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Volvo XC70 2006 Review

The XC70 is the four-wheel drive version of the Volvo family favourite V70, a largish wagon, with a raised ride height that is underpinned by an active all wheel drive system.

It has much the same feel as Subaru's Outback, but as a Euro carries considerably more prestige.

Although Volvo has since produced a larger, seven-seat offroader since its inception, the decision to retain the XC70 has been vindicated as it is still the second largest seller in the range behind the XC90 - running at a ratio of about two to one.

#dip#pi9017#th2.5-litre turbocharged, in-line five cylinder engine produces 154kW of power at 5000rpm and 320Nm of torque between 1500 and 4500rpm. It's a smooth, economical unit with no turbo lag to speak off.

#dip#pi9017#thEngine is hooked up to a five-speed, sequential auto that allows the driver to change gears manually if desired.

#dip#pi9017#thPower is fed to all four wheels through an electronically controlled Haldex centre coup- ling.

#dip#pi9017#thAcceleration from 0-100km/h is a brisk 8.0 seconds flat, with a top speed of 210km/h.

#dip#pi9017#thThe all-wheel drive system remains predominantly front-wheel drive during normal driving, but shifts automatically to an equal front and back split when loose surfaces are encountered.

#dip#pi9017#thTRACS traction control system is able to activate and to control each brake caliper individually to control wheel spin.

#dip#pi9017#thWith 209mm of ground clearance this is no off roader, but copes well with dirt roads and icy, slippery conditions.

#dip#pi9017#thAt 1655kg it is the lightest vehicle in its class and has a noticeably lower roofline too when parked beside other off road vehicles.

#dip#pi9017#thFuel consumption is rated at 11.1L/100km. Our test vehicle returned 11.6L/100km during several days of testing. It has a 70-litre tank and premium is recommended but it runs on standard unleaded.

#dip#pi9017#thOur test car was fitted with a large aerodynamic luggage pod. It's adds much needed luggage space, but is suitable only for soft items and can be difficult to close without leverage.

#dip#pi9017#thThe $1860 pod generates quite a bit of wind noise and vibration and precludes the use of the sunroof that was fitted to our car.

#dip#pi9017#thThe extra drag of the pod would of course also add to fuel consumption.

#dip#pi9017#thWe carried three bikes on a bike rack attached to the tow bar. With tthe bikes a bit of luggage, the rear has a tendency to squat and scraping the back is easy to do. As a result we recommend fitting optional self-levelling rear suspension.

#dip#pi9017#thThe car comes with a full quota of luxury accessories, including leather, heated front seats and dual zone climate air. There's also an impressive 11-speaker Dolby sound system, complete with six stack CD.

VERDICT: Priced from $56,950, the XC70 represents excellent value for money. It offers sedan-like ride and handling, but with the security and versatility of a knock around package - one that will be much easier on the pocket than a large 4WD.


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Range and Specs

Lifestyle Edition (LE) 2.5L, ULP, 5 SP AUTO $5,300 – 8,140 2006 Volvo XC70 2006 Lifestyle Edition (LE) Pricing and Specs
SE 2.5L, ULP, 5 SP AUTO $4,400 – 7,150 2006 Volvo XC70 2006 SE Pricing and Specs