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Yesterday afternoon I was introduced to my vehicular mate for the week. The man responsible for acquainting me with all controls in the Volvo XC70 T6 AWD made mention of a few somewhat surprising facts. 

Firstly, many customers who trade-in for an XC70 are switching from a BMW X3 or X5. His belief is also that many a former Audi Allroad driver didn’t appreciate that car’s reliability. Secondly, XC70 buyers love options. The car I was driving represented that fact well: at about $55,000; it sits beneath GoodCarBadCar Towers with a price some $11,000 more than a basic XC70. Cloth seats? Uh…. no.
Finally, the XC70 is a truly admired Volvo, certainly in this eastern portion of Canada. More Volvo clients around here choose the XC70 (base price $1,600 more than a basic mechanically and visually similar V70) than any other Volvo.

As for The Good Car Guy’s early impressions, they centre around a few obvious bits of knowledge. Versatility, visibility, and joie de vivre. XC70s are gigantic; in a good sense. Contrasted with that previously mentioned sport-activity vehicle, the BMW X5, both of which escape normal automotive classification, this sport-utility wagon  can handle 292 more litres of cargo even though its body length is a couple centimetres shorter on a wheelbase that’s about 13 centimetres shorter. True, the BMW can tow a trailer nearly twice as heavy and is as fuel efficient in comparable six-cylinder mode. By the EPA’s reckoning, even the V8 BMW X5 is only a couple miles per gallon worse than the XC70.
Therein lies the Volvo XC70’s greatest issue. Although yet to be determined in The Good Car Guy’s real-world situation (to be described thoroughly at AutoEnergy) the Volvo’s EPA ratings and Natural Resources Canada ratings are not pleasant to behold. Assuming you’ll save money at the fuel pump because it’s basically a car and not an SUV is, well…. poor assuming. 
The turbocharged inline-six with 281 horsepower is rated at 15/22 in the city and highway by the EPA. Downsizing to the (larger capacity) naturally aspirated XC70 bumps only the highway figure; and only by a solitary mile per gallon. 
There’s plenty more to come, all about which you can read at this XC70 link. Click any of The Good Car Guy’s images to see a larger view.