IRVINE, CA – The redesigned 2008 XC70 Cross Country is an improvement in drivability, luxury and, of course, safety, according to a review by AutoWeek magazine.

The XC70 comes from the same Ford Motor Co. EUCD platform as the S80 sedan and Land Rover LR2. The 2008-model adds 2 inches in wheelbase and 4-plus inches in length over its predecessor.

The former five-speed standard gearbox is now a six-speed automatic, with a more refined interior filled with more technical goodies.

The XC70 is loaded with such safety features as adaptive cruise control, a blind-spot warning system, drowsy-driver alert and a collision warning system with automatic braking. The safety cage surrounding the occupants uses four kinds of high-strength steel.

Volvo also is making the most of its parts-bin relationship with Ford, borrowing Hill Descent Control from Land Rover, according to AutoWeek.

The standard Haldex all-wheel drive, when mated to standard Dynamic Stability and Traction Control, grips logging-road surfaces like a rally car, wrote AutoWeek. The front MacPherson struts, combined with a multilink rear suspension, keep on-road driving conditions plush.

Volvo expects to sell 12,000 to 15,000 XC70 units a year; in 2006, it sold 5,602 front-drive V70 wagons in the United States.

The XC70 went on sale October 1.

Originally posted on Fleet Financials