2009 Volvo XC70 DRIVe

Volvo XC70 DRIVe Takes Its First Ride in 09

After almost a year in development, and lots of fun spy shots hitting websites, the Volvo DRIVe system is in full effect. Take a spin in the 2009 Volvo XC70 DRIVe. This sleeper-off roader (Yes, it’s on its way to become a 4×4) was taken for a spin by the folks over at UK’s Car Magazine. Don’t panic, it’s still on sale. The front-wheel drive XC70 has been introduced along with a front-drive XC60, both cars, according to the magazine, are “cheaper and less polluting than the 4×4 variants that sired them.”

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A manual gearbox comes standard, with a 0-62mph dash is down by 1.2sec to 9.6sec compared with the four-by-four, plus mpg rises by a worthwhile 7mpg to 47.1mpg and C02 drops from 186g/km to a highly respectable 159g/km. Here’s the rest from Car Mag:

The auto figures are less appealing: there’s only 2mpg and 11g/km between the two, despite the four-driver’s extra weight and power. In fact, Volvo’s own figures reveal the XC70 torque converter auto to be spectacularly inefficient in front-wheel drive configuration – it covers 7.3 fewer miles than the manual car for every gallon of diesel. Yet when you compare the same figures for automatic and manual four-wheel drive XC70s, the gap suddenly shrinks to 2.7mpg between the two.

The ride quality is still excellent (far better than the XC60), and it’s still refined in here, but that only makes the rampant torque steer seem more out of place. Strangely, neither the similarly powerful front-drive XC60 nor the S80 were similarly afflicted, but the XC70 torque steers in first, second, third and sometimes even fourth gear.

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