Monday, November 5, 2012

Used Car Review - Volvo XC70 (2000-2007)

They said that wagons would never go off road and should not have all wheel drive. But Myk Belmonte is impressed with this wagon that can take the roads that lead to nowhere and at the same time, can do your grocery and baby sitting jobs. San ka pa? 

2000-2007 Volvo XC70

This Sweden based carmaker loves to build wagons and have them on their line-up. In fact, more than 15 wagon models had been made by Volvo since 1966. There are wagons that are aimed for small families and as a city duty driver. Volvo made wagons that substituted SUV's for vacation trips and long drives. But the carmaker didn't play it safe when they released the XC70 in the year 2000. They tried to use a wagon body, add all wheel drive, raise it up, and add some plastic cladding.

Peter Horbury - the master designer behind several Volvo vehicles - crafted and designed the second generation model of the V70 series. While the ordinary V70 had no all-wheel drive and a raised suspension, the XC70 is blessed with them. To differentiate them, the V70 looks ordinary while the XC70 is a little bit higher. Production ended for both the V70 and XC70 in 2007 to make way for the third generation model that is launched in the following year.

Viking Motors Inc. (the one who distributes Volvo vehicles in the Philippines) brought in this vehicle to the Philippine market as niche vehicle. Yes, whenever you go to a Volvo dealer you're going to acquire a S60, S40, or on the very least the V40/V50? But, there are adventurous buyers who didn't want the bulk and consumption of an SUV, which meant there is a following for this car. 2008 saw the release of the third gen V70/XC70 and thus, the previous one got the ax the year before that.

Value and Costs
If your wallet and bank account said that you can't afford the newer XC70 that is gleaming on a Volvo dealership, you can have one via the used car market - or better yet, from Volvo's pre-owned section - for just P550,000-P700,000. Your priority is something all around that doesn't have the bulk yet efficient all around, this is one of the few sensible choices if that is the criteria.

Among all the items that should be inspected in the car before driving it off in the lot, is the suspension system. Why that? It is a raised vehicle and you'll need it at all times. Have it abused by the previous owner, you'll get the trouble of replacing it with brand new ones. Another area of concern is the turbo especially if the one whom your buying your unit drives like crazy.

Exterior and Interior
For the outside looks, you may say that it is the end result when the V70 and an American SUV mated. The increased height mean't protection against stones and floods, not going hard core off roading. In the end, do not take this one to Mount Pinatubo or you'll end up stuck.

As with all Volvos, controls are placed near the driver's reach. Pressing or pushing the buttons would let you say that money is well spent, since they are made of high quality materials. Aluminum is a welcome feature than wood that is fake and prevalent among vehicles that are priced more. There are not much cubby holes but there are numerous pockets spread across the passenger cabin. A strong suit of this vehicle is that you can nearly fit anything in the cargo area (even a corpse! But don't attempt it ok?) thanks to the boxy exterior. If you plan to use it as a family vehicle, they will thank you for that since it can fit five people in comfort.
Only one engine is available for PHDM XC70's, and this is a 2.5 I5 gasoline engine that has 210hp at 6,000rpm and 285Nm at 1,800-5,000rpm. This engine can be driven at any range thanks to a wide range of revs. You can drive it fast, and you can drive it slow, but be ready to pay the price at the pump.

Driving Impressions
Driving this beast at highway maximum speeds would show a different behavior when handled in a graceful manner. It would be better to let the computer work the gears for you than using the manu-matic mode, since it is not smooth. It accelerates in an impressive manner and stops in a dime, which defies its extra weight. Have it treated with a corner and it would show some understeer and having some wheelspin. Don't compare the driving characteristics of the XC70 to a BMW X5, but this alone is decent enough for everyday living.

Question to Myk: If there is one car you want to own it during your lifetime (which means no purchases or trades until death), what would it be? Answer: Among all the cars available, it would be the Volvo XC70. It has the capabilities of a wagon, the flood-wading skills of an SUV, the riding comfort of a sedan, and not awkwardly looking like a van.

The Good:
  • Very practical
  • Ok performance
  • Tons of space
The Bad:
  • Some desire high ground clearance
  • Unpainted bumpers looks cheap
  • Safe looking
The Pick: Any well maintained unit, since there is no choice

Engine: 2.5 I5 gasoline
Power: 210hp @ 6,000rpm
Torque: 285Nm @ 1,800-5,000rpm
Fuel Consumption: 6-8km/L (city), 8-10km/L (highway) (*estimated and varies)
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
Suspension: Front McPherson strut, rear multi-link

Price (New): P2,900,000-P3,200,000 (range from 2000-2007)
Price (Now): P550,000-P700,000
Rivals: Volvo V70, Subaru Outback
On Sale: 2000-2007

Volvo Makati - 893-6621
Habrec -

Photos courtesy of

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