Volvo C70 Convertible
The Volvo C70’s great looks, strong engine range and impressive spec list and clever roof mechanism make it a great drop-top you can live with all year round.
While the Volvo C70 no longer looks as revolutionary as it did in 2006, its design still conveys the sense of quality and engineering precision which have given the Volvo brand its up market status. With the roof in place it could pass as a hardtop coupe from most angles, only the subtly raised boot lid giving it away. Changes for 2010 are mainly to the nose, which now has significantly bolder headlights, to echo the latest Volvo C30 and S60. LED rear lights and a subtle new bumper complete the makeover.
The instrument panel has been redesigned to give it a sleeker look and the trademark wafer-thin ‘floating’ centre console – the central controls are fitted to a thin piece of metal with a storage space behind it – still looks contemporary and is available in a new finish. Volvo has taken inspiration from outside the car world, citing furniture and cutting-edge electrical equipment as inspirations for the controls and surfaces. It’s certainly a welcoming and relaxing place to spend time, and one which is likely to appeal for many years thanks to its quality and timelessness.
There are four comfortable individual seats inside, which can all accommodate adults. Storage areas are placed close to each seat, and some lock with the central locking system to keep items safe. The hardtop splits into three, allowing it to reach further back and liberate interior space. Open to closed takes around 30 seconds and there’s a wind deflector stored in the boot, which can be placed over the rear seats to reduce buffeting – but makes the C70 a two-seater. With the top up boot space is good at 400 litres, but it shrinks to 200 litres with it down.
Volvo claims the new C70 has twice the structural rigidity of the original car, and has one of the most rigid bodies of any convertible in the world. This helps to keep ride comfort cosseting and has made a huge improvement in handling. But, this is still a car best suited to cruising and relaxing as it offers less driver involvement than its BMW, Audi and Mercedes rivals.
Two diesels and just one petrol engine offered – a 2.5-litre turbo with 227bhp, capable of 0-62mph in 7.4 seconds and a top speed of 146mph. The face-lifted Volvo C70 went on sale with a 2-litre diesel engine producing 134bhp, but this is now being phased out. The all-new five-cylinder 2.0 D3 diesel has 148bhp, while the 2.0 D4 has 174bhp. Acceleration to 62mph takes 10.2 and 9.3 respectively and the top speed is around 130mph. Our 2.0D 134bhp test car was fitted with an automatic gearbox, and felt slightly sluggish to get moving, but perfectly adequate at higher speeds.
The D3 and D4 both average 47.9mpg, emit 154g/km of CO2 and share insurance group 28, so the only real reason to choose the lower-powered car is its lower price. These are impressively low figures for this type of car, but Audi, BMW and Mercedes do offer an even more economical derivative of their cabriolets. The petrol is, unsurprisingly, more expensive to run, with economy of 30.1mpg and emissions of 219g/km of CO2.
Volvo scores well in customer satisfaction surveys and should prove a reliable ownership proposition. Build quality is solid, and there have been few issues with the S40 the C70 is based on. There has been a vehicle recall to fix an issue with the C70’s gearbox.
Volvo makes safety its number one priority, and the C70 features some innovations, including the world’s first door-mounted curtain airbags, which still work with the top down. It also has Volvo’s Roll-Over Protection System and Side Impact Protection System. A blind-spot warning system is also available to warn of hidden overtaking cars. A full suite of electronic driver aids is standard, including anti-lock brakes (ABS) and electronic stability programme (ESP). Convertible motoring doesn’t get safer.
There are three trim levels: S, SE and SE Lux, the first is fitted with climate control, 16-inch alloy wheels, front fog lights, trip computer, cruise control, CD player and a performance sound system. SE models include Bluetooth connectivity and hands free calling, rear parking sensors, 17-inch alloy wheels, leather upholstery, aluminium trim, rain sensing wipers and a CD/radio with eight speakers. Electric folding door mirrors, door entry lights, electric driver’s seat, leather upholstery and headlights which turn in corners are added to SE Lux Volvo C70s. Customers can also add sat-nav and leather to SE and SE Lux cars.
While it might not suit those after a thrilling drive, the Volvo C70 is a great top-down cruiser for enjoying the miles passing by. It’s great with the top up too, offering lots of space, refinement and a first-rate interior. Visit the Volvo website now for more information on the Volvo C70.