A great alternative to an SUV
Integrated booster seats for 3-8 year olds.
Volvo image in the country.
Interior storage space pockets/ console etc not up with a Ford Territory.
Volvo image in Sydney’s North Shore.
Rear vision (needs a minimum of sensors, and a camera would be great).
People who run into parked cars.
Smooth, solid and “that’s more power than I thought a Volvo had”.
Noticed some chop in the suspension on the speed humps at the office.
Who said they would buy one:
Pregnant friend living in eastern Suburbs (currently looking at 2nd hand BMW wagon).
Friend with 2 kids and a Ford Territory.
The office Volvo driver.
The Boss (also looking at the Ford Territory and Toyota Prado).
Who said they wouldn’t:
Most single people.
People who said it was nice, but not sexy
Drive to work:
Very pleasant and refined, plenty of power when required and an above average stereo. Needs Sat Nav and a Bluetooth car kit to turn it into my mobile office. Why is every driver in St Ives cutting me off? (It’s like Volvo’s are invisible). I quickly became a Volvo activist
Weekend in the Country:
The XC70 cruised beautifully along the M2, M7 and M4 before climbing up the Blue Mountains and proceeding on to the Central West town of Orange. The cruise control has a tendency to let the speed creep up a little on downhill runs, which can cost you your license in this highly policed state.
This is where I felt most at home in the Volvo. The car still has respect in the country, where it is viewed as a rock solid, reliable and safe luxury vehicle. The North Shore Mum’s taxi, or doddering old fool image seemingly hasn’t crossed the Great Dividing Range.
The XC70 stands proud in the car parks of local wineries, the golf club and my motel. Unfortunately someone didn’t think so, as they left a nice gouge in the front mudguard. This incident aside, it was a great weekend, and the car was faultless on a variety of road surfaces.
Work trip to Wollongong:
An uneventful trip thanks to the XC70. Thick fog and torrential rain between Sydney and Wollongong usually induces a little nervousness as everyone rushes blindly into the haze. The combination of AWD, solid chassis, front and rear fog lamps and good all round demisting features are impressive.
The car is again at home on the open road.
Detour in a National Park:
The opportunity to take an AWD turbo car up a twisty hill in a national park was too good to miss. The XC70 performed beautifully for a car of its size and weight, climbing effortlessly up the steepest of gradients. It’s not a WRX, but few family wagons/ SUV’s could match the grace and poise of the Volvo, which even provides smile inducing power oversteer on sweeping corners. Yes, I would prefer the Subaru Liberty 3.0RB or GT for this job, but their lack of rear leg room prohibits me from buying one.
Had a look at www.volvocars.com.au, it provides the basic information, but is not overly exciting. A quick look at car review web sites show that some customers have had electrical issues, but as a whole the cars are reliable. One reviewer stated he would not be alive had he been driving any other car (hit by an SUV on a US freeway). Australian reviews were also kind, apart from some questions raised about the suspension performance on dirt roads.
A great car family car with a bit of mongrel when required. Definitely have a drive if you are looking at a Territory, Falcadore wagon, Touareg, XC90, Liberty Wagon, Mazda 6 Wagon or similar.
Given that recent price drops make the XC70 good value for money, it will only take an image change from Volvo to have us all driving one.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 11th March, 2006