Volvo's XC70 Result of Evolution

Article excerpt

Byline: Sue Mead, SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES

As a natural evolution of Volvo's first front-wheel-drive model, the 850, this Swedish automaker introduced the all-wheel-drive XC70 station wagon for the 1998 model year.

A decade later, the third generation 2008 Volvo XC70 reaches a market now familiar with the term "crossover" due to overwhelming success and increasing competition in this segment.

The newest model gets safety, technology, and design upgrades and is a more capable player in the backcountry.

Popularity of sport-utility-derived crossovers has prompted Volvo to embolden the XC70's exterior design for 2008.

In contrast to past XC70 models that shared their platform with the midsize and volume-selling S60, the new 2008 model borrows architecture from the recently redesigned flagship, the Volvo S80.

One well-equipped model, the XC70 3.2 AWD, is offered at a base price of $37,520 including a $745 destination charge.

At more than 4,000 pounds, the XC70 is propelled competently, although hardly briskly, by the 3.2-liter inline six-cylinder engine with 235 horsepower and 236 pounds-feet of torque.

Features such as Variable Intake System Cam Profile Switching enhance power and efficiency, and the XC70 manages to achieve 15 city and 22 highway miles-per-gallon under the tougher 2008 Environmental Protection Agency standards. …