What Changed for 2008:
- Moves from S60 to S80 platform
- New 3.2-liter, inline 6-cylinder engine
- New integrated height-adjustable child seat
- Adaptive cruise control newly offered
- New styling inside and out
- New hill descent control
- Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) now available
- Larger exterior dimensions
- New driver alert control technology
Volvo introduced the XC70 in 1999. Since that first model, the XC70 has basically been a raised, all-wheel-drive (AWD) version of the V70 wagon, and it shared its platform with the S60 4-door sedan. For 2008, the redesigned XC70 is based on the slightly larger S80 platform, but AWD returns. The XC70 retains two rows of seats for 5-passenger capacity, but the turbocharged 5-cylinder engine has given way to an inline 6-cylinder unit. Several new technologies are offered, including hill descent control, adaptive cruise control that comes with collision warning with brake support, BLIS, and Volvo's Personal Car Communicator.
The 2008 Volvo XC70 is offered as a single model. Standard features include dual-zone automatic climate control; alarm; remote keyless entry; AM/FM stereo with 6-disc CD player and auxiliary input jack; roof rails; 40/20/40-split folding second-row seat; cloth upholstery; cruise control; tilt/telescoping steering wheel; trip computer; and P215/65R16 all-season tires on aluminum alloy wheels. A Premium package adds an auto-dimming rearview mirror; universal garage door opener; sunroof; leather upholstery; power passenger seat; and wood trim. A Convenience package comes with a power rear liftgate; interior air filter; rear grocery bag holder; 12-volt power outlet in the cargo area; front and rear park assist; and dark tinted rear windows. The XC70's Climate package has heated front and rear seats; headlight washers; heated windshield washer nozzles; and rain-sensing windshield wipers. Included in the Audio package are Dynaudio premium sound with 650-watt amplifier and Dolby Pro-Logic II Surround Sound; rear seat headphone jacks; and Sirius satellite radio. Stand-alone options consist of 17-inch wheels; integrated dual outboard child booster seats; navigation system; dual-screen rear DVD entertainment system; Blind Spot Information System; Volvo's Personal Car Communicator; active bi-Xenon headlights that swivel when the steering wheel is turned to illuminate curves; speed-dependent power steering with adjustable force level; and adaptive cruise control that also has collision warning with brake support.
The 2008 Volvo XC70 comes with a 3.2-liter, inline 6-cylinder engine that produces 235 hp and 236 lb.-ft. of torque. It replaces a turbocharged, 2.5-liter inline 5-cylinder engine that was good for 208 hp. The transmission also changes from a 5-speed automatic to a 6-speed automatic with a manual shift gate. Fuel economy is estimated by the EPA at 15 mpg city/22 mpg highway. The AWD system is meant for mild off-roading. While it does not have low-range gearing, it comes with hill descent control that uses an anti-lock braking system (ABS) and engine braking to control speeds down steep inclines. The AWD system is biased toward front-wheel drive, but a hydraulically controlled hydraulic clutch can send power to the rear wheels when needed. The XC70 comes with a 4-year/50,000-mile powertrain warranty. The XC70 can tow up to 3300 pounds.
Standard safety equipment on the 2008 Volvo XC70 includes dual front air bags; seat-mounted front side-impact air bags; and side curtain air bags for both seating rows. The side-impact air bags have two chambers: one for the hips and one for the chest. A tire-pressure monitor, ABS with brake assist (BA), traction control and stability control are also standard. Volvo's WHIPS whiplash protection system moves the headrests forward in a crash to lessen the chance of whiplash, Volvo claims. When adaptive cruise control is ordered, it comes with collision warning with brake support. This system uses radar to monitor the area in front of the vehicle. If the car gets too close to the vehicle in front of it, the system flashes a warning light and sounds a buzzer. If there is still no reaction, the system readies the brakes by placing the pads against the rotors and amplifying brake pressure to shorten stopping distances when the driver does react. Later in the model year, Volvo will offer an enhanced system that will also apply the brakes if the vehicle gets too close to the vehicle in front of it. Volvo's BLIS is optional. It uses cameras in the mirrors to detect vehicles in the driver's blind spots and warns the driver with lights. Front and rear park assist is optional. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) have yet to crash test the 2008 Volvo XC70.
Volvo's Personal Car Communicator is a keyless entry system with a fob that can tell the driver whether the car is locked or unlocked and whether the alarm has been triggered. If the alarm has gone off, the fob will indicate if a person is inside the vehicle thanks to a heartbeat sensor. The navigation system is DVD-based and comes with a remote control. A DVD rear-entertainment system with two screens is offered. Due later in the 2008 model year is Volvo's Driver Alert System, which includes Lane Departure Warning and Driver Alert Control. Both use a camera mounted in front of the rearview mirror. If the camera detects the car crossing a road line without the use of a turn signal, the lane-departure warning system sounds a chime to alert the driver. Driver Alert Control analyzes data collected by the camera and evaluates if the driver is in danger of losing vehicle control. If the system determines the driver is driving erratically (due, for instance, to fatigue), it sounds an audible warning and flashes a cup of coffee symbol in the information display to urge the driver to take a break.