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1999 Volvo C70 Review
Well rounded, but nobody’s perfect!
Reviewed by Automotive on
The 1999 Volvo C70 classifies as a convertible manufactured and sold by Volvo from 1997 onward. It debuted as a coupe, and the 1999 model year marks its first year as a convertible.
The C70 debuted at the 1996 Paris Motor Show, with production in Europe kicking off the following year. The car finally entered the North America automotive market in 1998.
Engines: 2.3-liter I-5, 2.4-liter I-5
Transmissions: four-speed automatic, five-speed manual
Models: Volvo C70 LT, Volvo C70 HT
The coupe version of the 1999 Volvo C70 gets a new light-pressure turbocharged engine. The standard and optional equipment for the coupe and convertible also change for this year.
The standard equipment in the 1999 Volvo C70 includes redesigned interior light switches, a leather steering wheel, a 130-mph speed limiter, a red walnut dash trim, and front fender turn indicators. Optional 17-inch alloy wheels provide a new choice for both the convertible and coupe models.
The 1999 Volvo C70 breaks the decade-long tradition of keeping the shape of Volvos boxy and conventional. Both the convertible and coupe appeal to a younger audience and those who want a little more excitement from the safe and neutral Volvo. The exterior looks far sleeker and aerodynamic than its wagon and sedan counterparts, except for the sheet metal forward of the windshield, which remains common in all three vehicles.
The front seats of the 1999 Volvo C70 feel spacious enough for adequate comfort, but the rear seat seems tighter than the one in the S70 sedan. Entering and exiting at the back also proves problematic in both models. A power-sliding feature remains available for both front seats, but they move too slowly.
Up front, both the driver and passenger enjoy ample legroom and headroom, even with the sunroof installed for the coupe. The driver’s seat feels supportive but comfortable, and visibility looks good all around except with the top up on the convertible.
The trunk space for the 1999 Volvo C70 seems decent enough considering its class. Nevertheless, it offers less room than the S70 sedan.
Performance & Handling
The 1999 Volvo C70 draws power from a turbocharged, 2.3-liter, five-cylinder engine that delivers 236 horsepower. The base coupe and convertible get a turbocharged 2.4-liter, five-cylinder engine that delivers 190 horsepower and 199 lb-ft of torque.
The performance of the 1999 Volvo C70 compares to that of the T5 versions of the S70 or the V70, with the similarity concerning the choppy but firm ride. The bumpy ride gets very harsh with the 17-inch tires installed. Volvo recommends the 16-inch tires for those who want to keep their ride smooth.
The 1999 Volvo C70 offers responsive steering, except for a little numbness on-center. Road grip marks one of the car’s strong suits, and body lean feels almost nonexistent on turns. The base model offers satisfying acceleration, but the 2.3-liter engine offers very powerful acceleration. Nevertheless, the C70 experiences slight turbo lag with both engines at the low and midrange speeds.
The 1999 Volvo C70 keeps its safety features up despite the focus on its performance and style. Standard safety features on the car include dual front airbags with two-level triggering, three-point inertia reel safety belts at strategic positions, side airbags for front passengers, anti-submarining front seats, and the SIPS or Side Impact Protection System. The convertible version features a Rollover Protective System or ROPS as well.
EPA Fuel Economy
- Lots of room up front
- Good-looking exterior
- Good safety features
- Powerful turbocharged engines
You Won't Like
- Poor entry and exit for rear seats
Well rounded, but nobody’s perfect!
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