What began in 1998 as a trim level of the V70, the Volvo XC70 has come around the millennial bend as its own stand-alone model. This mid-size station wagon has never been the wood-paneled clunker of times past. When the trim level was introduced in 1998, Volvo's V70 was unlike any other wagon on the market. It featured Volvo's classic boxy style and superior safety features. Now, after several different incarnations, the Volvo XC70 is a crossover model that has been given seventy new features for the 2008 model year.
The V70's Cross Country trim was hailed as the best level, so Volvo did something unexpected. They made it its own model in 1999. However, it still was not called the XC70. Instead, Volvo kept the name Cross Country and marketed it as a flashy station wagon, what some believed was an oxymoron. Nevertheless, buyers came from far and wide to get their hands on the vampy wagon. The next year brought about even more changes for the Cross Country. This time they changed the name to an abbreviated version. "X" standing for "Cross," and "C" standing for "Country." The "70" was taken from the original V70 model to reflect its roots. This time the name stuck, and Volvo has had great success with the latest iteration of the model.
Originally built with a 2.4L I5 engine that produced 162 horsepower, the Volvo V70 was economically priced and had many safety features for families. Several other engine variations were available, including a few turbo styles. In 2007 the Volvo XC70 received some major changes. Rather than keep the boxy exterior, Volvo opted to smooth out the sharp edges and add a more off-road flair. Also, driver and passengers are well protected in the new model. Several airbags protect the sides, front, and ceiling from an impact. Electronic Stability Control and Traction Control give the XC70 extra protection on winding roads and in inclement weather.
With the highest safety rating, the Volvo XC70 is in the top tier of great vehicles for families on the go. Also, the price of $36,775 is comparable to a bulkier, less fuel efficient Nissan Pathfinder. With 15 city MPG and 22 highway MPG, the Volvo XC70 out-performs the minivans, but does not compare to most compact cars. Volvo plans to keep the newest name and continue expanding and upgrading the wagon. Buyers will also be happy to know that Volvo has vowed to try to make their vehicles more affordable for the average buyer in the years to come. Their goal is to be competitive with several of the top manufacturers in America.