Volvo XC70 a good overlander?

XCvagn

Member
Volvos rock! We experienced the same skepticism and perhaps even disdain on the Imogene Pass by Trailelitist Jeepers. I wonder how much more irritated they'd be if they knew ours is the T8 (PHEV). We were following some older model 4Runners and they were quite impressed and happy to see us on the trail. There was at least one Jeeper that was visibly annoyed that we were able to keep up with him, and another that stuck their head out and said "turn around, this is nothing, it gets worse ahead" to which we were capably able to maneuver. Perhaps they felt their egos deflated by seeing a "soft roader" showing up their expensive builds. Granted, we didn't go further than the summit from the Telluride side mainly because I didn't want to push my luck on street tires (don't have AT tires on our 2017 yet) and didn't have a spare with us. I was especially cautious on the rocky parts. It was still wonderful to experience the Colorado high alpine and the best part is our teenage son was all to happy to MTB back down to Telluride on his Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt. He got to tell his buds he got 5k' descent in one run. Our XC90s don't disappoint.

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Sure, with a lifted Jeep you don't have to worry about your line as much. Bumps and scrapes add trail cred but by picking my lines we cleared obstacles without even a scratch.
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Overland is for anyone with a desire and ability to adventure with capable equipment. Would I go bogging in our Volvos, unlikely but would I consider it? I'd have to assess the terrain and gauge it against what I feel I could safely accomplish. Just like any driving, it's about learning to pick the right line that you can safely maneuver, whether its on-road, off-road or track. Often it's the critical component between the seat and steering wheel that determines the outcome. We've seen some amazing sights. Granted, we've driven over terrain most Volvos only dream and gotten dirtier than most will ever but it's all part of the experience we seek.
y4mh6k_kVoQwg1IVRxwKYxJE_I-HxZGY2uoj4D_xNvaibpXNUmrl221KRHOmvBn_mYznIzpN6dsI8OpOrbEJlgjb-6CypqnADqnDFMNMuSAl91fDh1mQsL85oYOqulPiiiT6u8_vEwk2e03TaCOWn5RY891Y6oo_Xm40njiuKoX3GNNy19dc1cRqEGkLYXZVppA
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Would a Jeep, 4Runner, or LR let us go further afield or take a more gnarly route, yes but I enjoy the on-road experience and safety Volvo gives us just as much. I wouldn't sacrifice it for weekend or summer adventures just to go over a house sized boulder or try to go through a swamp. Don't get me wrong, I envy those that can build out theirs... XC70 have far more options to build up than XC90 due to unconventional suspension mounts on first gen XC90. Not sure about SPA XC90. If I could I would to make them all the more unstoppable than our stock XC90 are. I can't wait for our 2017 to get AT tires next summer! I just threw on the winter set last weekend.
y4mllI9u-Wp6LccEHPHKwgVeLh7PUVj3DLJ7BlOofEPkxvjDa0TT9WAqFkwYEuDjgGEQ3f-JKUp757fh38pirzRRQ5nTW9xyZKlT_99zA4c5lUmVybQOOzPp8FSuAqXLSG7UDeuH-0tgHt8Zq9QuotpXnmFkIvBkzO9C_cFt3JQPddMmhBNcrkghYTijSd39Pa6
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Although trying out BFG on our 2010 this winter, I'll still swap them out for studded Nokian in a few weeks.
 
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billiebob

Well-known member
Volvos rock! We experienced the same skepticism and perhaps even disdain on the Imogene Pass by Trailelitist Jeepers. I wonder how much more irritated they'd be if they knew ours is the T8 (PHEV). We were following some older model 4Runners and they were quite impressed and happy to see us on the trail. There was at least one Jeeper that was visibly annoyed that we were able to keep up with him, and another that stuck their head out and said "turn around, this is nothing, it gets worse ahead" to which we were capably able to maneuver. Perhaps they felt their egos deflated by seeing a "soft roader" showing up their expensive builds. Granted, we didn't go further than the summit from the Telluride side mainly because I didn't want to push my luck on street tires (don't have AT tires on our 2017 yet) and didn't have a spare with us. I was especially cautious on the rocky parts. It was still wonderful to experience the Colorado high alpine and the best part is our teenage son was all to happy to MTB back down to Telluride on his Rocky Mountain Thunderbolt. He got to tell his buds he got 5k' descent in one run. Our XC90s don't disappoint.

y4m1szUQKOkxIJGiX_5arOzx4PRBnzu-e-GEoFuee9aDn6e2Er8Pr0lXyfpCiMo6p2TtTMZF-7yc2puLHrgPF8JVdo1lGfi78sjq59TjcL4bjJFJsE_PU5JmknlKxoRxTXIfu5r9EufFuLiPTJ5NQY4FEWdsZIANoadVOtOd96ccLwipa_e4IgnNB89-zgBAqoQ
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Sure, with a lifted Jeep you don't have to worry about your line as much. Bumps and scrapes add trail cred but by picking my lines we cleared obstacles without even a scratch.
y4mjn5oUKzeRvh1__x4Nf-Jvx4xh1-sjD-6HyJ3e85jyN5u7g2gkkImQJsXm98wGyxnSn6iohVvMzNpfUq1GIOYehW5_8c9bYTKIooFYP3MEZHKDxsS-EkGlM6vxcvUJRwaGiAwupeBmJeWgem9aHpuSoeMS9ky8DpVdLBIoDShK4pO99AwvaUcuS9ihYtHYU_j


Overland is for anyone with a desire and ability to adventure with capable equipment. Would I go bogging in our Volvos, unlikely but would I consider it? I'd have to assess the terrain and gauge it against what I feel I could safely accomplish. Just like any driving, it's about learning to pick the right line that you can safely maneuver, whether its on-road, off-road or track. Often it's the critical component between the seat and steering wheel that determines the outcome. We've seen some amazing sights. Granted, we've driven over terrain most Volvos only dream and gotten dirtier than most will ever but it's all part of the experience we seek.
y4mh6k_kVoQwg1IVRxwKYxJE_I-HxZGY2uoj4D_xNvaibpXNUmrl221KRHOmvBn_mYznIzpN6dsI8OpOrbEJlgjb-6CypqnADqnDFMNMuSAl91fDh1mQsL85oYOqulPiiiT6u8_vEwk2e03TaCOWn5RY891Y6oo_Xm40njiuKoX3GNNy19dc1cRqEGkLYXZVppA
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Would a Jeep, 4Runner, or LR let us go further afield or take a more gnarly route, yes but I enjoy the on-road experience and safety Volvo gives us just as much. I wouldn't sacrifice it for weekend or summer adventures just to go over a house sized boulder or try to go through a swamp. Don't get me wrong, I envy those that can build out theirs... XC70 have far more options to build up than XC90 due to unconventional suspension mounts on first gen XC90. Not sure about SPA XC90. If I could I would to make them all the more unstoppable than our stock XC90 are. I can't wait for our 2017 to get AT tires next summer! I just threw on the winter set last weekend.
y4mllI9u-Wp6LccEHPHKwgVeLh7PUVj3DLJ7BlOofEPkxvjDa0TT9WAqFkwYEuDjgGEQ3f-JKUp757fh38pirzRRQ5nTW9xyZKlT_99zA4c5lUmVybQOOzPp8FSuAqXLSG7UDeuH-0tgHt8Zq9QuotpXnmFkIvBkzO9C_cFt3JQPddMmhBNcrkghYTijSd39Pa6
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Although trying out BFG on our 2010 this winter, I'll still swap them out for studded Nokian in a few weeks.
you nailed it, for many highly modded rig owners it ia all about ego
In the 1960s, Dad and I went many places in a 1963 Pontiac Wagon with RWD, a 283 and 2 speed automatic
overlanders today are way too focused on instagram, youtube, advertizing and consumerism

Dad was a sawmill engineer so we saw lots of 1960s forestry roads and we went to every forest tower lookout we were near.
Look at those knarly tires eh.

scan 2.jpeg
 

XCvagn

Member
you nailed it, for many highly modded rig owners it ia all about ego
In the 1960s, Dad and I went many places in a 1963 Pontiac Wagon with RWD, a 283 and 2 speed automatic
overlanders today are way too focused on instagram, youtube, advertizing and consumerism

Dad was a sawmill engineer so we saw lots of 1960s forestry roads and we went to every forest tower lookout we were near.
Look at those knarly tires eh.

View attachment 694156
That's awesome!

Anyone can overland in a kitted out, lifted, ultra ruggedized Jeep. The risk of getting way over the driver's ability also increases dramatically along with dire consequences. Reminds me of the time I was at the track with my Boxster and there was another driver that had tire warmers wrapped around his 911TT tires while in the paddock. He had upgraded suspension, racing slicks, the works. Out on the track he was slow in the corners and I could reel him in. It was easy to stay on the 911TT's rear and of course the driver would never give me the pass. Of course he'd leave me in the straights but what's the fun in that after having spent thousands in upgrades to handling. As an instructor once told me, anyone can go fast in the straights, that's when you should relax and check in on yourself and your car before the next fun parts of the track.

And then there was the guy in his Honda Fit who was out there to learn to drive his Fit better so he could enter the Car & Driver One Lap. It was so fun to watch and his humility made it such that he was never in the way of keeping faster drivers from enjoying the track to their ability. Clearly he was there to learn like many of us and not to show off his equipment.
 
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clarence2

Member
What's your ground clearance, XCvagn?

If your SUV ownership vision board includes rutted fire roads and lumpy trails to the campsite, the XC90 is the best Volvo for the job. Ground clearance is rated at 8.8 inches on the standard suspension and as much as 9.9 inches if you go for the optional air suspension. It can also wade in up to 17.7 inches of water.



That's great.
 

Todd n Natalie

OverCamper
I beg to differ....


ps.... would this be overanding ????? lol
no... this is rallying
If they did that with RTT's would it be overrallying?

Love those old 240's. We had 3 when I was a kid. An orange 70's 242 dl, a yellow 70's 244 dl and a silver 80's 244 gl or gle. Can't recall for sure what the silver one was.
 

XCvagn

Member
What's your ground clearance, XCvagn?

If your SUV ownership vision board includes rutted fire roads and lumpy trails to the campsite, the XC90 is the best Volvo for the job. Ground clearance is rated at 8.8 inches on the standard suspension and as much as 9.9 inches if you go for the optional air suspension. It can also wade in up to 17.7 inches of water.


That's great.
The ground clearance on our 2010 XC90 is 8.9" - we have the R-Design which has Nivomat rear suspension (mechanically auto leveling). The standard ground clearance on the XC90 T8 is 9.1" and it seems other SPA XC90 are at 8.9". From looking at Volvo's support site, the 2020 have a lowered default clearance of 8.3" for T5 and T6 models. On our 2017 we have the air suspension and it ranges from a low of 7.6" for Easy Entry/Exit mode to 10.7" in Off-Road mode. Volvo measure their ground clearances at curb weight + 2 passengers.


Speaking of wading, the 2010 is 16" and for the newer SPA XC90 it sounds about right ~18" for non-T8 and without air suspension. If T8 and with air suspension it's "floor level". What's cool too is their air intake is at the highest point in the engine bay under the hood.

Once with our 2010 going up a fire road we crossed a creek that seemed pretty mild until the descent. Returning through on the way down we fell into a pool that put us in more than 28" of water. I'm gauging it by the water coming over the tires (29") and looking at the rear fender. I did panic a bit with the thought crossing my mind of not wanting to get stuck there as I had some large rocks I needed to climb over to get back out. It was a total champ not only staying dry but getting us out, too! This was the only overland trip where we had some carnage - from coming out of the pool - the lower valence of the rear bumper cover got torn. I was glad for the high position of the intake and air box or it could have been worse, too.
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The upside of an XC70 is that getting lift kits for them is a bit easier and thus putting larger rubber. The suspension seat/mounts are more conventional and easier to mod than the P2 XC90. I'm not sure about SPA XC90 plus in our case, by opting for the air suspension, we got the extra clearance I'd typically need.
 
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