Volvo C70 - enjoy the cruise

by Jonathan CrouchVolvo's C70 is a classy folding hard-top convertible with smart looks and a decent array of engines.The car is very well built and safe in typical Volvo fashion, a relaxing cruiser rather than a sharp driver's car.

by Jonathan Crouch

Volvo's C70 is a classy folding hard-top convertible with smart looks and a decent array of engines.

The car is very well built and safe in typical Volvo fashion, a relaxing cruiser rather than a sharp driver's car. Its positioning in the market is also interesting, sitting above the mainstream offerings but below the premium models on price. It could be just what you're looking for.

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As with most aspects of life, there's a right and a wrong way of doing things. Take the job of creating a modern folding metal roof coupe-convertible car. Most manufacturers to date have got it horribly wrong and it's hard to think of many cars of this ilk that don't possess huge, awkward-looking rears. That top, after all, has got to go somewhere.

Buyers would put up with that in the same way as they'd overlook feeble boot capacity in the days when folding metal roofs were a novelty but these days, things have changed. Which is why Volvo's C70 is doing pretty well in this market sector. The rag-top first generation version was both practical and a looker and the newly-restyled Mark 2 model we're looking at here continues the trend, despite its more modern roof arrangement.

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Though competent on the twisty stuff, the C70 is a consummate cruiser first and foremost. It doesn't cope particularly well with poor road surfaces but on the flat it's a comfortable and refined companion.

Curiously for a convertible, we reckon the diesels are the ones to go for. True, Volvo's oil-burners aren't the most refined diesels out there but they aren't too bad and neither is lacking in muscle. The 2.4-litre D5 is, after all, only a tenth of a second slower than the 2.4-litre petrol alternative. We chose the entry-level 2.0-litre diesel for our test which comes with an excellent semi-automatic powershift transmission if you don't want the perfectly acceptable six-speed manual gearbox we tried. The 11-second 0-62mph time of this variant sounds slow but, like the D5, the engine has sizable reserves of torque to waft around on. The engine line-up is completed by the 2.5-litre turbo petrol T5.

In styling this car, the Swedish design team started with a coupe profile and then set about making a convertible out of it. As a result, with the roof in place, you probably wouldn't guess that the C70 is capable of flipping its lid. The rear deck isn't overly long - the usual giveaway of folding metal roof cars - and the roofline is smooth and beautifully integrated with the rest of the body. The most recent visual changes are mainly cosmetic - more stylish headlamps, reshaped front wings, in-vogue LED tail lamps, a redesigned instrument panel and plusher fabrics. Otherwise, the recipe is mainly unchanged.

This Volvo is a slick product. It never feels less than solid and the styling is well judged - roof up or down. The engines are more than adequate too with the diesels in particular delivering a good blend of performance and economy.

If you like the idea of ordering your prestigiously-badged convertible with a metal folding roof and want the potential to seat four adults and enjoy decent bootspace, then the C70 is hard to overlook.


PRICE: �26,995 to �33,775 on the road

PERFORMANCE: T5 - 0-62mph 7.6 seconds; top speed 150mph. 2.0D - 0-62mph, 11 seconds; top speed 127mph.

MPG: T5 - urban 21.9; extra urban 42.8; combined 31.7mpg. 2.0D - 35.8; 57.6; 47.1

EMISSIONS: 158 to 215g/km


WILL IT FIT IN THE GARAGE: Length 4,615mm; width (including door mirrors) 2,025mm; height 1,400mm

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