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Photos: 2008 Volvo XC70

Although on the pricey side, the 2008 Volvo XC70 is a good-looking practical wagon that feels like it can go anywhere. Its safety tech is incredibly innovative, but Volvo needs a more integrated strategy for cell phones and digital music players.

CNET Reviews staff

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The XC70 is the off-road version of the V70 station wagon, enhanced with all-wheel-drive, descent control, and more clearance. During our time with the XC70, we felt like it could go anywhere.
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Volvo's styling has changed from its boxy cars of the past. The XC70 and V70, with their smooth lines, are the nicest-looking wagons we've seen in a long time.
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The 3.2-liter straight six engine in the XC70 represents a good compromise between power and economy. We enjoyed its quick throttle response.
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The XC70 seats four very comfortable, offering plenty of head-room.
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Volvo offers quite a few safety technologies in the XC70, including adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and a blind spot warning system.
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As a wagon, the XC70 offers plenty of cargo room. You could easily include luggage for four.
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Our XC70 was optioned up with leather seating surfaces, wood inlays, and a sunroof.
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The XC70 uses fairly simple audio controls on the wheel. We also liked its steering response.
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The instrument cluster is very high-tech, with message displays in the center of the speedometer and tachometer.
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We love the design of the center stack, which is built as a panel stretching from the dashboard to the shifter, leaving space behind it.
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The six speed automatic works well enough in the XC70, but its manual mode delivers slow shifts.
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The auxiliary input is hidden in the center console, but unfortunately doesn't have a 12 volt power point next to it.
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Sirius satellite radio came with the premium sound system on our XC70, and is also available a la carte.
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Along with the paper white radio display, we like the design of the display's graphics, such as this one for the FM tuner.
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The single CD slot in the stereo can read MP3 CDs, and show ID3 track information.
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The stereo lets you navigate folders on MP3 CDs, but we weren't impressed with this part of the interface.
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As an option in our XC70, we had rear seat audio controls, which let the rear seat passengers plug in headphones and control the music.
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As part of the premium sound package, the XC70 had 12 Dynaudio speakers. It also came with a dealer-installed Garmin Nuvi 760, a strange option considering you can get a built-in navigation system.
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The audio system offers a lot of different settings, including the ability to turn up the surround sound level.
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The sound system also has graphic equalizers for the front and rear, letting you fine-tune the audio quality.

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