Our one owner, 2014 Volvo XC70 hits a family sweet spot as a vehicle that packs the accommodations of a station wagon and advanced safety-tech features into the chunkier, tougher image and ability of a utility vehicle. Volvo built much of its reputation in the U.S. on wagons; yet if you want anything close to a traditional wagon, the 2014 XC70 is it. With the 'normal' V70 wagon now discontinued here, you have to be willing to accept the XC70's somewhat brawnier look and increased ground clearance. But otherwise, in most respects, the XC70 remains true to Volvo's safety- and utility-minded history and mission--with reasonably strong performance, and some noteworthy active-safety features. Our XC70 is essentially a wagon based on the S80 flagship sedan, but it's positioned alongside the XC60 and XC90 with its chunkier crossover details. It's neither as curvaceous as the XC60 nor as substantial-looking as the XC90, but it impresses as a good mix of tough and sporty from a distance, with a nice stance and prominent body cladding and skid plates that look up to the task of venturing away from pavement. It fits right in with other Volvo cars and crossovers inside, with the same characteristic 'floating' center console, a thin panel housing climate and sound-system controls, with an open storage area just behind. Our Premier model comes with AWD and a 3.2 and a six-speed automatic transmission. This all-wheel-drive version uses the sophisticated Haldex system which sends 95 percent of power to the front wheels under normal driving duties, or up to 65 percent of torque to the rear wheels when needed--making it a good pick for snowy driveways. Our XC70 doesn't at all break from tradition inside, where just like its Volvo-wagon predecessors it has roomy, reconfigurable, and adult-size accommodations. Supportive front seats are sized just right and great for long trips, and the second-row seat is one of the few that proves comfortable for six-footers and is equipped with integral child booster seats; it's split into three separate sections for maximum flexibility, and you can get up to 72 cubic feet of cargo space behind the front seats if you fold the rear seatbacks forward. It's not at all surprising that the XC70 piles on the standard safety systems, and that you have some of the world's most advanced accident-avoidance and active-safety technology. Blind-spot monitoring is an added option as well as navigation plus the new Pedestrian Detection with Full Auto Brake system designed to reduce the speed of impact with pedestrians or at very low speeds, stop the car and completely avoid a collision. . This year Volvo has also added Tunnel Detection to the headlights. Dual-zone climate control, cruise control, keyless entry, a power driver's seat, heated side mirrors, Bluetooth connectivity, and fog lamps are all standard features in the XC70, as well as satellite radio. Includes a moonroof, upgraded wheels, Keyless Drive, the Personal Car Communicator, leather upholstery, and walnut-wood trim and Heated front and rear seats and wiper nozzles, washers for the headlamps, active bi-xenon headlamps, a rear-view camera, and a 650-Watt Dynaudio surround-sound system remain among the many options. The Technology Package, which groups several of the safety systems, the Dynaudio system, and the bi-xenon headlamps. Volvo has also for 2014 improved the steering-wheel-based features of the available Sensus navigation system and screen displays.
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