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2012 Volvo XC70 Overview
Volvo builds its rugged crossover wagon, the XC70, for the adventurous family. The 2012 version has been given a slight refresh, notably a new headlight design and new standard safety and technology features.
The XC70 offers 2 engines: a 3.2-liter 6-cylinder with 240 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque (each 3.2 trim is available with front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive) or a 3.0-liter turbocharged 6-cylinder with 300 hp and a whopping 325 lb-ft of torque, which powers all the T6 trims, each of which is AWD.
Levels of trim available are the Base, which has a power driver's seat, cruise control and 8-speaker audio system; Premier (3.2 trims only), which adds leather seating surfaces and a power glass moonroof; Premier Plus, which includes a power tailgate and digital compass; and Platinum, which adds a navigation system and rear-view camera. Sixteen-inch alloy wheels are standard on the 3.2 trims, with 18-inchers standard on the T6s and an available upgrade for the 3.2s. A Climate Package offers both heated seats and heated windshield wiper nozzles.
This year, all trims come with Volvo’s Sensus, a driver-controlled customizable interface that allows a driver to control all the high-tech features of the car from a 5-inch screen at the top of the redesigned center dash, making it easy to see. A push of the My Car button on the console gives you access to everything from the climate controls to the mirrors, which can be adjusted via steering-wheel-mounted controls. This sounds impressive, but some have reported the system to be unnecessarily confusing. If you upgrade to one of the multimedia systems, you can control audio and video from a larger 7-inch screen. All trims come with integrated Bluetooth and streaming audio.
Also standard in this year’s version is an intriguing feature called City Safety, which uses sensors to tell whether the road is congested ahead and automatically reduces speed if necessary to avoid a collision. This feature is automatically triggered below 19 mph. Since it is a Volvo, numerous optional safety features abound in the Technology Package, including pedestrian and/or high-speed collision detection with automatic braking and blind-spot monitoring. All trims come standard with front seat side-impact and side-curtain airbags.
Volvo is known for its seats; early in its history, it hired a spinal specialist to design them for support and comfort. The leather interior colors, such as Sandstone Beige and Espresso Brown, are bold and clean. A classic wood trim comes standard in the T6s. A rear-seat entertainment system is available with a DVD player in the back of each headrest, so the kids will have nothing to fight about.
And there’s plenty of room in the rear seats for all but the tallest folks and lots of cargo room for everything from dirt bikes to scuba gear. Off-road is where the XC70 handles best – it was made to eat dirt and gravel. On smoother surfaces, however, it handles just as well. Still, some feel other midsize wagons are more powerful and fun to drive. Overall, the Volvo XC70 is an excellent choice for the modern family on the go.
by Stephen Moramarco
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