By on June 11, 2012

 

Manufacturers rarely realize where their best opportunities lie.

Case in point, Think about the overload of SUV’s that were offered in North America by 2005. Everyone had one. Even sports car companies were getting in on the act.

Likewise, the $50,000 mid-level convertible market now has more manufacturers competing in it than the minivan market. Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Lexus, Infiniti, Nissan, Porsche and Volvo all have at least one player in this market segment.

Do all these competitors translate into strong sales and profits for all? As we say in the redneck locales of Georgia, “Hell No!”. All of these models generate about 50,000 units a year altogether, and that total is spread between 12 models. Most of them are cookie cut from a more mainstream model.

Overall, sales translate into a bit less than two months worth of Chrysler minivan sales in the USA & Canada.  Mid-level convertibles have never been a big market over the last 30 years and to be frank, if half these competitors ceased to exist, few would miss them.

With that said, should the Volvo C70 become one of the dodo’s?

Jacque Hedonist: The Volvo C70 is slathered in style. I’m not talking about the style that’s derived from some mid-level 3-series wanna-be Yuppie-mobile that has been given discordant cuts in the sheetmetal to make the retractable hardtop fit. I’m talking genuine style. The type where a manufacturer starts withgood underpinnings and designs a jack-of-all-trades mid-level ride from the chassis up.

The Volvo C70 is a good design, which says a lot in this particular segment. The lines maintain their fluidity from the front fascia to the rear without any of the buggy-eyed or Bangle butt botox that mars most of today’s sport and luxury models.

Stefan Frugalist: The wheels are too big.

Jacques: What???

Stefan: The wheels are too big.

Jacques: Oh, piss off! The wheels are the best design element on the vehicle. It makes the C70 look like something that came from the good part of Hollywood. If Volvo had enough marketing dollars, I could have easily seen this vehicle becoming the lead in Transformers instead of the Chevy Camaro.

Stefan: Are you nuts? Those wheels look to me like they came straight from a rim shop. I can’t think of a single wheel design from a manufacturer that has attracted so much love/hate attention. The black exterior complements their look. But I don’t see lighter colors performing the same trick.

Stefan: Okay, well the interior is fantastic. The seats are thick, well-stitched, and designed for the long hauls that make Volvo’s so well-liked for their interior comfort.

Jacques: What I especially loved was the absolute lack of ‘must see’ infotainment trash on the dashboard. No exposed propietary GPS that will require upgrades at the dealership or become outdated within three years. No multi-step sound system controls or climate control options that require you to keep your eyes on a screen instead of the road.

There was also an excellent balance between the quality of the  interior materials and the ergonomics for the driver and passenger. Those sitting in the passenger seat are not subjected to the customary cheap dashes and an assortment of plastic buttons pointed away from them.  The designers deserve special kudos for paying attention to the ‘riding’ experience along with the driving experience.

Stefan: Volvo still has too many buttons in the middle of the console. But within a few days, you get use to the design and their functionality is never in question. 95+% of what a person needs requires only the press of a single button or turn of a single knob. In that respect, Volvo deserves to be in this market just for the interior accoutrements alone.

 

Jacques: On the road, the c70 offers a healthy balance between sport and luxury. You don’t get the bottomed out thunks of some of the sportier competitors like the IS350c. The highway ride isn’t darty at all. In fact, I found the C70 to offer a near optimal level of sport and luxury for most of the daily driving folks actually do. The car always feels composed and, in true traditional classic Nordic form, the platform feels like it is constructed out of a single solitary piece of steel.

Stefan: The power is all there too… and then some. 250 horsepower for the upgraded T5 engine with the Polestar upgrade along with an 18/28 fuel economy rating means that you can get a sound level of fuel economy without having to resort to all the new and unproven technologies that other manufacturers are now trying to put in this market space. I’m aware of the improvements in fuel economy that the C70’s competitors offer. But I am a bit wary of their potential cost of repair.

Most folks buying these cars are not DIY types. Personally, I would have no qualms with taking the C70 and having it maintained by an independent mechanic.

Jacques: I did think the C70 is missing a few things. The dashboard has some nice thick leather all the way around (Lexus take note) but it would have been nice for Volvo to have provided some nice thick genuine woods for the interior dash and door panels. The Volvo brand has an implicit link to the Swedish penchant for developing popular ‘quality interiors’ thanks to IKEA and to a limited degree, old Volvo wagons.  I think applying that more Scandinavian wood instead of high quality plastics, would go a long way to making the C70 a true standout in this segment.

Stefan: Yeah, but most folks don’t value that anymore. A consumer looking at the C70 is more than likely trying to find one of two things. Either they want a personal luxury coupe that offers a retractable top, exceptional comfort, and plenty of power for the open road. Or they are looking to buy a car that has a bit of rarity to it.

Everyone’s mom, cousin or former roommate has owned or driven a Lexus or BMW. A nice looking Volvo going down the road is something that would make many an enthusiast look twice.

Jacques: One other feature that deserves mention on the C70 was the mid-level boost. Saabs used to offer phenomenal acceleration from 40 to 70 mph and this Volvo offers the exact same punch. You don’t really need it, but I can easily see a car like this gulping down a lot of highway miles and the solid torque curve the C70 offers for these customers makes me want to recommend it to the TTAC faithful.

Stefan: I don’t know. This car retails for $47,500 MSRP. Even if you can find one at a fire-sale price, say, $44,000, you could still get two very nice vehicles that would be a far better collective value than this one. While I was driving this car I kept on thinking about the Fiat 500C Pop cabrio and, dare I mention them here, the Camry and Passat. You can have two great cars. One to do your daly duties that offers far more room and practicality than the Volvo C70. The Fiat quite frankly offers more in-town fun and a nicer look to it than the Volvo.

Jacques: Still looking at MPG’s and practicality above all else? Forget it! Cars like this are about a nice road trip for two. They are about getting where you want to go with plenty of power, style, and who cares about back seats or hauling stuff? The buyer of this car is looking for that perfect fit for one and a great weekend outing for two.

Two can squeeze in the back. But this car is more for the single executive or empty nester than the fellow looking for four seats or an around town scoot around car.

Stefan: I will say one thing. The Volvo C70 competes well without the cachet of other marques and models in this segment.  But I seriously doubt that most of them will even bother to cross-shop a Volvo. It’s a shame because this model certainly deserves more attention than it gets.

Note: Volvo provided a tank of gas, insurance, and a long list of specs for the 2012 Volvo C70. Emails? Comments? Thoughts? Ramblings? Feel free to comment below or email me at steve.lang@thetruthaboutcars.com

 

 

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48 Comments on “Hedonist vs. Frugalist: 2012 Volvo C70...”


  • avatar
    adidasman159

    IIRC another big advantage is this model has FWD, which is a big selling point for northern states. Most of the competitors feature RWD.

    Why someone is buying a convertible for year round driving in a northern state is beyond me, but you see a ton of them up here in Milwaukee/Chicago

    • 0 avatar
      daveainchina

      FWD? ok I thought it was great until you said that. I’ll pass on FWD. A vehicle like this needs to be able to smoke the back tires on the rare occasion you might want to.

      Or maybe I just don’t get it, and as for competitors why not the Mustang drop top or the Camaro drop top. Aren’t they catching up quick in the interior quality department?

      • 0 avatar
        PoGOOD

        @daveainchina – no, they actually are not catching up – especially Mustang… ;)

        The level of Volvo C30/S40/V50/C70 interior is much higher then anything south of BMW or Lexus. I didn’t drive the Solara so far but if it resembles the quality of Camry – it’s not better as well.

        FWD in such a car might be a problem only if you really WANT to burn rubber or show-off “redneck style”. ;) But I think this is a vehicle that will not fit in the choice funnel of any redneck because it’s just… well – different (elegant and sublime).

        One very important thing about the way this FWD drives – it’s based on EURO-SPEC Focus setup – not the american. That’s why it copes so well with any corner you can choose. Off course you need to behave differently than in BMW / Lexus with RWD (full power mid corner isn’t exactly the best idea), but you’ll be surprised how good it drives on a twisty bit of road.

        I still prefer the pre-facelift front though…

      • 0 avatar
        Thinx

        “Smoking the back tires” is not likely to be a major desire for people who buy this car. It is more about enjoying a leisurely and comfortable drive, while looking somewhat stylish and elegant. I am not a big fan of Volvos, but this car fits that market pretty well. Those wheels are super tacky, and the price is a bit ambitious for the brand and the product – but otherwise a nice ride.

  • avatar
    mcarr

    I’ve never found Volvo’s even mildly interesting, but this one looks good.

  • avatar
    PoGOOD

    After doing over 130’000 miles in my V50 this is definitely my next car. I don’t need as much space as I did last years and I can easily live with that C70 being a perfect allrounder for my family.

    The only question remains – should I go for the new one or stick to pre-facelit model with slightly less complicated nose? I actually prefer the old shape…

  • avatar
    NormSV650

    Clarkson from Top Gear once mention about a 2005 Saab 9-5 Aero being quicker from 40-70mph than a Porsche 911 Turbo in second gear, as opposed to any other back in the day. The Saab has always best Swedish cousin Volvo in torque from turbo charged with a smaller 2.3 4-cylinder. Mostly due to the knock sensitivity between firing events that send current through sparkplugs for optimization of the next event.

    The new Volvos are sex-on-wheels, inside and out. I considered a C30 R while looking now and owning a 9-5 in 2000. Just too pricey for new used. Plus as you mentioned fuel economy is poor by today’s standards.

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    Just ordered a Volvo wagon. Seats were a deciding factor. The only car of lower price that worked was the Pilot or a stripped Tahoe (you get deep discounts on the Tahoe).

    I suspect that only the BMW and Mercedes convertibles compare in this category.

  • avatar
    slance66

    I do hate those wheels. God-awful tacky things. My dad had an older model and it was a nice car for many years. I think the Camry plus Fiat makes far more sense however.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    I wish I could afford something like this. I’ve had an affinity for Volvo since the late 1960’s with the PV544 and P1800 models. After that, not so much, as they had no style to suit me, plus the price was too high as they were a “foreign” car, and as we all knew, foreign cars were more expensive, VW Beetles notwithstanding.

    In recent years, Volvo has come out with products I truly find clean and attractive. Too bad I roll on a Chevy budget – which isn’t too bad, I suppose.

    I see myself in one of these folding hardtops and wonder: would I have the top down more, or leave the top up but roll all windows down and admire myself as I drive s-l-o-w-l-y by buildings that have lots of glass, enjoying my reflection, thinking just how great it is to be me?

  • avatar
    dcdriver

    My father in law has a 2009 C70 and I’ve driven it many times. It has the older engine which i think is less powerful than the one in the review. It feels really heavy to me and the turning radius is terrible for a car of this size. The leather seats were also starting to show some wear and cracks. Oh and he’s had some issues with the top not working on multiple occaisions. On the plus side is that it runs on regular gas and has a decent back seat for two.

    • 0 avatar
      Japanese Buick

      I looked at one of these when I was buying my PRHT Miata. Yes I know not direct competitors but I was playing with also selling my 98 LS400 and getting one car that could replace them both. Decided to keep my Lexus and bought the Miata.

      On the Volvo, the salesman had a lot of trouble getting the top to work on the one in the showroom. Very fussy, there’s a piece that has to be in exactly the right place for it to work.. I think a cover of some kind in the trunk, don’t remember exactly. And when the top is down — zero trunk access (not to mention little room). I guess these are the compromises of a car not designed to be a convertible from the start — as opposed to the Miata or the Mini roadster, in which the top has its own compartment and has no effect on trunk room.

      Also the interior felt cheap and flimsy, at least compared to my Lexus. Yes the seats were great. In the end I went with the two car soluton: Miata + 1998 Lexus. The right tool for the right job instead of a compromise that isn’t perfect for either role.

  • avatar

    It’s not obvious on a black car, but the badly executed cut lines in the folding hard top break up the visual flow. Best execution is on the VW Eos, where clever design permits a longer header with fewer cuts.

  • avatar
    dcdriver

    The C70 really is in an interesting price range. For about 8-10k less than a C70 you could probably get a Mustang GT convertible or an Eos. Or on the other end, for about 8-10k more than a C70 you could get a Boxster.

  • avatar
    vwbora25

    definetly a sexy beast

  • avatar
    ja-gti

    The front of this car, especially in the first photo, reminds me of a catfish.
    The side profile will cause it to be mistaken for an Audi with after-market wheels.

  • avatar
    vikast

    The biggest issue with this car is that it is stale. The design, materials and textures were pioneered by the S60 and S40 back in the early to mid ’00s, but the overall design hasn’t kept pace with the competition. It looks OK – on par with the BMW, but not as attractive as Infiniti and Audi. The electronics / comfort features aren’t anywhere close to what is offered by the competition, particularly Lexus. I haven’t driven it in a while, but recall significant torque steer and thought there was more shudder than other convertibles I tested. The Lexus, Audi, BMW and Infiniti all drive better than the Volvo. The Volvo isn’t that great a value, since it depreciates quickly. For example, lease payments are advertised at $450, which is only $20 less than a comparable BMW 328i Convertible lease with a similar downpayment. Safety doesn’t seem to be Volvo’s traditional advantage, as the C70 has the same features as competitors. In the end, it doesn’t drive as well as the BMW, look as good as the Infiniti or Audi nor is it as comfortable as the Lexus. The car has no unique value proposition, other than the very comfortable front seats.

    • 0 avatar
      onyxtape

      Very well put. Volvo’s traditional competitive advantages of reliability and safety have all been far surpassed by its competitors. Trying, as they have been for the last 10-15 years, to be yet another lux Euro offering is a lost cause.

      • 0 avatar
        tariqv

        Surpassed how? Please tell us!
        You are a fool to think that other cars have better safety than this volvo…how many cabrios do you know of that have side curtain airbags?? How many with such an effective whiplash protection system?

      • 0 avatar
        drivebywire

        I am sick and tired of hearing people say that Volvo’s safety advantage of the past has now been met by the rest of the industry.

        It is simply not true.

        Anyone who believes it, has been brainwashed by marketeers.
        5 star ratings are meaningless these days.

        Companies invest and lead, or they follow.
        Volvo happens to invest and lead on safety, and others follow.
        Toyota/Lexus is happy to be a follower, and it works for them because they have a different commitment.

        Personally, I spend my money and time with products from companies who commit to issues that I care about.
        Thus, I will NEVER drive a Camry.

  • avatar
    dcdriver

    I really think there is a market for a 4 seat convertible from a mainstream (non-luxury, non-muscle car) brand. With the demise of the G6 and Solara, only VW and Chrysler make 4 seat convertibles now among the mainstream makes. I think there are people out there that would buy a 4 seat FWD convertible as a daily driver priced in the 32-35k range. A 4cyl, 4 seat convertible version of Accord, Fusion, Optima, Altima etc. would probably sell pretty well.

    • 0 avatar
      FuzzyPlushroom

      My grandfather’s in the market for such a car, albeit pre-owned. The Sebring was a Sebring (too cheap, underpowered even with the 3.5, though the new 200 may remedy both issues), the Mustang rode stiffly (as expected), the G6 is difficult to find, the Eclipse just isn’t very good. Options are few, sadly enough.

      • 0 avatar
        SherbornSean

        Solara

      • 0 avatar

        The Solara convertible has the flimsiest structure I’ve seen in a recent car.

        Your grandfather should probably see if something European can be made to fit his budget. Even an Eos might work well for him.

        I wouldn’t assume that something Japanese will have fewer problems. The top on the G37 seems to be prone to rattles. One of the reports through TrueDelta’s survey:

        “Roof rattles like a Plumbers truck. They hear the problem, have to order a part. After a delay, substandard loaner, they apply some lube and return the car. After a day or so its just as bad as before.”

        Another car was bought back because they could never fix the rattles in eight attempts.

      • 0 avatar
        SherbornSean

        Wow, Micheal, I did not know the Solara was so flimsy. Thank you.

        My sense is that hard top convertibles tend to rattle more than usual, especially in winter as the cold shrinks the fittings and makes the rubber between them more brittle. That was the case in the last Eos I was in, which was in Chicago in February.

      • 0 avatar
        NormSV650

        The Solara is the worst cowl shake of any modern day convertible, period! Lady friend had one and just driving through a parking lot with top up and secure you could watch the windshield rocking back and forth. The MB CLK is not gar behind.

  • avatar
    threeer

    I used to be a pretty big fan of Volvo. Righ up until they became a part of a Chinese conglomerate. Now I can’t see myself owning one. Call it what you will, but we all have our reasons for buying (or not) certain brands, I suppose.

    As for the general appearance of the C70, I always thought it was a pretty nice cruiser…not as sporty as a BMW, but probably more comfortable over a long drive.

  • avatar
    Astigmatism

    Just as a for-what-it’s-worth, you can get wood trim in this car, and can even get brownish wood trim (instead of that idiotic black-hued stuff that looks like it fell out of a Zack Snyder movie) depending on how you’ve optioned it. One of my biggest current pet peeves with the Euros (BMW in particular) is the bizarre trend of preventing you from ordering a conventional, attractive interior with the upgraded suspension or engine – as if, because I want my car to handle better, I must hate natural materials and want the cabin to look like an office cubicle. You guys have already done a piece on this, if I recall correctly. Give me back my wood!

  • avatar
    unartisticinc

    I’m pretty sure the Volvo doesn’t get 325hp. More like 227.

    “Stefan: The power is all there too… and then some. 325 horsepower for the upgraded T5 “

  • avatar
    THE_F0nz

    My 2002 C70 hard top has 130k on it, and it still feels like it is machines from a single block of steel. No doubt about it. It is part of the reason I can’t let it go!

    Great looking car though. My 2002 has quite a bit more arm/shoulder room being that it was based on the old S70 platform rather than the S40 platform that this one is derived from.

  • avatar
    Luke42

    I like Volvo wagons quite a bit — they’d be just the right mix of family practicality, towing ability, and near luxury. But that proprietary electronics stack, and the expensive European heritage, scares me off. Also, the MPGs don’t seem to be anything special. Despite all that, I *like* the Volvo.

    But that proprietary electronics stack means that I can’t put in a nice Android-based NAV system when they become available — and replace that with something better 3 years after that. Also, I don’t know what other kind of unrepairable items lurk beneath the hood.

    I’ve searched the Volvo enthusiast boards for the answers to these questions, and but none have been forthcoming.

    The Prius is full of weird proprietary stuff that isn’t common elsewhere in the automotive world, but the enthusiast community has mostly figured it out. And I’ve been working on my beater-Fords for years, so I kinda know what to expect from Ford. So, it’s looking like there might be a Prius V or plugin Prius (for the wife) and a C-Max Energy or an Escape EB (for me, depending on what the specs look in the fall) in the next go-round. Or maybe I’ll just say to hell with it, and lease a Volt. But a Volvo wagon would be so “me” — if it weren’t disqualified for its lack of hackability and MPGs.

    P.S. I’m starting get why people like love Jeeps, but I can’t get past the MPGs on them either. And the Jeep enthusiast community has the hackability thing figured out, which is something I respect.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      I also really like the idea of the hardtop convertible. It seems like a great way to have your cake and eat it too.

      Most of my likes and dislikes of the other Volvos apply to this car.

      “I wish I could want this car! My kid could fit in the backseat, and my wife would even half-approve of his carseat being back there!”

      Alas, I can’t afford another unhackable European money pit — even if I do want to want it!

  • avatar
    Luke42

    I like Volvo wagons quite a bit — they’d be just the right mix of family practicality, towing ability, and near luxury. But that proprietary electronics stack, and the expensive European heritage, scares me off. Also, the MPGs don’t seem to be anything special. Despite all that, I *like* the Volvo.

    But that proprietary electronics stack means that I can’t put in a nice Android-based NAV system when they become available — and replace that with something better 3 years after that. Also, I don’t know what other kind of unrepairable items lurk beneath the hood.

    I’ve searched the Volvo enthusiast boards for the answers to these questions, and but none have been forthcoming.

    The Prius is full of weird proprietary stuff that isn’t common elsewhere in the automotive world, but the enthusiast community has mostly figured it out. And I’ve been working on my beater-Fords for years, so I kinda know what to expect from Ford. So, it’s looking like there might be a Prius V or plugin Prius (for the wife) and a C-Max Energy or an Escape EB (for me, depending on what the specs look in the fall) in the next go-round. Or maybe I’ll just say to hell with it, and lease a Volt. But a Volvo wagon would be so “me” — if it weren’t disqualified for its lack of hackability and marginal MPGs.

    P.S. I’m starting get why people like love Jeeps, but I can’t get past the MPGs on them either. And the Jeep enthusiast community has the hackability thing figured out, which is something I respect.

  • avatar
    SherbornSean

    I don’t think Volvo can make money with a dozen different models that all sell fewer than 5,000 units each. They need 3-4 solid hits, likely a cute ute, AWD wagon, basic sedan and large people mover. An attractive hard top convertible which can’t consistently get enough attention to matter doesn’t fit that vision.

  • avatar
    Speed Spaniel

    I have a year left on my CC lease and this car is definitely a replacement contender. I recognize the short comings the car has such as fwd, underpowered (even with PoleStar chip upgrade) for its weight, an outdated media interface, but I don’t mind. This car is great looking with top up or down. I’m looking forward for a test drive – I have never driven a Volvo or have sat in one for that matter. Get them while they’re hot though – I heard the plant where these are made is closing and 2013 will be the last year for the C70. A future replacement remains unclear.

  • avatar
    red60r

    The 325hp figure sounds like it belongs to the Polestar-equipped “R-Design” S60 4-door, which has AWD to handle the higher power. That much twist on the front alone would make it behave like a V6 Sonata before they figured out torque steer was bad.

  • avatar
    prancingmoose

    As the owner of a 1st-gen Volvo C70, you couldn’t pay me to trade my ’02 Coupe for this car. The interior is much cheaper feeling(thanks Ford…), the ride quality is much worse, it’s slower feeling, probably thanks to the heavy and over-complicated top, and has much less style than the 1st gen. Did you all manage to completely overlook the front end?? It’s hideous. Rest of the car isn’t bad, but the front clip kills it. Take a look at a 98-02 C70 Coupe. THAT’S classic Swedish style, not this.

    I’m not saying the new C70 is a bad car, it’s far from that. But having lived with a Volvo designed without any assistance from us Americans for almost 6 years now, there is simply no comparison for me.

  • avatar
    bkmurph

    I realize I’m going against the current here, but I think the C70 is one of the ugliest vehicles on the market today. Look at the beltline: It wants to be linear, running parallel to the ‘shoulder’ of the car, but instead it tucks inward and curves upward near its meeting with the C-pillar before curving downward again at the trunk lid. Because the car is a convertible, the C-pillar can’t flow gracefully into the shoulder of the car as it does on the S40 or S80, but instead comes to an abrupt intersection and stops. (Such an intersection would be fine on a boxier car, but the arching roofline makes the compromised C-pillar all the more apparent.) From the rear 3/4 view, almost everything ahead of the front wheels disappears from view, giving a general impression of a snub-nosed, whale-like form with too much rear overhang. Drop the top, and the curving A-pillar (which looks so cohesive as part of the arching greenhouse) becomes an arc ending arbitrarily in space, putting the driver almost underneath, rather than behind, the windscreen. This whole car is a stylistic mess, and if I ever came to possess one, I’d sell it in an instant. Anyway, that’s just my $0.02.

    Edit: Incidentally, I like the wheels, especially the black accents, but the wheels would look nicer if they were about an inch smaller in diameter.

    • 0 avatar
      Marko

      Each to their own. I personally found the proportions of the second S40 awful. I remember a review by TTAC’s Michael Karesh (though the review itself is elsewhere) describing the ends “scrunched” “as if they started out designing a longer vehicle”. The S40 could look decent with the right wheels, color, and (in some cases) modifications, but the awkwardness remained.

      (Of course, it’s not as if the generic econo-box styling of the first S40 was anything to write home about.)

      On the other hand, I find the related C30 beautiful, and the V50 and C70 at least easy on the eyes. Perhaps it’s because the designers had more flexibility with those cars and didn’t need to make them look like a scrunched S60.

  • avatar
    Speed Spaniel

    I hear you – those Pininfarina designs are just terrible. That design house needs to take a lesson from the bilateral anophthalmiac person who designed the Solara convertible, now that’s rolling art, no?!

  • avatar

    On has to wonder what the market for this car is. Has the ever their ever been a mid priced luxo convertible that sold in quantity?
    This particular car has not much going for it
    A Volvo name – little cache, little associated value, now Chinese
    Split identity – Mini hood wheels supports a euro-lux design
    Expensive for a convertible – In this price range most will go for the BMW with associated cache, and perception of German quality (I did use the word perception)

    Its time that Volvo got some brand identity and stop producing these faceless cars

    • 0 avatar
      PoGOOD

      I fully agree with you on that – it’s time for a real personality of a Volvo brand. Cars are OK, but they lack… that “something” called soul.

      As an everyday driving tool – that can put a smile on your face from time to time – they are very good.

  • avatar
    Atomicblue

    I am the guy this car was made for. Mid 40’s, I live in central Florida. I’m moving up from a Miata after 6 years. I need a bigger car and like the idea of room for 4 in a pinch. I want something that rides nicer on a long road trip and am willing to give up the razor sharp handleing to get it. I think the Volvo looks better than the BMW, and Lexus. The Infinity is a close second. The BMW and the Infinity may have better handleling, but in daily driving livability I think the Volvo may have an edge.

    The problem is, they quit making this car the way I like it – with a manual. When they went to the weird looking front clip in 2011 they dropped the manual. They are out there on the used market but it’s like trying to find a bigfoot.

  • avatar
    jschinito

    those that don’t like the droopy face of the 2012 c70, look at a 2006-2010 c70. i love my 2008.

    why did i buy it? i’m late 30s, father of young children, previous subaru legacy wagon driver. the suburu was traded for a honda odyssey when the kids showed up. after a few months of driving that to work, i demanded (more like begged) my wife for my own car.

    the c70 was perfect. a used 2008 with 27k miles w/cpo warranty for another 2 years, was around our budget ($21k). i’ve always wanted a convertible and the c70 was really the only convertible in the near-lux class in my price range.

    being a former subaru driver, i’d already declared myself anti-establishment (honda/toyata/lexus/acura) and definitely didn’t want be “that” bmw/mercedes convertible driver. volvo’s branding fit me perfectly – upwardly mobile young professional wanting a more sophisticated european car without the snob-appeal of the germans luxury brand. what was left to compare it to? vw eos?

    honestly, not sure what the person above was talking about the lines, etc. the 3/4 view is gorgeous, muscular, as is the rear end. the front of the 2006-2010 c70s have the strong/business-like boxy shape with more of the volvo pedigree than the newer droopy face. the side view if the only one that looks a tad plump — at least compared to the more sleek audi a5/s5 (great looking and way out of my price range both purchase and maintenance).

    reliablity this car is solid. suspension platform is same as the c30/s40/v50, euro ford focus, mazda3, so plenty of parts (oem or performance) and the t5 engine and aisin transmission are proven and reliable.

    space, how many 4 seater hard top convertibles are out there with real rear seats? there’s more leg room in the back of the c70 than the lexus is250 (convert or standard) i sat in. good headroom back there too (i’m 6′). and it actually has a decent trunk compared to most convertibles. even top down, it has a nifty feature to lift the folded top to create a slightly large opening to grab/stow a bag or what not.

    safety, this car has — probably the safest convertible you can buy.

    agreed nav/infotainment is dated. the new 2014+ volvos have made improvements there, but

    i’m sure there were good business reasons to kill it – not enough sales, etc.

    but low sales is another reason i love it — it’s unique, you don’t see many on the roads.


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