** One of the first of that new breed of vehicles called crossovers, the new model is easily the best XC70 yet. It's a great alternative to conventional sport-utility vehicles, and a more practical, rational choice than a truck-based SUV for most buyers.
Volvo has been almost synonymous with wagon since the
company began selling cars in the United States in the 1950s. In many respects the XC70 is a conventional station wagon, and closely related to the Volvo V70 (also all-new for the 2008 model year). Yet the XC70 is different. It comes standard with fulltime all-wheel-drive, and its suspension is raised to increase both movement range and ground clearance. The XC70 also features dent-resistant lower body cladding and protective skid plates underneath, as well as an electronic system called Hill Descent Control, which makes driving down steep trails easier and safer.
We found the XC70 offers as much off-road capability as most sport-utility buyers will ever need. It can handle some fairly rugged backcountry trails, and it's rated to tow up to 3300 pounds, which is enough for a small boat. Its maximum cargo capacity of 72.1 cubic feet is on par with some mid-size, truck-based sport-utilities.