The Volvo C70 arrived in 2006 during a boom in the folding-hardtop convertible market, and has so far been met with limited success. The biggest news for 2012 is that it's still here, since Volvo recently announced that it will be shutting down the plant where the C70 is made. Volvo has yet to announce plans for 2013, but the current model is a great and underrated coupe/convertible.
Under the hood, the excellent T5 engine returns, with its turbocharged 5-cylinder making 227 horsepower. It offers plenty of freeway passing power and up to 29 mpg highway, a great combination for a front-wheel drive hardtop with a five-speed automatic transmission.
Inside, there are the usual safety and audio niceties, including Bluetooth and iPod and satellite radio connectivity. And the C70 is safe, too, with "Good" ratings by IIHS crash testers. The backseat is what you'd expect for a convertible tourer, and overall, the C70 is a competent alternative to the stodgy German imports.
Bodystyle: Retractable hardtop convertible
Engine: 2.5-liter turbocharged inline-5
Transmission: five-speed automatic
For 2012, the C70 gets new Premier Plus and Platinum models, and a new color: Caspian Blue Metallic.
As a folding hardtop convertible, the C70's appearance is sleek with its lid up or down. It has a sporty front grille, with large, offset headlamps like eyes, and a bold badge over a blackened grille. 17-inch wheels are standard, with 18-inchers as an option.
The C70's interior is elegant and understated with a one-piece center stack, and luxurious, ergonomically designed leather seats. There are several cup holders and storage pockets, optional wood inlays, and an available 650-watt audio system, with standard Bluetooth connectivity, and HD radio and iPod functionality. A notable shortcoming, predictably, is rear seat space, although the C70 is surprisingly practical vehicle given its mission.
Performance & Handling
The C70 provides you with exactly one powertrain: The 227-horsepower five-cylinder turbo coupled to a five-speed automatic. Fortunately, this is an agreeable pairing, capable of launching the C70 from a standstill to 60 mph in a respectable 7.4 seconds. While the C70 is a pleasing car to drive overall, the extra weight of a folding hardtop is difficult to disguise, and others in its segment are more nimble overall performers.
The C70 offers electronic safety features like brake assist, stability and traction control, blind spot information system, and a whiplash prevention seating structure. It also includes unique side curtain airbags constructed to provide some protection even with the windows down, plus, remain inflated long enough to remain useful in a rollover. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rates the C70 as "Good" for both frontal offset and side impact tests.
EPA Fuel Economy
18 mpg city/28 mpg highway
- Refreshed design
- Hardtop style
- Safe, top up or down
You Won't Like
- Limited rear-seat space
- Average performance
Swedish dynamics, Italian styling
If You Like This Vehicle
- Infiniti G37 Convertible
- Volkswagen Eos
- Lexus IS C