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2002 Volvo C70 Review
Overdue for a redesign.
Reviewed by Automotive on
The 2002 Volvo C70 coupe or convertible faces some serious competition. Offerings from BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz will offer more in the way of real performance and handling as well as more luxury. Yet the C70 has its own place and holds its own thanks to a respectable amount of luxury, outstanding safety and solid performance to go along with a comfortable ride. For buyers that place a priority on safety and are interested in a car with a serene ride, decent performance and a good list of standard luxury amenities, the C70 should at least be considered.
Engines: 2.3-liter five-cylinder, 2.4-liter five-cylinder
Transmissions: five-speed manual, five-speed automatic
Models: coupe- Volvo C70 HT; convertible- Volvo C70 LT, Volvo C70 HT
For 2002, Volvo will offer the C70 Coupe in just one trim level that will include the contents of the discontinued SE model: the unique sport grille, 17-inch wheels and tires, leather upholstery, power sunroof, trip computer, auto-dimming rearview mirror and special dash inlays. All C70s will now include as standard features Volvo's stability and traction control system (STC), heated front seats and an emergency trunk release. Convertibles will now get 17-spoke alloy wheels and ride on Z-rated 205/55R16 Pirelli tires. Genuine wood dash trim replaces the fake wood trim in the optional Touring Package. Ash Gold is a new exterior color choice, while Venetian Red Metallic and Turquoise Metallic are no longer available.
The 2002 Volvo C70 comes in two body styles: coupe and convertible. The coupe is available in only one trim, the HT, while the convertible can be had in two trims: HT and LT. The LT trims comes with 16-inch alloy wheels, intermittent wipers, rear defogger, heated door mirrors, power door mirrors, four-wheel independent suspension, headlight cleaning and front fog lights. Convertible models offer a one touch power-operated top. The HT trim adds 17-inch alloy wheels and a power moon roof. Stand-alone options include a touring suspension for the HT trim; a trailer hitch receiver, reverse sensing system and engine block heater for both trims.
The cabin of the C70 puts it in the luxury class by including amenities like air conditioning, automatic temperature control, power windows, power locks, memory seat, speed control, remote keyless entry, tilt and telescoping steering wheel, power steering, AM/FM and cassette stereo with in-dash cd player, leather upholstery, power front seats, heated front seats and leather trim on the steering wheel and shift knob. Options include real wood trim, trip computer, extra speakers and remote cd player.
Performance & Handling
The C70 Coupe makes use of a turbocharged, 2.3-liter, five-cylinder engine that develops 236 horsepower and 244 lb-ft of torque. A five-speed manual transmission is standard, and a five-speed automatic with Winter mode is optional. The C70 HT Convertible uses the same engine, while the less expensive C70 LT ragtop gets power from a less aggressive 2.4-liter, five-cylinder turbo producing 190 horsepower and 199 lb-ft of torque. The 2.4-liter is available only with the automatic gearbox. All models are front-wheel drive. Both engines suffer from turbo lag and it usually shows up at the most inconvenient times like when passing. But, the two available turbocharged five-cylinders offer enough acceleration to handle most traffic situations. Rivals in this class from Audi and BMW do offer superior performance. Both the coupe and convertible offer a smooth, forgiving ride in city driving situations. All models handle surprisingly well despite their weight and front-wheel-drive configuration, although body roll is significant on curves and corners. The coupe feels rock-solid but the convertible exhibits more cowl shake than one would expect from a Volvo, despite the engineers priority placed on structural rigidity. Beware the dreaded torque steer in models with the more powerful engine. Noise isn’t too bad: little from the wind, but performance tires get noisy and the engine is a bit coarse sounding.
As per Volvo’s emphasis on safety, the C70 comes standard with side-impact airbags, head curtain airbags, dual font impact airbags, whiplash-reducing front seats, three-point seatbelts for all four positions, four-wheel antilock brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution, child seat anchors, remote anti-theft system and front seatbelt pretensioners. Convertibles provide a rollover protection system (ROPS). Neither the NHTSA nor the IIHS have performed crash safety tests on the C70, but Volvo’s outstanding reputation for safety and the extensive safety equipment list should reassure prospective buyers.
EPA Fuel Economy
Volvo C70 LT convertible: 18 mpg city/25 mpg highway
Volvo C70 HT convertible: 18 mpg city/25 mpg highway
- Luxury interior
- Safety features
- Comfort features
- Smooth ride
- Turbocharged engines
You Won't Like
- Options get pricey
- Suspension not very sporty
- Dreaded torque steer
Overdue for a redesign.
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