XC70 excels in both safety and technology

Let’s start with a disclaimer: I own a Volvo. It’s an older model sedan and very square — but I love it. So much, in fact, that it’s sitting in storage for the winter; exactly the season where the all-new XC70 excels.

Wagons, and Volvo still uses the term, are the company’s bread and butter.

What makes the combination of rugged looks and wagon underpinnings a success is simple: People don’t drive off-road very much … on purpose, at least. Drivers prefer the XC because of its commanding view of the road, car-like handling, and great versatility. Even the body-coloured bumper caps help fend off silly parking lot mistakes by protecting the paintwork. Volvo takes only the simplest and most practical off-roader attributes for the XC — including all-wheel-drive.


Safety? Well let’s just say it’s life insurance with four wheels: Dual front airbags, dual side airbags and inflatable curtain airbags, whiplash protection system, ABS, electronic brake distribution and assist, stability control and traction control are all standard equipment.

You want options? How about $750 for a camera that warns you if someone/something is in your blind spot? Or radar cruise control that adapts to traffic? Or a lane departure system that will vibrate the seat if you stray from your lane? Or Driver Alert Control, in which a camera measures the distance between the vehicle and lane markings.

The base price for the XC70 is $46,495. A bit steep, yes, but it’s the price of owning a vehicle that is among the safest and most versatile on the road.

I just wish it were a little more square.

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