By on January 29, 2007

3455_1.jpgSweden is home to an automotive cult known as “Raggare” (roughly translated: “pick-up artist”). Its adherents revere American hot rods and the cruising lifestyle depicted by the film "American Graffiti." It’s helpful to think of the Volvo C70 hardtop convertible in this context, as a latter day Swedish pony-car. I know; it's a bizarre concept. A hardtop convertible produced by a car company known for impeccable safety and wildly inoffensive design aspiring to super-cool sex appeal? Like Swedish meatballs, it tastes a lot better than it sounds. 

The C70 certainly doesn’t serve-up any funky ingredients or visual spice. It employs the same ultra-conservative squat-nosed jelly bean shape that make the S40 and S50 look like a pair of nurses’ shoes, only longer and wider. Peter Horbury originally penned the C70 as a coupe. The rear seats were added after the fact. Whether by accident or design or accidental design, the resulting shape is far more cohesive and delicate than most four-seat drop tops.

3023_1.jpgThe C70’s retractable metal roof connects the convertible with the Golden Age of American cars; the Swede’s party piece hearkens back to ye olde ’59 Ford Skyliner (a Fairlane derivative). As we’ve come to expect from hardtop drop tops, the C70’s mechanical ballet is precision engineering as street theater. The four piece lid origamis into the car’s trunk in about 30 seconds, disappearing beneath the C70’s carapace to create a genuine– and genuinely handsome– four-seat roadster. The large rear glass is a welcome addition to the show, affording C70 drivers some much-appreciated additional visibility.

Mazda MX5 aside, we’ve also become accustomed to the compromises that no-compromise retractable hardtops inflict on luggage space. Once stowed, all those fancy folding metal bits cut the available trunk space in half (the upper half). So while the C70 convertible is fully capable of mussing the hair of four full-sized adults, it’s completely incapable of stowing the traveling quartet's luggage. In fact, the truncated trunk means that even a couple of fresh air adventurers must pack light. In soft cases.

3452_1.jpgAsk a Nordic furniture designer; there’s a fine line between austerity and minimalism. The C70’s cabin struggles to cross this aesthetic boundary. While its “floating console,” easy-to-read analogue dials and sensible, tactile switchgear are the very model of a modern major general, there’s a fundamental lack of drama to the space. The blahs weren't helped by our tester’s British Pensioner Grey colour scheme. And as long as we’re being sensible, the C70’s seats provide excellent lumbar support, and nothing helpful in terms of lateral support.

As with many Volvos (I’m looking at you XC90), the C70’s engine bay is too small for the kind of large displacement powerplant that you’d expect in such a glamorously impractical automobile. Yes, transverse-mounted engines conform to the Volvo brand's safety first demands. Yes, the C70 gets an entirely respectable 21 mpg in urban pose mode, and 29 mpg during open road cruise control. But the C70’s 2.5-liter engine is hardly the stuff of muscle car dreams. We’re talking 218hp @ 5000 rpm.

3458_1-1.jpgMind you, Volvo’s been at this turbo-five business for quite some time. They’ve tweaked the mini mill to deliver 236 ft. lbs. of torque @ 1500 – 4800rpm. With so much twist arriving early and staying for lunch, the C70’s acceleration feels a lot more than merely adequate. (Zero to sixty takes roughly seven seconds.) It’s a remarkable achievement, given the C70’s heavy roof, chassis stiffening, Boron steel windshield pillars and ballistic roll-over bars.

Unfortunately, when the revs start to swell, the C70’s throttle response becomes a bit… vague. And then there’s the fact that the C70 puts its power through the front wheels. In Oakley wearing mode, the little Swede is nimble enough. Should wind-in-the-hair motoring tempt you into a little accelerative abandon, it's best to start paying attention. For one thing, torque steer is an issue. For another, despite a top-flight suspension (MacPherson struts with coil-over shocks and stabilizer bars at the front and an independent multi-link at the rear), the sporting C70 driver must make constant mid-corner corrections.

3446_1.jpgIn that sense, the C70 has traditional pony car dynamics: quick off the line, comfortable over the long haul and "challenging" in the bends. Of course, any Raggare worth his “Yank tanks rule!” T-shirt would reject a front-driver sight unseen– especially one from a marque whose products are chrome anti-matter. Never mind. There are enough wealthy Volvo-lovers out there who don’t see any disconnect between sexy handsome, safe and practical, who'd no more thrash the C70 through the twisties than a ducktail wearing Raggare. In short, just like köttbullar, the C70 may not be cool, but it is satisfying.  

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54 Comments on “Volvo C70 Review...”


  • avatar
    bestertester

    nice review, but you forgot to mention the bane of almost all convertibles, namely scuttle shake. from what i have heard, the c70 can suffer tremendously from tremens.

    incidentally, who buys a convertible to drive it fast? dollar for dollar, they are all inferior to any coupe, perhaps excepting the boxster. often enough, a fine car has been ruined after being converted to a convertible (e.g. the nsx).

    • 0 avatar
      findcollins

      True enough MArtin– but I find myself at a bit of a disadvantage.  I’m hostage, unless there’s a car out there that I’m not aware of.  SInce I was 16, there’s been only 1 kind of vehicle that qualifies as a car to me (personal pref).  If the top doesn’t come off, it isn’t worth driving.  Get to work in a taxi.

      That being a requirement, my sons love to take the top down in the snow and dress in their ski gear with theie friends.  The top goes up and down many times while frozen stiff.  I go through tops like some people go through tires.  To me, this hard-top is a welcome change.  The car allows for 4 6-foot+ people to ride and no one’s knees are in the seat in front of them.  As far as I know, there is only 1 car that meets those requirements.  Do I have no other choice ina car.  I’d die in a hard top. ANd I can’t afford to keep replacing the soft tops.  It’s a retractible hard top for me with leg room for 4, or I’m taking a cab.  And addedto that, I need head room.  At loeast 4″ abpove me head.  The Volvo’s the only car out there.

  • avatar

    A friend (who owns the previous C70 convertible) and I were thoroughly underwhelmed when we drove this one. “Pony car” didn’t cross our minds.

    It does have the only side curtain airbags you’ll find in a drop top, though–they inflate upwards from the door tops.

    My site’s page for the car, for price comparisons:

    http://www.truedelta.com/models/C70.php

  • avatar
    webebob

    Am I missing something? “Excuse me Mr. Emperor, you look like a 4-banger Sebring Convertible at twice the price.” And I should spend twice the amount of a heavily discounted Sebring because…..(I like to replace turbochargers at every 50K, I like to pay $1,250 extra for an auto tranny, I don’t like trunk space when the top is down)?

  • avatar
    Blunozer

    Although I adore my MX-5, these “cabrios” have never really interested me. They are too impracticle for a family car, but not tossable enough for an enthusiast,

    I would drive a Sebring or G6 convertible as a rental, but who would love one of these cars in the long term?

  • avatar
    jerseydevil

    Wow, Volvo making cool cars! Who would have thought! An excellent review, thanks!

    I’d like a hardtop convertable cause I am often in Philadelphia parking on the street, and I would be concerned about vandalism with a ragtop. Also, most ragtops have really large blind spots, making lane changes on crowded high speed expressways a challange.

    I will probably get one of these things, this Volvo or the Eos. Probably not the Pontiac tho, because I heard that there’s really almost no luggage space after the top goes down.

  • avatar
    ash78

    This strikes me as the quintessential Florida car–for those too fashion-conscious for a Sebring. I’d like to see how it stacks up against the Eos. Golf in the morning, bridge at noon, drinking at the Elk’s Lodge at 5:00. Check out that badonkadonk.

    It seems nice, but the Volvo brand is the most confusing since marque in the world, IMO.

  • avatar

    Why is Volvo making a convertible? Does anyone else see this as a particularly bad place for this brand to be?

  • avatar

    Some drop tops don’t have any scuttle shake… however, they usually have very wide sills (which Americans don’t like for some reason) or oddly placed stiffeners. The two examples I think of are:

    The Honda S2000. It was designed from the start to be a roadster. It does suffer from a stiffening crossmember *right* where you want to plant a foot on the floor while entering the car though.

    (an odd one, but one I am very familiar with):
    The Jaguar E-type (’61-’74). It has a set of sills that double as a picnic table. Climbing across them is a stretch, literally, and they are basically the master class for ladylike sitting. If she can get into an e-type without looking like a tomboy, that woman has serious amounts of class. ;)

    The Jaguar E-type was designed from the ground up as a roadster, and the fixed head coupe was an afterthought dreamed up by a panel beater in the Coventry factory. Bonus points if anyone can name the man and where he came from. Sir William saw his mockup and instantly fell in love with the coupe.

    Anyway, it is really only in cars that started life as coupes and were later converted into convertibles that suffer from the shake.

    –chuck

  • avatar
    blue adidas

    I’ve driven the S40 T5 for over two years, and the torque from this engine gives the impression that this car has much more power than it does. I always know that I’ll have more than enough power to merge into traffic. But the reality is, people who buy Volvos aren’t stoplight racers. People who buy Volvos appreciate the smart design and understated confidence of a car like this. While a Sebring, a G6 or other secretary-class car might be a better value than the C70, that’s really not the point.

  • avatar
    jerseydevil

    Robert Farago:
    January 29th, 2007 at 11:04 am
    Why is Volvo making a convertible? Does anyone else see this as a particularly bad place for this brand to be?

    I inititially thought so too, except that these cars are drop dead gorgeous, with stunning proportions and excellent fit and finish. A seriously classy, but understated, ride.

  • avatar

    jerseydevil:

    So it’s OK to mess with your brand’s image as long as you look good doing it? I suppose that makes some sort of sense.

  • avatar
    cheezeweggie

    What’s wrong with a Volvo flip top ? Saab has been doing it for years. Besides, Ford needs something to sell.

  • avatar

    Safety. Or lack thereof.

  • avatar
    guyincognito

    I think the pony car image is a bit far fetched for this ride. I think it is absolutely beautiful, but to me the small Volvos scream upwardly mobile chick car. I would never expect them to perform in any way other than described. In fact, I was shocked by the sporty(er) nature of the S40 T5. To that end I think this car perfectly suits the brand. It never has to haul anything top down and scarcely more than a few shopping bags on a normal basis, is perfectly suitable as a daily driver, and is quite fashionable.

  • avatar
    Jan Andersson

    What about this one:

    http://www.volvoclub.org.uk/photopost/showphoto.php?photo=1575

  • avatar

    Jan Andersson:

    See? How safe is THAT?

  • avatar
    JJ

    What’s wrong with a Volvo flip top ? Saab has been doing it for years.

    I was just about to make that point. Saab even survived (sort of) on it for more than 2 decades now. Not saying Saab is Volvo, but still.

    Safety. Or lack thereof.

    I’m sure it will be one of if not the safest drop tops today. Maybe because it’s a convertible it’s even a bigger selling point than it would be for more ordinary cars, since those are all pretty safe these days, unless of course you have to go and buy a Daevrolet Aveo.

    Besides, if they were going to make only the safest car they could they would end up with a 1 car range, which is an interesting if probably not profitable proposal…

    So I don’t think building a safe drop top is off their core brand value too much.

    Still would prefer the new 3 series though, if I had to buy a 4 seater drop top.

  • avatar
    jerseydevil

    Robert Farago:

    well , i underststand, some volvo purists i know are agast at this car – of course one has a 23 yr old 240 sedan that he loves like a child, and the other has a 240 wagon almost as old… these are some of the only old beat up rustbuckets that do not cause a smirk at the club… however, volvo needs people who are gonna buy cars more frequently, i would think…

    This is a beautifull car. I like beautifull cars, regardless of parentage. Regardless of brand image.

  • avatar
    Lesley Wimbush

    Sling-back nurses’ shoes!!

  • avatar

    jerseydevil: well , i underststand, some volvo purists i know are agast at this car – of course one has a 23 yr old 240 sedan that he loves like a child, and the other has a 240 wagon almost as old… these are some of the only old beat up rustbuckets that do not cause a smirk at the club… however, volvo needs people who are gonna buy cars more frequently, i would think…

    Thanks for my first good laugh of the week, jd.
    I liked the old boxes. There was an absolute honesty about them. They were exactly what they looked like. But I loved the pre-box Volvos, the Amazon, the PV445 and the p-1800. They also had that honesty, with a lot of style. Stylistically, the new Volvos don’t move me.

  • avatar

    On the other hand, at least they don’t look like everything else.

  • avatar
    Justin Berkowitz

    Brilliant review, Terry.

    I like the car quite a bit – it fits perfectly with the Volvo nor’eastern parents image (in fact, I know one family with both an S80 T6 and a prev-gen C70 cabrio!). This vehicle is rational to me thanks to the folding hard top, in a way the previous one couldn’t have been – it’s a true Volvo, fit for year round use (hooray, we found a small redemption for the FWD), and happens to allow top down cruising during the short summer months.

    Price on this car is an absolute killer, though. Were I shopping for an overpriced FWD folding hard top 4 seat forced induction car, I’d go Eos. It comes out of the gate for $10k less, and if I really wanted to play with torque-steer fire, the Eos will be available with an honest to god V6.

  • avatar
    Sajeev Mehta

    Nice car, but it needs Jag X-type sheetmetal instead. A topless Volvo just doesn’t sound right.

  • avatar
    bmilner

    Am I the only one who thinks the Volvo 1800 is the best looking car Volvo ever made. Every time I see one I think, “man is that car ripe for a Mini style comeback”

    I’m serious, if Volvo made that 1800 wagon style again, put vintage looking 16-17″ wheels on it & updated the interior, I’d buy it, NOW.

  • avatar
    NICKNICK

    Well, judging by the number of comments this review has generated, it seems to me that it doesn’t generate a whole lot of excitement among enthusiasts…

    i think terry was spot on with “wildly inoffensive”

    meh

  • avatar
    tulsa_97sr5

    Robert, I see where you are coming from. My first thought when I see “volvo” is that you stack them up to prove how solid they are. Trying to picture them stacking another volvo on this one isn’t the same.

    How long ago did those ads run anyway?

  • avatar
    PandaBear

    dollar for dollar, they are all inferior to any coupe, perhaps excepting the boxster.

    You forgot the S2000 and Miata. While they don’t have much HP, they can be very fast if driven well due to the good handling.

  • avatar
    andyinsdca

    bmilner

    The C30 is coming out “real soon now” – does that fit the bill?

  • avatar
    bestertester

    pandabear, chuckgoolsbee: i agree with you

  • avatar
    ZoomZoom

    There must be something wrong with my monitor here…it looks like a Mustang with the Volvo badge on the grill instead of the little horsey…

  • avatar
    Terry Parkhurst

    Well “Bestertester,” the cowl shake was almost non-existent, thanks to all the stiffening in the body. I know what you mean about that tempering one’s enthusiasm for convertibles. Back in 1998, I had a Chevrolet Camaro convertible, for evaluation but the cowl shake, and the lump under the passenger’s side floor (where the engineers had to put the catalytic converter and never resolved the lump issue) made me question whether I’d ever want to have one. As far as the C70 being what someone else called a “chick’s car,” I think it is more accurately what the late Henry N. Manney III (perhaps the best writer Road & Track ever had, and a man whose style was right in sync with the New Journalism pioneered by the likes of Tom Wolfe and the late Hunter S. Thompson) used to call “a crumpet catcher” – not that I tried to find out, while in possession of this car. It’s just a hunch.

  • avatar
    Ryan

    RF – to be fair, the idea of Volvo building an SUV doesn’t completely mesh with their safe image either, but they’ve Volvo’ed it anyways.

    As for the C70, it seems like an attractive enough car, certainly something I can understand someone else buying. But if they were to get me in the showroom, they’d have to nix the hardtop (go full coupe), and drop in the S60R’s drivetrain. The C30, on the other hand, is looking very appealing. Any idea when the press might start getting them?

  • avatar

    Ryan:

    When it comes to branding, I’m a fanatic.

    The C30 arrives in the late summer.

  • avatar
    hellogodsy

    Does anyone else think that it is strange that the interior image has a guy with lots of tattoos driving?

  • avatar
    NickR

    the late Henry N. Manney III

    Did you have to bring that up? Now I am utterly depressed.

  • avatar
    HawaiiJim

    David Holzman:

    Yup, they don’t look like everything else. And that’s a real plus. Volvos have an artistic flair. Who cares if they’ve left the boxy look behind. They remain unique stylistically, but in different ways than in the past. I don’t own a Volvo, but I love what they have accomplished style-wise. Nice pen-strokes on a designer’s tablet somewhere, translated into some pretty decent sheetmetal.

  • avatar
    Terry Parkhurst

    I agree with you “Bmilner” that the P-1800 and 1800ES are among the great pieces of automotive industrial design. However, when I was waxing euphoric about them one evening, to Jim O’Keefe, a pal of mine who helps run the office for a Volvo repair shop (formerly known as Odvarr’s for its former owner, a Seattle Volvo legend, whose customers had bumper stickers that read, “Odvarr is my co-pilot”), he asked me, “Have you ever driven one?” to which I admitted the answer was no.
    “They’re terrible,” he replied.
    David Winters, the owner of Swedish Automotive in West Seattle, campaigns a P-1800 in vintage auto races, usually always landing in the middle of a pack of MGBs, and other old crocks. But my hunch is he has done a lot of work to the suspension. I know he has “swiss-cheezed” (there’s a new verb for you) the body – as much as the Society of Vintage Racing Enthusiasts’ rules allow.
    As far as the safety of a convertible, neither the C70 nor the Mercedes convertibles suffer in that regard, from what I know. Both use Rollover Protection Systems (ROPS). When the car starts to flip, roll bars pop up.
    I can’t vouch for the Volvo system, with any authority, having never rolled one. However, there was an incident in Bellevue WA (10 miles east of Seattle) about 7 years ago, involving a Mercedes, that might be telling.
    A guy in a Mercedes-Benz SL convertible was parked next to a refuse truck, whose driver was picking up a dumpster. Somehow, the dumpster got loose and rolled over on top of the Benz, crushing much of the bodywork. And when I wrote that the driver of the Benz was parked next to the refuse truck, I meant he was also in the car, at that time.
    People around the scene, thought the driver was gone. Then, they heard him, hunkered down inside the car – he had gone low – and yelling for help. With the help of a crane operator, as I recall reading (an account appeared in one of Seattle’s daily papers), they got the dumpster off of the owner of the Benz; who was found alive and only a bit bunged up.
    What saved him was this: when the dumpster hit the SL, the sensors thought the car was going over, and the rollbars popped up. That’s what saved the driver.
    My hunch is something similar could happen, if the owner of a C70 went over; but he or she would need to be belted in and have gotten themselves down below the roll-bars.
    As Dave Barry – God bless him – used to write: I am not making this up! I don’t know how it is archived, but for those Doubting Thomases among you, the story of this event should still be at either http://www.seattletimes.com or http://www.seattep-i.com. I believe the story appeared in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Whoever said that truth is stranger than fiction knew reality pretty well, eh?

  • avatar
    jerseydevil

    yeah, the v30 is very cool, looks like a winner, but it is not a drop top. different buyers for that.

  • avatar
    jerseydevil

    i mean the c 30, not v 30

  • avatar
    JJ

    In Europe the C30′s are already sold, and as a matter of fact, I saw one in the flesh a view days ago. It looks cool, if quite different than on paper (especially the rear). Only thing I don’t like is that the dash is the same as the one in the S40/V50 and C70 pictured above.

    Given the price and interior space it’s up against the 1-series/A3/Civic/Alfa149(2008) though, so the competition will be fierce.

  • avatar
    P.J. McCombs

    This car makes less sense in its second generation. The original made sense as a marketing exercise, introducing people to the idea that Volvos *could* be sleek and sexy, thus easing the transition to the current design language. But now that all Volvos sport relatively sexed-up styling, its purpose is murkier.

    That said, it doesn’t make any more sense for BMW to lop the top off their 3-Series, spoiling the car’s key selling point–brilliant dynamics–with cowl shake and loose on-center feel. But Volvo and BMW are premium makes, and people who buy premium makes seem to like being seen topless in their toys, so there’s a business case for these cabrios.

    Volvo’s overall image is a bigger problem. Improved safety legislation is killing this brand’s identity, since everyone builds a safe car these days. Worse, unlike the 200- and 700-series Volvos, the current ones don’t even feel particularly substantial, with their wispy steering and handling and squishy rides.

    Personally, I think that’s what Volvo should be focusing on: if you can’t make your cars significantly safer than the competition, at least make them feel that way. Bring back the solid, heavy-footed stride of the “tank” wagons that forged the brand’s identity. Give us heavy control efforts, linear turbo power, firm shifts, firm seats, and a big, open greenhouse that lets you see the corners of the car. These are the traits that brought people to the brand in the ’80s, and given the current paranoid climate in America, they’d move metal today too.

  • avatar
    bmilner

    Oh, and the C30, since it has the same ugly volvo square front, totally falls flat for me.

  • avatar
    bestertester

    bmilner: i owned and drove a P1800S for about six years. i sold it last year and haven’t missed it at all ever since.

    it looked like a dream (both inside and out), but drove like a truck, a 1950ish truck to boot. no wonder, since the mechanicals were largely truck-derived.

    some styling elements, such as the sharp shoulder crease and the quasi-sexy tail, have been employed by volvo in several models since the s80.

    and of course the coupe-wagen 1800ES had descendants in form of the 480 and of course, now the C30. i am glad that Volvo is aware of its fine styling heritage (and i say that without irony).

  • avatar
    blue adidas

    This car is pretty sweet. All the new Volvos are stunning lately. I do wish they would offer AWD. And I wish they would offer an R version.

  • avatar

    webebob, what the heck do you do to turbo cars that makes you have to replace the turbo every 50k miles? I have 95k on my Audi 1.8T & know of older turbos that are approaching 200k.

    Not only that, but the Turbo makes the leisurely acceleration a $500 ECU upgrade away from history. Without impacting daily driveability & in some cases actually improving mpg. & I’d much prefer a Volvo over a rental..er..Sebring.

  • avatar
    Jan

    I love my 2001 C70. I am not one to drive at excessively high speeds – over 80 mph, but even when I find myself up in that range the car perfroms beautifully. I am going to look at the hardtop C70 because as with all ragtops there is a certain level of noise with the top up. In New England this car brings the sun in as soon as it is abouve 60 deg. I can’t wait to take it out this spring.

  • avatar
    stephy

    I recently bought a 2007 C70. I have had the car since late december and I LOVE it!!!! I think it drives great- and I have a lead foot!!! It is a very comfortable car and really does offer a roomy back seat!! I looked at other convertibles- but had to have this one. You really have to drive it to realize the advantage of the extra visibility and when the top is up- it is like a completely different car.

  • avatar
    salligator

    I bought a new 2007 C70 in February. It is a beautiful car and in fact is nicer looking then the 335ic. Not only that but it has a navigation system and does not require I-drive.

    For myself the deciding factor was front wheel drive. I live in central Mass and it is quite snowy here. Any BMW except the AWD ones will have lots of trouble in the snow.

    As for safety, between the ROPS, and the side air bags, no convertible except the Saab is safer.

  • avatar
    tim tuite

    I bought a C-70 on July third and have almost three thousand miles on it by a little afer Labor Day. I love this car. It is a stealth convertible that makes people stop and watch the top go up or down. People seeing it always remark that it is a,”transformer.” If I wasn’t happily married, just taking it to a Starbuck’s parking lot on a friday night and putting the top down would attract a lot of female attention, so I guess a,”crumpet catcher,” moniker is apt. All joking aside, this is one solid, safe and attractive car.
    My other car is a 1997 Concours Deville and I also love it, but the Volvo is my new baby. The paint is georgous, the premium sound system is truely awesome and it is a fun ride. It is not a sports car and is not fun to drive, as the whole feel of the steering, handleing, and cornering have a disconnected element, kinda like your mom is in the back seat saying,”now child, take it easy, don’t push it.” It is a four seat roadsteer, not a zippy two seat pocket rocket. I had a 1994 Honda Predule V-Tec that had a tiny back seat, and was the best driving car I ever had, but I still like the C-70 better.
    I didn’t get to pick my options, and it came with 18 inch P zero run flat tires (Yikes no spare!), a premium sound system, rear assist parking, alloy wheels and a dark blue metalflake paint. I’m very satisified with the whole package.
    What I like are the awesome sound system, the easy to use and understand controls, the sound of the heavy doors and trunk make when closing (a,”thunk.” that reminds me of American cars of the 1950 era, and safty features like great visibility for a convertible, ROPS for rollover protection and a number one safty crash test rating.
    What I don’t like about the car is that the sunvisors don’t block the rising and setting sunlight thru the side windows. Convertibles always have smaller than normal visors, but built in pull outs would so easily have taken care of this annoyance. I just bought after market extenders that slide out for about twenty dollars delivered, that will strap onto the existing visors and give nine more inches of blockage to the side windows. I also detest the aluminum interior accents. This metal looks stylish, but on the handles, gearshifter and steering wheel, heats up and retains the heat. I call it the, “Wolfgang Puck,” edition. There is a reason that aluminum is used to make the best frying pans, it really cooks! I burnt my right palm on the gearshifter twice (yeah, stupid me) before I went to the dealership and bought a leaterlike replacement. I also covered the metal insert on the steering wheel with leather and stitched it over before wrapping the wheel with a memoryfoam cover, This stopped my fingertips from burning during turns, which was the only time my fingers gripped the top interior part of the wheel. I know that every car has its faults, and these were mostly addressed by after market fixes, so it was more of something to complain about than a lifetime annoyance that an owner would have to live with.
    I have never owned a Volvo before, although the P 1800 and the squared off back on the older station wagons alway grabbed my attention. I researched this car pretty well before buying it, but had great difficulty getting to see one, never mind getting a test drive. The Bakersfield dealership gets one every three months or so, and Volvo only brings in 6,000 a year. I have never seen another one on the road, but I know they are out there. Maybe we C-70 owners will start to wave at each other the way Volvo owners used to recognize each other back in the sixties. It is costly, but for what you get, its a bargain. I’ll still be driving this car when all the ’07 Pontiac G6′s and Volkswagon Eos are sitting on the scrapheap. I know because I drove all three.

  • avatar
    motorhead

    Just got an 08 C70 yesterday — it is the wife’s car — red with cream leather interior (like the article’s picture)– fully loaded with every option. It is a beautiful car — will take some time to analyze the ride and performance — I have not had a front wheel drive car since a 1989 Dodge Caravan (4 cyl turbo). I’m very used to SUV’s and trucks, and the late models are very firm, taut, and feel strong — I expected the Volvo to have some of that, but it feels somewhat fragile in comparison.
    I’m looking forward to this car — hope the relationship is a good one.
    We were enticed by the rarity of the car, and the lines are very pleasing — great style.

  • avatar
    thartswick

    C70 Owner review from Germany: Ok listen up…
    PROS:
    1. Car is beyond beautiful. I get looks from even the most snobbish Mercedes/BMW/Audi Owners
    2. Drop top makes it more of a looker. Love the option, especially when a BMW/Mercedes owner pulls up and they can’t put their tops down :) Also, I get to see Europe without looking thru a window!
    3. FAST…I drive the Autobahn Everday to work. My Avg Speed 120 MPH. Almost twice US Highway speed limit. I’ve had it up to 140 MPH (without my wife in the car) I like being married.
    3. VERY low noise compared to ragtop, especially at high speeds.
    4. The #1 Safety Rated Covertible in the World
    along with the SAAB (Also Swedish Made)
    5. I have the stock stereo…Rocks!
    CONS:
    1. Gas mileage could be better at higher speeds
    2. I will NEVER get Sports Supension again (Way Rough)
    3. Built in GPS is way too expensive. Save $2K and buy a mobile GPS for $400.

    Overall: I Love my Volvo C70! Again, sports supension sucks! But a beautiful, practical Retirement Car for someone from Golden Beach MD who joined the military 22 years ago and misses cruising the sunny beach with the top down smelling the salty air! God Bless the USA!

  • avatar
    majajh

    This car is stinkin’ fantastic! I can’t believe the depredating comments. I’ve never owned a Volvo, and have a hotrod Mustang. I’m in love with this white car like the hottest girl in high school! I told my wife she looks like a rich white woman driving it. I told her to get a license plate that says, “Bling”!

  • avatar
    jschinito

    gorgeous car. always wanted a convertible and my wife gave the thumbs up so got my 2008 c70 with 27k miles for $21k with factory warranty thru 6/2014. have had it 4 months.

    looks as good as a coupe as a convertible, unlike other hard tops. wouldn’t even consider an eos (way too jetta blob and feminine) and miata (again too feminine and small). tried a saturn sky but too small and very cheap interior and horrible ergonomics. closest competitors for me were used boxsters… opted for safety and reliability and lower maintenance costs (a comparable used boxster would’ve definitely be higher mileage).

    amazing seats. great visibility and very quiet top up… very easy to use radio/hvac and lovely elegant interior. love the real oak, unlike the ghastly plasticky stuff in the is250 and others.

    no scuttle shake at all. nice umph from the t5, a big 50hp step up from my non-turbo subaru legacy. an elevate engine torque mount swap for under $100, took out the throttle response slop, turbo lag, and sloppy shifts. really solid car now and solved what bothered me most about the car before. new continental extreme contact dws to replace the stock michelins also improved take offs and wet weather handling dramatically. between the torque mount and new tires, launches went from squirrely, unpredictable, wheelspinning, torque steering messes with sudden lulls in throttle response due to the weak mount and turbo lag, to now a great steady and smooth response to my right foot. amazing.

    installed a elevate 25mm rear sway bar to replace the stock 19mm really reduced body roll on high speed turns. it’s suspension is still on the plush side, which is its intended purpose – great cruiser. but the sway bar upgrade really improves stability at high speed curves/on ramps so a definite must. and the plusher suspension is really needed for my l.a. horrible roads commute.

    being based on the same p1 platform as the c30/s40 and mazda3speed, you learn a lot from those enthusiast forums on how to maximize the performance of the car. may some day consider the polestar factory tune or an elevate tune for more power but at this point very happy with the performance..


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