Premium midsize car; Built in Sweden
  • 4-door wagon
  • transverse front-engine/all-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $9,100 – $35,500*

2008 Volvo XC70 Front

2008 Volvo XC70 Rear

2008 Volvo XC70 Interior

2008 Volvo XC70 Profile

  • Interior materials
  • Passenger and cargo room
  • Visibility
  • Fuel economy
  • Rear-seat foot room

Volvo’s XC70 has its charms, among them a roomy cabin, refined drivetrain, and impressive build quality. The T6 adds stronger performance, though not enough to justify its higher price. With either model, options could add a lot to the new-car price, but those costs tend to ease for used-car buyers.


Volvo redesigned its premium midsize wagon for 2008, giving it freshened styling and a power boost. This SUV-flavored wagon was essentially an all-wheel-drive raised-suspension version of Volvo’s V70 wagon, which also was redesigned for 2008. Like the V70, this wagon shared its basic design with Volvo’s S80 sedan. The 2008 XC70 was about 2 inches longer in wheelbase and 4 inches longer overall than its predecessor. It got a 235-horsepower 3.2-liter inline six-cylinder engine to replace a 208-hp turbocharged five-cylinder. The sole transmission was a six-speed automatic with manual-shift capability.

Standard safety features included antilock braking, traction control, an antiskid system, curtain side airbags, and front side airbags. Also standard were hill descent control, dual-zone automatic climate control, a tilt/telescopic leather-wrapped steering wheel, and an eight-way power driver’s seat with lumbar adjustment and memory system. Also available were integrated rear child booster seats and a navigation system. Volvo’s Blind Spot Information System was a new option. Also available were adaptive cruise control, a heartbeat sensor that warned if an intruder was hiding inside the car, an uplevel audio system, satellite radio, and dual-screen DVD entertainment. Potential competitors included the Audi A6 Avant, BMW 5-Series, and Subaru Outback.

Yearly Updates

2009 XC70
A new T6 model joined the XC70 lineup for 2009 with a turbocharged 281-horsepower 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine and a six-speed automatic transmission.
2010 XC70
The 2010 Volvo XC70 was largely unchanged.
2011 XC70
The 2011 Volvo XC70 lineup added a front-drive model with the 3.2-liter six, which gained five horsepower to 240. Meanwhile, the T6’s turbo 3.0-liter six added 19 horsepower for an even 300.
2012 XC70
Several changes appeared on the 2012 Volvo XC70. The dashboard was revised, numerous standalone options were grouped into packages, and a Polestar Performance Package brought a 25-horsepower increase to the turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six.
2013 XC70
New features for 2013 included standard rain-sensing windshield wipers, a revised controller on the steering wheel for the “Sensus” infotainment system, and a new gearshift knob. The headlights added washers and a tunnel mode that automatically turned the lights on when entering a tunnel and shut them off upon exit. Premier, Premier Plus, and Platinum models added keyless ignition and the Personal Car Communicator (PCC) keyfob. The latter two also added active headlamps. Finally, the automatic transmission in T6 models added a sport mode.
2014 XC70
The 2014 XC70 received exterior styling tweaks, and interior updates included revised trim and a new steering wheel design. All models received new instrument clusters, with Base models getting a new analog unit while all other models used a digital display with three driver-selectable themes. New options included a Sport Package for 3.2 and T6 AWD models. The optional Climate Package added a heated windshield and heated steering wheel.


transverse front-engine/all-wheel drive

In the basic XC70 wagon, a 3.2-liter inline six-cylinder engine rated at 235 horsepower mated with a six-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive. A more potent T6 edition with a turbocharged 281-horsepower 3.0-liter engine joined the lineup for 2009. For 2011, a front-drive model with the 3.2-liter six was added, and the six gained five horsepower to 240. Meanwhile, the T6’s turbo 3.0-liter six added 19 horsepower for an even 300. For 2012, a Polestar Performance Package was available that added another 25 hp to the turbo six for 325 total.

dohc I6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.2/195
Engine HP 235
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 236
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed automatic



Turbocharged dohc I6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.0/175
Engine HP 281-325
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 295-354
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed automatic



Road Test

Performance scores well. The base-model XC70 shares its engine and transmission with the V70 but weighs about 200 pounds more. Even so, it moves along nicely. Power is adequate from a stop and there’s enough reserve muscle for fuss-free passing and merging. The T6 version, added for 2009, feels noticeably stronger and does not suffer turbo lag. Volvo’s smooth transmission is quick to respond to throttle inputs.

Fuel economy isn’t a selling point. Base-model XC70s have averaged 20.1 to 20.9 mpg. A T6 averaged 17.7 mpg with slightly more city driving than highway use. Volvo recommends premium-grade gasoline for all models.

Compared to the similar V70 wagon, the raised-up XC70 suffers somewhat from its firmer suspension tuning and unnecessary all-terrain tires. Still, overall ride comfort is good, with only larger road imperfections pounding through the cabin.

Volvo prefers to position the XC70 against SUVs. By that standard, the XC70 is nimble and nearly sporty. Compared to its V70 sibling, the XC70 has slightly less communicative steering and marginally more lean in corners.

Wind and road noise are kept well in check, though the standard all-terrain tires can kick up a fuss on coarse concrete surfaces. Both engines sound refined, and are really only noticeable under hard throttle.

Gauges are large, clearly marked, and easy to read. The XC70’s control layout is simple and generally intuitive. One complaint: Several testers have found the digital bar graph a poor substitute for a conventional fuel gauge.

Cabin materials are padded and/or nicely grained where it matters most. Assembly quality is first-rate. The available Premium Package included leather seating and wood trim that impart a convincing luxury feel.

Front-set occupants can expect plenty of headroom and legroom, even for taller folks. Thin roof pillars and large glass areas combine for excellent all-around visibility.

Rear seats provide decent space for two adults, but three-abreast seating is best reserved for quick trips. Under-seat foot space is tight, compromising comfort when the front seats are far back.

The large, boxy, nicely finished cargo area features flat-folding second-row seats and handy under-floor storage. A storage-lid prop and cargo tie-down points are nice touches. In-cabin storage is limited to an average-size glovebox and center console, as well as a few tiny cubbies.


Model Tested: 2009 Volvo XC70 (Base)

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.


Acceleration - 5
Fuel Economy - 5
Ride Quality - 6
Steering/Handling - 6
Quietness - 7


Controls/Materials - 7
Room/Comfort Front - 8
Room/Comfort Rear - 6
Cargo Room - 8


Value - 7

Total: 65


4-door wagon
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
110.8 190.5 73.3 63.1
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
72.1 18.5 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
38.8 38.6 41.9 34.6
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: N/A Not tested. 4-door wagon


(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
Front Passenger Injury - N/A

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
Rear Passenger Injury - N/A


(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Steering problems
Description: The power steering may quit working intermittently requiring a replacement electronic power steering module. (2008-09)
Suspension problems
Description: A bushing in the rear suspension can fail causing incorrect rear-wheel alignment or camber angle resulting in the vehicle drifting or pulling while in motion. Clunking or knocking noises may also be present on uneven road surfaces. (2008-13)
Description: The auto-up window(s) may go only part way then reverse and go back down due to misalignment of the window of lack of lubrication on the window guides. (2007-09)
Entertainment problems
Description: The infotainment system may quit working as soon as the engine is started but be OK if the key is switched off and back on requiring a software upgrade. (2008-09)
MP3 integration system
Description: A “USB Unreadable” message may be displayed on the infotainment screen on some vehicles and this is not a vehicle problem but a compatibility issue between some iPods and the system. (2009-10)

Recall History

Description: The diagnostic software in the central electronic module (CEM) may cause a malfunction of the windshield wiper functionality. If this condition occurs, the windshield wipers may not operate when activated; or in certain cases the windshield wipers may activate when not switched on. Dealers will inspect the CEM and upgrade the software free of charge.
2008 w/rear integrated booster seats
Description: Label may be missing warning information indicating that death or serious injury can occur if manufacturer’s instructions are not followed when using child restraint systems.
Description: Two software errors have been found in supplementary restraint system control software of some vehicles, which may result in late deployment of curtain and side-impact protection system in certain side-impact crash situations.
Description: Information label on rear driver’s side door pillar may be missing wheel size (rim) information.
Description: Engine cooling fan may stop working due to software programming error; could cause reduced air conditioning performance and/or rapid increase in engine coolant temperature, which may result in engine failure. Dealers will replace the fan control module free of charge.
Description: Under certain conditions, software within central electronic module may not send signal to fuel pump module, inhibiting its operation and causing engine to stall.
2010 vehicles manufactured from December 5, 2006 through October 1, 2009
Description: The FMVSS label, tire and loading information label, and a page in the owner’s manual contain incorrect maximum permissible inflation pressure according to FMVSS 110. The corrective action is to update the vehicles with a new FMVSS label, tire and loading information label and TPMS software. Volvo retailers will also apply a label with correct maximum tire pressure information to the owner’s manual. This service will be performed free of charge.
2010-2011 XC70
Description: There may be an intermittent fault in the driver’s airbag clockspring wiring connector for the supplemental restraint system. In the event of a crash, the driver’s frontal airbag may not deploy as intended or at all, and therefore will not be able to properly protect the driver, increasing the risk of injuries. Dealers will install a metal shim in the driver’s air bag clockspring wiring connector. This service will be performed free of charge.
2011 XC70
Description: The software calibration for the fuel cut-off functionality in the engine control module (ECM) is too sensitive. Sudden engine stall could occur increasing the risk of a crash. Dealers will update the ECM and TCM with new software free of charge.
2012 XC70
Description: Front seat wire harness may not be attached properly to the seat frame and may impact airbag deployment and lap-belt pretensioner in event of a crash.
2013 XC70
Description: The Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) can malfunction because of a software error in the vehicle’s Central Electronic Module (CEM).
2014 XC70
Description: Certain 2014 model year XC70 vehicles equipped with keyless ignition may have a Central Electronic Module that does not function correctly. This can cause the windshield wipers to operate continuously when the ignition is on. There can also be problems with the turn signals, headlight switch, and high-beam headlights.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.


Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.

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