2016 Volvo XC70


#9 out of 9 in 2016 Wagons

$26,226 - $33,600

2016 Volvo XC70 Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2016 Volvo XC70 was new.


Performance: 7.2

The 2016 Volvo XC70 doesn't handle as sharply as its rivals, critics say, though it has a peppy engine lineup, a smooth ride and decent traction on rough and slippery roads.

  • Both turbocharged engines deliver exhilarating straight-line acceleration, but you'll want to dampen that enthusiasm when approaching curves as the XC70 sits up high and its suspension trends toward the softer side." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • Dynamically, the XC70 is safe and predictable rather than athletic and sporty." -- Left Lane News (2015)
  • "… numb steering and cushy ride quell any sport-wagon ambitions." -- Car and Driver (2012)

Acceleration and Power

The base XC70 T5 Drive-E FWD has a 240-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, an eight-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive. It gets an EPA-estimated 23/31 mpg city/highway, which is about average compared with the fuel economy of rivals having similar horsepower. The T5 AWD comes with a new 250-horsepower, turbocharged 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine, a six-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive. The T5 AWD gets 19/26 mpg city/highway, which is lower than the fuel economy of most all-wheel drive rivals.

The XC70's base engine makes the wagon feel lively, according to critics, and they say the new five-cylinder engine in all-wheel drive models should be powerful enough for most shoppers.

  • "The inline-5 is more powerful than the 3.2 and just as efficient. It's not as strong as the old turbo 3.0-liter engine, but we believe for most buyers it will still be quite suitable. The front-wheel-drive XC70 keeps the efficient-yet-peppy turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder and eight-speed automatic transmission combo that was introduced last year." -- Edmunds
  • "The 240-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo is quite impressive, both in performance and fuel economy." -- Kelley Blue Book

Handling and Braking

Reviewers say the 2016 Volvo XC70 has a comfortable, quiet ride, even on bumpy roads. With its high ride height and available all-wheel drive, critics note that the XC70 can handle rough and slippery roads without any trouble. However, they complain that it corners with less agility than many competitors. They add that the XC70 leans too much in corners and has steering that is overly light and numb.

  • Where the XC70 shines is with its premium ride, which pleasantly eradicates the nastiest bumps and potholes and handles smaller road annoyances. The too-light steering doesn't seem to match the controlled ride, though, and the XC70 corners less nimbly than many taller crossover SUVs." -- Edmunds
  • Though accurate, the steering is quite light and lacking in feel, while a fair bit of body roll in turns is the price paid for the wagon's SUV-imitating ride height." -- Left Lane News (2015)
  • On the road, the XC70 rides high for a car, but it still feels more planted and maneuverable than a typical crossover SUV. The operative word there is 'feels,' however, as the XC70 is deceptively non-athletic. We haven't driven them back-to-back, but we suspect Volvo's sprightly XC60 crossover would win a handling competition. At least the XC70 is quiet and smooth at speed, and it's genuinely useful in light-duty off-road applications -- think rutted dirt roads and the like." -- AutoTrader (2014)

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