Volvo XC70 tyres

The XC70 is a car which is often overlooked. This is something caused by changes to the marketplace rather than any great flaw with the car itself. In essence it is a V70 but with increased ride height and ground clearance, with most models featuring full-time four-wheel-drive.

Volvo XC70

When launched, it immediately appealed to those who live in the country or often need to tow a trailer, caravan or horsebox. In real terms, though, those kinds of buyers represent a small, niche market. In sales terms, more important was what was to come. Like everyone else, the car’s designers would have been unable to foresee the relentless rise of SUV and crossover cars. These would take sales at the expense of the XC70. Similar cars like the Audi A6 Allroad and Subaru estates have suffered at the hands of the same market forces.

None of that is any fault of the XC70, which is still being produced. Being based on the V70, it is a supremely comfortable car on long journeys, most at home not on a gravel track but the motorway. For many owners, the car’s 4×4 capability is for emergency use or employed when Britain’s weather is at its worst. That off-road and all-wheel-drive ability comes at a cost in terms of handling and performance relative to the V70, though. The V70 is much steadier in its cornering while being cheaper in terms of fuel costs. Being a Volvo, though, the XC70 should never lack for reliability or safety, even though it is beginning to look a little long in the tooth. It may not be a common sight on Britain’s roads but the XC70 is a car which its owners seem to love.

In many cases, the XC70 was supplied with the same 16-inch wheels as its road-based brother, the V70. This means that some owners will choose to fit a ‘standard’ road tyre to the car. The primary benefit of this is cost, and the fact that etyres’ best-selling standard tyre for car this comes from Nexen bears this out. There’s nothing wrong with a Nexen tyre, but the brand is considered very ‘middle market’ and its tyres don’t come at the higher prices associated with premium rivals from better-known brands.

Naturally the main drawback of fitting a standard road tyre to the XC70 is that its 4×4 capability is seriously compromised. Since the main reason for driving this car instead of the C70 is that go-anywhere ability, many drivers will opt for a specialist tyre. Tyres designed for SUV or 4×4 use are therefore a popular – and very suitable – replacement choice.

The tyres most commonly factory-fitted to the XC70 come from Pirelli. Indeed it is two variations of the same maker’s Scorpion range with are etyres’ best-selling types of 4×4-specific tyres for these cars. Both are designed for SUV use. Scorpion Zero tyres are the sportier option, aimed at performance driving with high levels of grip and steering response. They are available in 17-inch sizes but not 16-inch, meaning that they won’t fit every XC70. In contrast, Pirelli’s Scorpion Verde tyres are available in both sizes. The standard Scorpion Verde tyre is designed for 100% on-road use. However, the all-season version, which is effective in both winter and summer driving conditions, has a tread pattern which will support occasional off-road driving and provide traction in snow. This all-season option is not the cheapest tyre but makes a practical and convenient tyre for year-round use.

Michelin’s Latitude range and Continental’s CrossContact tyres continue to be popular choices for XC70 owners. Both offer good levels of grip and durability. That they are aimed at providing driver comfort, too, means that they play to the strengths of these cars.