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20 September 2017

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Volvo C70 road test report

Volvo C70

The Volvo C70 may not have the kudos of an Audi A5 Cabrio or BMW 3-Series Convertible, but the Swede is cheaper to buy, insure, service and run. Most buyers of the C70 opt for the 2.0-litre turbodiesel model and it’s this one that holds its value best, as well as offering 47.1mpg combined economy - up from the previous model’s 46.3mpg - and decent 158g/km carbon dioxide emissions.

Road Test Reports Says3 star rating
A front-facing image of the Volvo C70

Image number 2 of the Volvo C70Image number 3 of the Volvo C70

Performance Performance - 4 stars

Volvo offers a range of three five-cylinder engines with the C70. Two of these are petrol-powered in the forms of the 2.4i and the T5’s 2.5-litre turbo motor that packs 227bhp. The 2.4i makes do with 167bhp while the D5 five-cylinder turbodiesel has 177bhp on offer alongside its generous 295lb ft of mid-rev shove delivered between 2000- and 2750rpm. There is also the four-cylinder 2.0-litre turbodiesel engine with 134bhp that covers 0-62mph in 10.3 seconds. It’s this smaller diesel engine that is the most popular with buyers as it doesn’t overwhelm the C70’s chassis with power, yet it serves up decent performance and economy in a stylish four-seat convertible. Every C70 model comes with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard that has a light shift action. The five-cylinder engines can be ordered with Volvo’s five-speed Geartronic automatic transmission, while the 2.0-litre turbodiesel has the option of a twin-clutch Powershift ’box that uses steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters.

Ride & Handling Ride & Handling - 3 stars

The C70 is a natural cruiser thanks to its four seats and easy to use convertible roof. Drive it in this way and you will never be disappointed with the way it absorbs most of the trial and tribulations of the road surface, It’s not quite as composed as a Volkswagen Eos or BMW 3-Series Convertible, but it’s still very comfortable. Refinement is also very good with the roof up or down, though rear seat passengers will get a fair blast of wind at higher speeds with the roof stowed away. Treat the C70 as a more sporting convertible and you’ll soon find the steering isn’t as precise as a BMW’s and, while there’s excellent traction in corners, the C70 doesn’t encourage such driving or reward it either. However, there are no creaks or rattles from the body and the brakes are strong.

Build Quality & Reliability Build Quality & Reliability - 5 stars

The facelifted C70 benefits from using the same engines, structure and roof mechanism as the original model, so everything that might pose a concern has already proven itself to be reliable and long-lived. This is especially warming when many owners of Coupe Convertible drop-tops have suffered gremlins with the roof operating mechanism. The revised front end of the C70 is put together with the same care as the rest of the car and panel gaps are tight and even. Inside, a revised dash adds an even greater air of classy quality to the C70.

Safety & Security Safety & Security - 5 stars

Unusually for a full convertible, the C70 comes with six airbags as Volvo fits curtain airbags to the sides of the front seats that expand upwards in the event of an accident to provide excellent protection. There’s ESP traction and stability control, along with anti-lock brakes and anti-whiplash headrests. Volvo also uses pop-up roll-over bars that emerge from behind the rear headrests in the event of the C70 rolling on to its side or roof. Deadlocks, alarm and immobiliser are all standard, along with a visible VIN number to make life more difficult for thieves.

Space & Practicality Space & Practicality - 4 stars

A convertible with a folding metal roof is never going to rival a family estate for the amount of space on offer, but the Volvo C70 is one of the best of its type. The driver has loads of space to play with to attain the perfect driving position, while rear seat passengers have decent leg and shoulder space. Headroom is a little tight for adults with the roof raised, but this is compensated for with a large boot. Fold the roof and the sky’s the limit for headroom and the boot offers just enough space for a couple of large, soft luggage cases. Even with the roof up, vision out of the C70 in all directions is good, aided by the pillarless design of the side windows, and the C70 is easy to park.

Ownership & Value Ownership & Value - 4 stars

The Volvo C70 may not have the kudos of an Audi A5 Cabrio or BMW 3-Series Convertible, but the Swede is cheaper to buy, insure, service and run. Most buyers of the C70 opt for the 2.0-litre turbodiesel model and it’s this one that holds its value best, as well as offering 47.1mpg combined economy - up from the previous model’s 46.3mpg - and decent 158g/km carbon dioxide emissions. Available in Volvo’s usual S, SE and SE Lux trims, the C70 is well kitted out in all models to give its rivals a lot to match.

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