Volvo XC70 Performance
Critics say that the 2014 Volvo XC70 is a tepid performer, with so-so acceleration with the base engine and less agile handling than competing wagons. The XC70 also has poor fuel economy for its class. Even so, reviewers think that the ride is comfortable, and they say the available turbocharged engine greatly improves acceleration. They also agree that the XC70 has good traction on dirt or snow-covered roads.
- "The base model's 3.2-liter engine is only a so-so performer, and while it's tempting to get the more powerful turbocharged engine in the T6, the resulting fuel economy isn't much better than that of some larger crossover SUVs that offer more room for both passengers and cargo. The Volvo XC70's handling and braking abilities are also underwhelming compared with other midsize wagons." -- Edmunds
- "If you like getting off the beaten path, but you also like to be coddled when traversing paved roads, the 2014 Volvo XC70 wagon has you covered." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "Compared to traditional station wagons, XC70 has slightly less communicative steering and the body leans marginally more in corners." -- Consumer Guide (2013)
Acceleration and Power
The base 2014 Volvo XC70 3.2 features a 240-horsepower, 3.2-liter six-cylinder engine and a six-speed automatic transmission. The more powerful XC70 T6 AWD comes with a turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine that generates 300 horsepower and a six-speed automatic. The EPA estimates that the base 2014 XC70 gets 18/26 mpg city/highway, and the T6 AWD gets 17/24 mpg, both of which are poor for the class.
Critics are not impressed with the acceleration offered by the XC70’s base engine, although they say it is adequate for most passing and merging maneuvers. They much prefer the remarkable power provided by the turbocharged model. Most reviewers agree that the six-speed automatic is smooth-shifting and responsive in either model.
- "Equipped with the 3.2-liter engine, the 2014 Volvo XC70 provides adequate but underwhelming acceleration. The turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder under the hood of the T6 model makes this wagon feel much more responsive, both around town and on the highway." -- Edmunds
- "The base XC70 models are propelled by a 240-horsepower 6-cylinder engine that provides acceptable acceleration and passing power. For those who prefer a more spirited run, the T6's turbocharged 300-horsepower engine is far more desirable." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "In 3.2 models, power is adequate from a stop, and there's enough reserve muscle for drama-free passing and merging. T6 is notably stronger and does not suffer from turbo lag. In all versions, the smooth automatic transmission quickly responds to throttle inputs." -- Consumer Guide (2013)
Handling and Braking
Most test drivers say that the 2014 XC70 isn’t very agile because of soft suspension tuning and a high ride height. However, reviewers agree that the XC70 has a comfortable ride. Automotive journalists also say that the XC70 can handle dirt or snow-covered roads pretty well.
- "The comfort-tuned suspension gives the XC70 the plush ride quality you'd expect from a luxury car. Unfortunately, this softer tuning, plus the higher ride height, limits the XC70's handling abilities around turns. Other luxury wagons are noticeably sportier." -- Edmunds
- "The XC70 can take on light off-road challenges or deep snow with ease." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "Still, overall ride comfort is good, with only larger road imperfections pounding through the cabin." -- Consumer Guide (2013)