Volvo unveiled the third generation of the XC70, a model that started as an experiment and ended up being the most waited model from the Swedish carmaker stable.
Volvo was still under Ford's ownership when it introduced the third generation of the V70 and followed the big carmaker rules when it introduced the new vehicle lineup. It was built on the P3 platform, which other brands from the American carmaker also used. That also allowed all-wheel-drive transmissions and a wide variety of wheelbases.
Stefan Jansson, the chief designer for Volvo, designed the XC70 with a rally-car image in mind. Rally cars were based on regular vehicles but featured modified elements to make them tougher and more capable while running on gravel roads. He installed broader underbody protection at the front and in the back of the car. The black bumpers sported chromed details around the fog lights at the front and the rear reflecting lights. From its sides, the 2007 XC70 featured black moldings on the fenders and the side sills to conceal the larger gap between the wheel-arches and the wheels due to the higher ground clearance than the regular V70 station wagon.
Inside, the XC70 featured a similar interior as its regular sibling. It featured the same minimalist design with a clean dashboard uncluttered by buttons. The center stack was already typical for the Swedish brand, with a panel for the climate controls and the CD-stereo above it. In the back, the XC70 featured a 40/20/40 split-folding bench. The front passenger's seat was also folding and formed an extended loading area from the tailgate to the dashboard.
Despite being part of the Ford, Volvo installed its engines with either five or six cylinders, all turbocharged.
Aware of the 2005 European emission standards, Volvo found itself in the position to update their engines for lower emissions.
As such, the old 2.4-liter unit was dropped and the 2.5-liter engine was updated, becoming available with different specifications: one producing 163 hp and the more powerful version of it, 180 hp.
While EU also imposed certain safety features, the XC70 had already met them at the time and no other improvements were required.
Besides the main reason why Volvo released the facelifted version, the XC70 received a new optional feature - bi-xenon headlights, and a revised steering system.
Otherwise, the XC70 still looked as fresh as before and remained the same sensible family wagon with a reputation for safety.
The XC70 was a great alternative for SUV-intenders, with its all-wheel-drive standard system and a higher ground clearance than expected in a wagon.
An impressive vehicle, the XC70 offered an excellent combination of an all-weather utility vehicle, performance, top safety and luxurious features.
Best known for the safety featured that equipped their models, Volvo offered the XC70 with side airbags for the front passengers, head curtain airbags for the front and the rear passengers, ISO-FIX child-seat attachment points and Volvo’s anti-whiplash protection technology called WHIPS.
Luxurious features included leather upholstery, heated seats and a premium sound system, while other equipments included a DVD-based navigation system, a shopping bag holder for the cargo area and many others.
The first generation of the XC70 Cross Country was a huge success for the Swedish carmaker, and it tried to make a worthy sequel for it.
Volvo introduced the second generation of the XC70 in 2000. While it wasn't as big or luxurious as the Audi A6 Allroad, it offered a similar performance level, good comfort, and, most importantly, a lower price. After all, it was still a premium brand, and it featured a bold design.
Developed on the same base as the V70 station wagon, the XC70 featured a higher ground clearance and black plastic bumpers. Its side black plastic moldings were scratch resistant and handled well against bushes, trolley carts, and dog bites. They didn't resist too well in the sunshine, but other than that were ok. Volvo offered the car with standard roof rails, and the slightly raked tailgate was protected at the bottom by the thick plastic bumper.
Inside, Volvo installed a comfortable lounge with bucket seats at the front and a bench for three in the back. The center stack was tilted toward the driver and, for the passenger, the carmaker installed a handle on the center console.
While the XC70 was not a true off-road vehicle, it handled well on rough, unpaved roads. Its all-wheel-drive system was tuned to send the most torque to the wheel with the best traction. Under the hood, Volvo installed a choice of three engines, which provided between 163 hp and 210 hp.