The genes of the XC70 can be traced back through the V70 Cross Country right back to the V70 XC, originally launched in April 1999. Although many credit Audi with introducing the concept of the premium 4x4 lifestyle estate, history shows that Volvo beat its German rival to the punch by a year. The Swedes certainly made that experience count with the 2007 car.
It was initially launched with a choice of either a very thirsty 3.2-litre T6 238PS petrol engine or the more popular 185PS D5 diesel powerplant, displacing 2.4 litres. Trim levels ran SE, SE Sport and SE Lux with prices opening at £31,035. It didn't take long for Volvo to start tinkering with the product though.
In May 2008, the XC70 got a number of equipment upgrades, with the SE Lux specification getting Active Bending Lights, heated washer nozzles, Load Compensating Suspension and chronograph instrument dials. In February 2009, the engine range got a tweak with the D5 powerplant getting a boost to 205PS whilst at the same time its CO2 emissions were cut from 199 to 185g/km. A 2.4D front-wheel drive model was also introduced under its green DRIVe banner, boasting CO2 figures of 159g/km. Early 2009 also saw Volvo tinker with the styling a little, with a new front grille displaying the large iron mark and new steering wheel chrome highlights and chrome trim around the ignition area. Cars with the D5 and T6 engines also got visible twin rear exhaust pipes as standard.
Fast forward to May 2011 and Volvo introduced a new naming strategy for its cars and a new engine for the XC70. All engines were now badged depending on the power output. There were three engines in the new five-cylinder two-litre diesel family; a 150PS D2 (badged 'DRIVe'), a 163 PS D3 and a 177PS D4. The XC70 only got one of these; the D3 in front-wheel drive configuration, sold alongside the all-wheel drive 205PS D5 and 304PS petrol T6. The D5 was next to get worked on, Volvo dropping CO2 to as little as 149g/km.