Owner Review

2012 Volvo Xc70 D5 Review

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I bought my XC70 second hand - 18 months old and with the majority of the extended (5 year) warranty left on it. It was immaculate with 25,000km on it.

I was in the market for an AWD (for snow and father-in-laws dirt driveway which is 10km long and is a regular mud-bowl), safe (2 kids - 2 and 4 yo), fuel efficient (900km/wk), large wagon (I sometimes sleep in the back so it needed to be 2m length) vehicle.

SUV's were good - but not fuel efficient. The VF Commodore was just about right - but then not AWD (not HUGELY important for me) - but nearly got me with the VF Calais wagon.

The XC70's wagon area is great - seats folded it allows my 2.1m long Swag to roll out in total. The boot space details (packing rails, in-built nets, cargo dividers etc) are fantastic. I would rather swap the tray underneath (it uses gas struts for it to open!) for a full size spare, however.

On my drive (freeway 80%, suburban 20%) I obtain 6.8L/100 on average, cruise control set to 110km/h GPS speed for the HWY driving. Advertised 5.9L/100 freeway, 6.9l/100km Combined so I am pretty happy with that. The 70L fuel tank means I fill up once in a working week - which is awesome. I've owned other SUVs that advertise the same figures (X-Trail, Tiguan, Prado) - but too often these heavy vehicles achieve no where near their laboratory fuel test figures.

The leather heated seats are supremely comfortable. Just outstanding. To VW/ Audi and Merc owners (previous vehicles) - it is a lie that those hard seats leave you feeling refreshed at the end of the trip! Further - the rear seats have those Volvo built-in child booster seats for toddlers over 4 years of age. I have confirmed via email with Volvo Australia that these satisfy every Australian state's laws on Booster seats. Its not my regular family car (else I would still buy a full-on booster) so it only occasionally see's the 4 year old in it for a trip to the shops or similar. The booster seats mean I don't need to buy a $450 booster or move the one we have between our two cars.

The sound system sounds great - a common Volvo theme. It has a DVD player in it, far more equaliser controls that I know what to do with, and the actual screen is fantastic to read. A downside is the bluetooth audio streaming isn't great - you still need to click on your phone. My 2012 Honda Civic had a better system than this. Sound quality and bluetooth phone calling is crystal clear, however.

The car feels like it is built like a tank - it weighs 1900kg's for a station wagon so there are no surprises there I guess. That's one of its downsides also - it doesn't like to take corners quickly. That's great for me - I prefer the slightly cushier ride due to my freeway driving, however if you live around a place with lots of twists and turns I can see this being an issue. I think on higher spec models you can get one with damper controls for the suspension.

Volvo Servicing was a surprise! Quoted at North Shore Sydney dealership for the 30,000km service with $955, at an independent specialist in the Eastern Suburbs for $510, and one in the Hills district for $750. Then I tried local (Moss Vale) Volvo who quoted $460 for the lot, including a 2 year brake fluid flush. I noticed this theme with my Merc as well - Country dealerships are phenomenally cheaper.

The power in the vehicle is simply awesome. Excellent over-taking ability, can be very quick off the line and sounds great doing so. That's without the Polestar Performance Chip ($1495) which adds 11Kw and 30Nm to the 158kw/ 430Nm. I won't be needing that.

Overall - I am stoked with the car. I can sleep in it, it's the safest car for long-distance cruising with a family I could find (for $45,000-odd in Feb 2014), it has AWD for my particular circumstances, it's got heaps of room for the family trip away and its got 15,000km service intervals. Doing 38,000km/ year that is important. Find me a $45,000 car that is this safe and has this kind of fuel efficiency with AWD (and has a 2.1m load area).

Other cars considered;
Isuzu MU-X (seats not flat fold, fuel far worse than advertised)
VF Calais (Not AWD, I'm a Holden Skeptic)
Mitsu Outlander (less fuel efficient, less room, less safety)
Toyota/ Honda anything (10,000km service intervals)
Peugeot 508/ 4007 (either not AWD or very old design)
Skoda Octavia Wagon (new one - very nearly got this - but lacked AWD and wagon area was a fair bit smaller - plus the Volvo seats just have to be tried to be believed).