XC90 vs. XC70
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    Thread: XC90 vs. XC70

    1. #1

      XC90 vs. XC70

      Hello everyone. I was wondering if any of you when buying the XC90 were also considering the XC70. And, if so, what factors made you decide one way or another? Seems like a lot of the hardware is similar (assuming 2.5T engine). Does anyone know if one is more capable in inclement weather? Does it boil down to 7-passenger vs. 5-passenger, XC90 SUV-style and add'l interior room, better gas mileage and slightly lower price for the XC70? I am also wondering if Volvo worked out most of the kinks on the XC90 in the 2005 MY.

      Contrary to Volvo's marketing strategy, I am actually open to both vehicles, but am having a hard time deciding between the two, so any insights (or real world applications) would be appreciated.

      Thanks.


    2. #2
      Member ig_mb's Avatar
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      Re: XC90 vs. XC70 (Rorschach)

      After driving the XC90, for me the decision was very clear and didn't need to check any other car. ymmv, of course.

      May I suggest you take both out for a drive? You may find the higher ride of the XC90 more appealing... or not. Or you may find the smoother ride of the XC70 more appealing.

      Weather wise, my guess is that they are probably equally capable. The center of gravity is roughly at the same place for both vehicles so any tendencies due to the COG position will be similar. The XC90 has DTSC and other stablizing acronyms which are very, very effective. I don't know how the XC70 compares on this. I haven't actually compared numbers but it wouldn't surprise me if the '70 had better aerodynamics than the '90.

      And, with the xc90 you get a spot at Skip Barger's event -- a very fun thing to do!

      2005 S60 2.5T AWD
      2004 XC90 T6 AWD

    3. #3

      Re: XC90 vs. XC70 (ig_mb)

      I posted this in another forum:

      I recently (2-3 wks ago) moved from an 01 XC70 (lease) to a new XC90 (2.5 T). Other than a couple of annoying quirks (which were never resolved by the dealer), our 70 served us (wife, 2 kids - 6,9) well for 3 yrs, 40K miles. At the end of our lease, we weighed the +/- of each vehicle for our situation. My wife loved her 70, and was inclined to get another. We had an 04 XC70 loaner (while our car was in for service) so we were able to experience the upgraded transmission, engine, steering. Definite improvements over our 01.

      While the 90 had more space/seating/towing capacity (all things that an active, growing family could use) than the 70, we had developed an "anti-SUV" mentality (inefficient, wallowing, and environmentally irresponsible vehicles). But before we signed up for a new 70, I "suggested" to her that we at least try the 90 before making a decision.

      I contacted the owner of our dealership, and asked if we could try a 90 for the weekend before our lease was up. He didn't have a demo which was configured the way we wanted it, but his wife drove the exact car we wanted to evaluate. She graciously cleared out her (and her kid's) stuff, and I picked it up on a Friday night for the wekend. Pretty nice.

      We used it all weekend. First thing I did was wash it. I find this the best way to get to know a vehicle's exterior qualities (relative scale, quality of materials, fit, finish, etc). Also wanted to get a good feel for its appearance when "buffed". Took the kids, dog, etc. to baseball, out for ice cream, put it in the garage, took it solo on my favorite local "twisties"/highway, parked it in the driveway and stared at it from all angles.

      Time will tell on it's longevity, but so far, my feeling is that FOR US, the 90 obviates the 70. There is nothing the 70 does better (other than a small gas mileage differential) than the 90, and there are a few major areas where the 90 is superior.

      1. The price difference is negligable (our 90 has Premium, Versatility, Climate pkgs, DSTC is standard, also has reverse warning system, towing).

      2. I find the handling and ride comfort superior to the 70. The feel is more precise and pleasant on the backroads as well as the highway. The transmission is very smooth, and seems to be well "sorted".

      3. The seating capacity is superior, and safer/more comfortable for "third-row" occupants. The additional air-conditioning system in the "way back" is great when people are sitting there, as well as when the seats are down and the dogs are back there. We have friends who were uncomfortable with their kids riding in the rear-facing seats of the 70, thus precluding some car-pooling opportunities. Riding "backwards" also induced car-sickness in one of our kids. I also have been toying with the concept that the increased passenger hauling is actually more environmentally responsible as it facilitates car-pooling kids to school, practices, etc. thus, in effect doubling the MPG by keeping another vehicle off the road. A slightly larger vehicle more environmentally-friendly? If used properly, maybe.

      4. The increased towing capacity provides for a more useful/versatile vehicle in the event that we need/desire to pull a horse trailer (wife's), boat, camper, etc.

      5. The higher "stance" of the vehicle may provide better protection in the event of collision (especially side-impact).

      6. The "Go" factor for the 2.5T is fine for our around town, family-style driving. My wife does not share my "need for speed", and I have a motorcycle for that. In my mind, "real" speed/performance and family travels don't mix. The reported mileage of many other 2.5T owners is around 20 MPG (+/-) in combined city highway driving.

      Again, FOR US in our circumstances/lifestyle, we felt it was a vehicle that we could "grow-into", rather than "out of", maintaining all of the intelligent, people/environmentally friendly qualities of Volvo Design/Engineering, without sacrificing anything of consequence.

      Just one opinion...


    4. #4

      Re: XC90 vs. XC70 (Interested)

      I appreciate the insights. It has been very helpful. Just a few lingering thoughts revolve around price (I know that the MSRPs on the 2 vehicles after-options is relatively the same, but I'm sure you can negotiate a lower price), and ongoing reliability. I heard that the reliability for the XC90's first year was poor, and I'm wondering how many of the kinks they were able to work out by MY2005.

      In any case, I think both vehicles make sense, and I'll test drive both and see where I end up.

      Thanks again.


    5. #5

      Re: XC90 vs. XC70 (Rorschach)

      "I heard that the reliability for the XC90's first year was poor, and I'm wondering how many of the kinks they were able to work out by MY2005"

      We have a 2003, pretty early - march '03 build date. At first it seemed as if the reliability of this car was going to hell. We even had a problem the day we took it home. But now after about a year and 2 months of ownership, those problems are a distant memory. Sure they were a pain, but all were eventually fixed. We have had an XC70 loaner many times (about 8) since owning this car haha, and I have to say that it would be impossible to move down. We don't use the XC90's size in the same way that others do, but really appreciate what a large car it is when we get a loaner. The XC70 is a great car, just a little small for me. I think it would be easy to move up but pretty hard to move down to the XC70. I am a 2003 buyer, and to this day am happy about my purchase and wouldn't want any other car.

      2003 XC90 2.5T
      2000 S70 GLT SE

    6. #6
      Global Moderator GrecianVolvo's Avatar
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      Re: XC90 vs. XC70 (Rorschach)

      Quote, originally posted by Rorschach »
      I heard that the reliability for the XC90's first year was poor,

      Says who? The lawn mower/toaster/washing machine/refrigerator specialists?

      There were some minor (but naggin issues) but there were taking after th initial batch of 2003 models were rolled off. MY04 XC90s have LARGELY been uneventful.

      Yannis

      2001 Volvo V70 T5 M SR, Classic Red/Graphite Lthr, TME Stage II ECU, 3" Downpipe w/ Cat-back exhaust from MTE, Volvo Roadholding & Lowering Kit w/ Nivomats, 17" PEGASUS, Rear Spoiler, Dolby Surround Sound
      2015.5 S60 T6 Drive-E, Crystal White Pearl w/ Beechwood/Black Sport leather Climate/Platinum/BLIS/Park Pilot/Sport w/ 19" BOR

    7. #7
      Member Mr. P's Avatar
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      Re: XC90 vs. XC70 (GrecianVolvo)

      Since the drivetrains and parent company is the same, I would suspect the XC70 is probably one of the most awesome "station wagon" sized vehicles on the planet, if not "the" single most awesome package. I looked seriously at one, I think they are very cool, but the XC90 has so much more room, more ground clearance, etc., for our particular needs, including towing an antique mahogany boat up onto the ridgetop where we live.

      Mr. P

      2005 XC70 2.5 AWD, 2008 XC90 3.2 AWD, 1983 928S 5-speed, 1984 944, 1990 S2 Cabriolet, 1974 TVR 2500-M..

    8. #8

      Re: XC90 vs. XC70 (GrecianVolvo)

      That's good to know. I just heard that the reliability was poor from Consumer Reports, but also complaints I've read on forums. Typically, they don't sound like huge issues, but require a trip to the dealership, which increases hassle factor.

      Our family has had 5 (going on 6) volvos, so I generally know what to expect, but I've never bought one immediately after a new model release, so I wasn't sure how to gauge these "reliability issues".


    9. #9
      Member Mr. P's Avatar
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      Re: XC90 vs. XC70 (Rorschach)

      http://www.motortrend.com/road....html

      Virtually everything I've heard, except a few "complainers" on various forums, about the Volvo drivetrains has been good. The 5-cyl turbo is a great motor, but with the XC the horsepower to weight ratio isn't the best in the world, however, it's still able to perform better (i did say better) than a $70,000 as tested Lexus LX 470, which it beats in the 0-60 (by a hair) and the quarter mile (which it beats by a hair) but importantly, the light weight aluminum turbo allows perfect 50/50 balance in the XC, and this equates to a significantly better speed through the slalom.

      The XC will go through the 600-foot slalom at 60.3 mph, while the Lexus does it at 56, the Navigator does it at 59.9, the $74,000 Range Rover does it at 57.6, and the Infiniti QX56 does it at 58.5 mph.

      The so called "new model" is actually a drive train that has been around quite some time.

      Mr. P

      2005 XC70 2.5 AWD, 2008 XC90 3.2 AWD, 1983 928S 5-speed, 1984 944, 1990 S2 Cabriolet, 1974 TVR 2500-M..

    10. #10

      Re: XC90 vs. XC70 (Rorschach)

      My mother has an '01 V70XC and an '03 XC90 T6. The main reason she moved up was for the 3rd row. She lives both in New Mexico and Colorado, and when she moved up to the XC90, the V70XC went down to New Mexico (where we also have a 240) and the XC90 is in CO where there is only one car. With the third row, she can take us all to wherever we need to go (albeit a little squished) without having to take two trips.

      Having the opportunity of driving both vehicles through bad weather, I must say both are quite capable. I don't think either car offers anything technical the other doesn't (except for the T6 engine and the roll-over protection, which are important for the SUV), I think it's more of a size issue. Personally, I much prefer the wagon. The SUV is just too big for my tastes. I don't like sitting so high (makes me nervous). But I certainly don't mind driving around in it while I'm visiting. It's a nice car. The wagon suits me more, and I can only imagine what the new ones are like given as how I'm loving my S60 AWD.

      1965 White PV544, 1966 Cream 220, 2004 Ruby Red S60

    11. #11
      Junior Member XC-Ski's Avatar
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      Re: XC90 vs. XC70 (exizldelfuego)

      Quote, originally posted by exizldelfuego »
      Having the opportunity of driving both vehicles through bad weather, I must say both are quite capable. I don't think either car offers anything technical the other doesn't (except for the T6 engine and the roll-over protection, which are important for the SUV), I think it's more of a size issue.

      Pretty much. The 90 fits me better but that's a personal thing. It also tows more and has better off-road capability, also important in my choice. The 70 is quicker, easier to park, and better for carrying things on the roof.