Overview & Reviews
In years gone by, Volvos were known as boxy, square lumps -- reliable and safe, perhaps, but never styling trendsetters. The Swedes finally joined the styling parade in the late '90s with the introduction of the slightly more curvaceous Volvo C70. Available as a coupe or convertible, the two-door C70 shared much of its underlying hardware with the S70 sedan of the time. Detail improvements through the years -- including trim level and color changes, and minor engine upgrades with low- and high-output turbo options -- kept the first-generation C70 fresh enough for its relatively low volume of customers.
A fully redesigned Volvo C70 debuted for 2006, and it was a whole new ball game. Rather than offering separate coupe and convertible models, Volvo decided to join the herd again and offer a handsome new retractable hardtop that opens and closes at the touch of a button. Fortunately, the attractive shape of the first C70 has largely carried over to the second. The C70 is no sports car, but it should appeal to those who want style and comfort in a luxury convertible.
Current Volvo C70
The 2012 Volvo C70 is a four-passenger luxury convertible with a retractable hardtop. It comes in a single trim level. Standard highlights include 17-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, eight-way power front seats, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, and an eight-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite radio, HD radio, an iPod/USB audio interface and an auxiliary audio jack. A couple of option packages are available that add items such as rear parking sensors, keyless ignition/entry, a navigation system, an upgraded audio system, heated front seats, 18-inch alloy wheels and adaptive bi-xenon headlights.
The Volvo C70 is based on the same platform used for the recently discontinued compact S40 sedan and V50 wagon. For power, the C70 relies on a turbocharged 2.5-liter inline five-cylinder engine developing 227 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. Power is sent to the front wheels through a five-speed automatic with manual shift control. When the C70's steel roof is up, it gives the car coupelike styling, added rigidity and better noise isolation than a soft top. When the roof is powered down, the C70's dual-hinged trunk lid opens in a reverse motion and the roof pieces arc backward and stack inside the trunk. Overall, the process is seamless and takes about 30 seconds to complete.
Though acceleration is certainly not blistering, the turbocharged engine provides enough low-end torque to get the C70 moving briskly from a stop and to allow easy passing and merging at highway speeds. If you're looking for sports car handling you're bound to be disappointed, as the steering feels a bit numb and the suspension allows a good deal of body roll when pushing the car hard on a curvy stretch of asphalt. However, most convertible shoppers will likely find the C70 to be a pleasant experience, as it feels solid and provides a compliant ride over the bumps and ruts. With the top up, the cabin is luxury car quiet, and the breeze is well-controlled with the top down.
Our editors agree that consumers interested in a comfortable four-passenger convertible should take a close look at the Volvo C70 T5. Though it may not be quite as fun to drive as its European and Japanese competitors, a strong case can still be made for the C70 given its attractive design, lower price, long list of safety equipment and comfortable ergonomics.
Used Volvo C70 Models
The present second-generation C70 debuted in 2006. Notable changes since then include a slight power bump in '08 from 218 hp to 227. Prior to '09, Bluetooth was unavailable, and the C70's optional navigation system was not hard-drive-based and lacked some of the current system's features. Volvo also offered a six-speed manual transmission from 2006-'10.
The first-generation C70 appeared in 1998 as part of Volvo's effort to polish its brand image with a bit of style and desirability. Two models, a two-door coupe and a two-door convertible with a traditional soft top, were initially available. This first C70 was comfortable and competent, with attractive and elegant styling, but we found its uninspiring underpinnings made it a rather bland car to drive, particularly in comparison to hotter European coupes or convertibles. For power, Volvo installed either a 236-hp turbocharged inline five-cylinder engine or a less powerful 190-hp version.
Minor equipment changes carried the Volvo C70 through its first few years. The 190-hp engine was originally available on the coupe but then dropped in 2001. The high-output engine wasn't available on the convertible until 2000. In 2003, Volvo discontinued the C70 coupe; convertible production ended after 2004. At the time, we found the C70 to be generally desirable, though its dated underpinnings put it at an increasing disadvantage against fresher competitors as the years went on, especially in terms of handling performance.
User Reviews:Showing 1 through 10 of 277.00
Sad - 2000 Volvo C70
By Marc - August 11 - 1:13 am
I love this car, I grew up driving a Mercedes and BMW I fell in love with my v70 wagon as an adult but sadly its been nothing but one problem after another.its zippy fast with the turbo but just doesnt hold up.repairs ate very expensive.volvo has lost a good customer
well.... - 2004 Volvo C70
By Nano - December 24 - 10:00 am
2 problems within 6 months after purchase of a new car. speed meter stuck at 60miles/hr and never moved. head light was burn out. ruttles at hundle when driving slow
first full month of ownership - 2009 Volvo C70
By houston - December 19 - 9:00 pm
C70 is a beautiful car that exceeds my expectation of how livable a convertible can be. The folding top is a marvel to see in operation and the interior is Scandinavian simplistic. This car speaks of adult sophistication.
Perfect car (cars) - 2009 Volvo C70
By Larry - December 17 - 10:43 pm
Like 2 cars in one- coupe and convertible- Beautiful looking- great interior-very comfortable- fun to drive- people stop to watch the top go up and down- No problems in over a year- and best of all it gets the highest safety ratings unlike BMW which I eliminated because of its safety ratings- Love theVolvo
Very pleased... - 2007 Volvo C70
By fairfaxc70 - December 16 - 3:16 am
I ordered this car in September and during the 3 month wait had some second thoughts.Now after two weeks of driving I feel it was a smart choice. It is a pleasure to drive, comfortable, and is elegantly stylish inside and out.
Over 100,000 Miles - 2000 Volvo C70
By C70 Lover - November 27 - 1:03 pm
I bought this car used in 2002 with 24000 miles. At the end of 2004 I have 120,000 miles. The only problem I have had with this car is the the electronic throttle has gone bad twice. Other than that I still love this car. I dont really have any complaints other than the electronic throttle.
I love this car! - 2000 Volvo C70
By eggmusic - November 14 - 10:00 am
I bought this car because it is unique and is one of the most beautiful cars on the road. I have had no significant problems with it and the few minor ones (window switch, lamps) were fixed promptly by the dealer.
Off to a great start - 2004 Volvo C70
By jipsu1988 - November 11 - 10:00 am
Did much pre-lease research. Bad mech reviews here made me cautious. Also consid A4,BMW3,Saab9-3,CLK. Volvo won out on uniqueness, size(big rear seat),and price. Great luxury cruiser Well worth it to get the Touring pkg (wood upgrades) and added cost wood wheel. Skip extra cost audio and Propus wheels(2x$1000)and the LPT comes in under $40K if you negotiate. Very smooth driving car. Did 300 mi round trip and looked forward to it. 28mpg at 70-80mph and smoooooth. Seats absolutely rock.
Volvo C 70, Fun Car to Own. - 2001 Volvo C70
By victor zammit - October 23 - 10:00 am
Negatives: Takes time to warm up. The automatic shift is sluggish from first to second gear if not warmed up properly. Ride is a little too stiff. Feel every crack in the road to a point that steering wheel vibrates.
Zippy and sexy - 2004 Volvo C70
By mrsK - October 16 - 10:00 am
The Volvo C70 is a zippy, sexy, fun car to drive. It has pick-up and glides around curves. It feels sooo good with the top down. The interior is quite nice; the seats are very comfortable. The back seat even has ample room for two. Only negatives are the small trunk and the rear window when the top is up-- -hard to see out of.