAC), Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Road Sign Information (RSI), Active High Beam
- Climate Package ($900): Heated front seats; Heated rear seats; Heated windshield washer nozzles; Interior Air Quality System (IAQS)
- Dual outboard two-stage child booster seats with adaptive seatbelts and power child rear door locks ($500)
- Dual Two-Stage Integrated Booster Seats w/Adaptive Seatbelts and Power Child Locks ($500)
Drivetrain, Suspension and Brakes
The Volvo XC70 comes standard with front-wheel drive and a smooth-running 3.2-liter in-line-six producing 240 horsepower. This engine is a little overwhelmed by the Volvo’s mass, but can now move the large crossover to 60 mph in a projected 8 seconds. This is a half-second quicker than last year on account of the new "quickshift" programming in the car’s standard six-speed automatic transmission.
The T6 models come with a 3.0-liter turbocharged six-cylinder engine that makes 300 horsepower and 325 pound-feet of torque for a 6.5 second sprint. The T6 comes with AWD as standard, whereas it is a standalone $2,000 option on 3.2-liter XC70s.
The Polestar T6 upgrade is a welcome addition to the price lists and moves performance into the premium category with a projected 6 second 60 mph time. The Polestar upgrade is $1,500 and electronically bumps power outputs by about 25 in both horsepower and torque. There is no official change in fuel consumption – it seems like a smart addition if towing or hauling large amounts of people or cargo.
Both XC70 engines are quoted with a 3,300-pound tow rating and can be had with an optional tow bar.
2014 Volvo XC70 – Mechanical Details:
|Trim Level||XC70 3.2||XC70 T6||XC70 T6 Polestar Engine Upgrade|
|Engine Size and Type||3.2-liter 24-valve I-6 With DOHC||3.0-liter Turbocharged 24-valve I-6 With DOHC||3.0-liter Turbocharged 24-valve I-6 With DOHC|
|Peak power (Horsepower)||240 @ 6400||300 @ 5600||325|
|Peak torque (Pound-feet)||236 @ 3200||325 @ 2100||354|
|Transmission||6-Speed Auto||6-Speed Auto||6-Speed Auto|
|0-to-60 mph||8.0 seconds||6.5 seconds||6.1 seconds|
|Top Speed||130 mph, est||130 mph, est||130 mph, est|
|Fuel Economy Estimates (City/Combined/Highway)||19/NA/25 FWD, 18/NA/24 AWD||17/NA/23 AWD||17/NA/23 AWD|
The Volvo XC70 is one of the safest vehicles ever made and certainly much safer than high-riding SUVs and some crossovers. Every aspect of this Volvo was designed to limit the possibility of crashing and ensure survival in worst-case scenarios.
In addition to all its designed-in safety technology, like the extra-rigid structure that can sit on its roof without deforming, Volvo offers an affordable Tech package that bundles all the latest active safety technologies, like adaptive cruise, city braking, sign-reading tech to display speed limits and automatic high-beams that disengage when another car’s lights are visible in the distance.
Blind-spot assist and the extra front parking camera are optional extras. The $500 power child locks package also includes two child safety seats that fold down from the main rear seat when needed.
|XC70 3.2 Premier||$37,900|
|XC70 3.2 Premier Plus||$39,450|
|XC70 3.2 Platinum||$41,950|
|XC70 T6 AWD||$40,950|
|XC70 T6 AWD Premier Plus||$42,950|
|XC70 T6 AWD Platinum||$45,650|
|All-Wheel Drive with Instant Traction||$2,000|
|7.5" x 18" - "Zephyrus" Alloy Wheels with 235/50-R18 Tires||$750|
|Dual outboard two-stage child booster seats with adaptive seatbelts and power child rear door locks||$500|
|Blind Spot Information System (BLIS)||$700|
|Bright Silver Metallic||$550|
|Flamenco Red Metallic||$550|
|Twilight Bronze Metallic||$550|
|Black Sapphire Metallic||$550|
|Caspian Blue Metallic||$550|
|Active dual Xenon headlights with washers||$800|
|Accessory prep cable||$95|
|Front and rear park assist||$500|
|Heated front seats||$500|
|Crystal White Pearl Metallic||$550|
The Subaru is also large inside with a high roof and a cabin that feels huge but not nearly as luxurious as the Volvo. The Subaru’s boxer 3.6-liter gets similar economy to the turbocharged Volvo unit but runs through a CVT automatic that has a budget-car feel.
The interior trims and plastics are also nowhere near the Volvo, as is noise refinement and infotainment/audio tech. The Subaru comes in standard four-cylinder power that is significantly cheaper than the Volvo but offers similar dynamics and all-weather confidence.
The Audi is a new arrival on the premium cross-wagon scene and is now built on the A4 Avant platform versus the previous U.S.-marker A6-based Allroad. The A4 is a sprightlier performer with better stats all around, but also a small cabin that offers none of the Volvo’s lounge space in the rear. While the Subaru falls at the low end of the XC price range, the Audi allroad is firmly near the top and can reach $50,000-plus with a few options.
Is Volvo finally out of its doldrums after turmoil following its split from Ford? Will the China-focused management be able to balance the disparate wants and needs of Volvo loyalists in America, Europe and now Asia?
Just a few years ago, as the company’s executive leadership pivoted focus to China, attention on Volvo’s American lineup seemed to languish for almost 3 years without changes to match competitors. This is slowly changing and Volvo is rediscovering its charm to create true luxury cars that are safe, unpretentious and well-equipped.
The Volvo approach to luxury is outstanding and the company is trying to avoid sideshows like the unloved C70 cabrio in favor of enhancing the core lineup’s best features. Smooth and quiet is the name of the game. There are no German cars on the U.S. market that ride anywhere near as smoothly as this XC70.
The comfy suspension is more than able to hustle the Volvo in challenging mountain roads – it just does so with slightly more body movement than the BMW 5 series. Precise steering and pedal feel mean the Volvo is always a trusty helper in bad driving scenarios.
It is much bigger than its immediate competition and stands out with a giant trunk and flat load floor. The 2014 Volvo XC70 is now one of the best vehicles around for world-class luxury, deep-snow traction and family safety.
|Driving||B+||New Interior Tech Is Great; Traditional Volvo Comfort and Luxury|
|Performance||B||All XC70’s Are Quicker This Year - Polestar Engine Delightful|
|Look||B-||Detail Refinements Like New LEDs Help Update Classic Shape|
|Value||B+||Can Get Expensive As T6 AWD|
|Overall||B+||Tech And Style Updates Help Correct Previous Issues|