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Subaru Outback vs Volvo XC70

This is a brown Volvo XC70 on a snowy road.

Sometimes deciding which car you want to buy is quite an obstacle to get over without the correct information. That could be the case if you were to determine which is better for the Subaru Outback vs. Volvo XC70, so I decided to do in-depth research to find out which is better suited for you.

The Subaru Outback is more fuel-efficient, has bigger cabin space and room for passengers. The Volvo has a more powerful engine that can tow heavier weight. The Volvo XC70, however, was discontinued in 2016, which makes your choices very minimal. The starting price for the Outback is less than the Volvo’s.

The Volvo discontinued in 2016, and the Outback still producing yearly new models of their top-selling vehicle makes the Volvo sooner or later outdated. The Volvo XC70 is still a great comparison and competitor for the Outback, as they are closely similar.

Outback vs. XC70

This is a white Subaru Outback on display at a car show.

The Outback is a great vehicle that shows how creative a team loves what they do. The Outback went from a station wagon to a redesigned mid-sized SUV that closely resembles a station wagon. This car drives like a sedan while having that perfect ground clearance of an SUV that everyone loves to get a better view of outdoor life.

The Outback’s design is perfect for those outdoor lovers that want something that can break them away from their city life while also not taking a chunk out of their wallet for fuel. The all-wheel-drive system that Subaru has created makes off-road enjoyable and more than ever capable of taking on any terrain comfortably.

Like the Outback, the Volvo XC70 also took the liberty to create a vehicle that brought the benefits of a station wagon and combined it with SUV capabilities. The XC70 is like a slimmer version of the Outback, with dimensions, ground clearance being just below the Outback.

Volvo decided to go with a more powerful engine than the Outback to give it more power to pull itself out of ditches and over high-hilled terrains. They even predicted that you might need help with those situations allowing a buyer to get themselves a Hill Start Assist and an optional Hill Descent Control with their all-wheel-drive trimmed level XC70.

The only downside of the XC70 would be that their base model doesn’t come with all-wheel drive and is also $12000 more than the base model of the Outback, which is a teeth-grinding difference. We are talking about a 2016 model car (Volvo) that costs more than a 2021 model car (Outback) that closely resembles one another.

Size Comparison

This is a white Subaru Outback parked at a covered parking lot.

The 2020 Subaru Outback has a slightly bigger body than the Volvo XC70; the exterior dimensions of the Outback are 191.3 inches in length, 66.4 inches in height, 73 inches wide, and ground clearance of 8.7 inches. The wheelbase of the Outback is smaller than the XC70, having a base of 108.1 inches.

The interior dimensions of the Outback, with its slightly bigger body, give occupants a legroom space of 42.8 inches in the first row of seats and 39.5 inches of space in the second row of seats. The cargo space for the Outback is 32.5 cubic feet, and with the back row seats down, that number becomes 75.7 cubic feet of maximum cargo space.

The Volvo XC70, with a slightly slimmer body, has an exterior of 190.5 inches in length,  63.1 inches in height, 73.6 inches in width, and a ground clearance of 8.3 inches. The wheelbase for the Volvo is 110.8 inches which would give occupants a more comfortable and stable ride than the Outback, especially off the road.

The interior dimensions of the XC70, even though it has a more petite body, but broader will give occupants a comfortable 41.9 inches of legroom space in front, and the second row, 34.6 inches of legroom space. The cargo space for the XC70 is surprisingly 33.3 cubic feet, and with the back seats down, its total is 72.1 cubic feet of cargo space.

Though the Volvo has a broader body than the Outback, one would’ve thought that the occupants would perhaps have bigger shoulder room space, but it’s the opposite. The Outback has 58.1 inches of shoulder room space in front, whereas the XC70 has 57.4 inches in the show. The number is similar for the back seat occupants, with the Outback giving back more space.

Engine Specs

This is a close look at the Subaru Outback engine.

The Outback comes standard with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 182 horsepower.

The turbocharged engine version of the higher trim Outback will give you 290 horsepower. The Outback has a 26 city/33 highway miles per gallon fuel efficiency, making it the more conventional choice to save fuel.  The Outback comes standard with an all-wheel drive train.

The Volvo XC70 comes standard with a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 240 horsepower with Front Wheel Drive. Another option is a 3.2-liter engine with a V6 cylinder layout that makes the same amount of power but less torque due to its not having the turbo.

There is a V6 option that has the turbo included and boosts the power a lot higher and has all-wheel drive included in both of these higher models, which help maintain as much traction to the car as possible.

Unfortunately, due to the bigger engine in the XC70, the fuel economy drops a bit, but for some, it is worth giving up for a more powerful engine. The fuel usage in the city is 23 miles per gallon and 31 miles per gallon on the highway for the standard engine. You can expect the fuel usage to be worse for the V6 engine than the standard engine.


This is a Volvo XC70 being used as an emergency responder vehicle.

The Subaru Outback vs. Volvo XC70 is a difficult decision to make; it really will come down to your style, taste, and what you prefer to have over the other. The Outback will give you better fuel economy, a slightly larger cargo, and passenger space. All of those things come at a lesser price than the pricey Volvo. Making it better, the standard Outback comes equipped with an all-wheel-drive right out of the box.

For the Volvo, for its price, you would get more of a luxurious taste, with its interior quality being a bit better, the engine being more powerful, making it feel sportier than the Outback. The only downside is that they stopped producing newer models, so getting your hands on an untouched XC70 will be a little tricky. The downside to this is that the technology will be outdated compared to the newer Outback’s.


Subaru Outback Org: Subaru Outback vs. Volvo XC70