The Volvo C70 may have rebranded itself with a new convertible and coupe models, but take a closer look and many of its details mix and match elements from other Volvo vehicles. It has a lot of similarities with its sister cars, the V50 estate and S40 saloon, with all three sharing the same wheelbase. The only difference is the C70’s is slightly longer.
Compared to other coupe-convertibles, the Volvo C70 sports a much sleeker design. There’s nothing distracting like dumpiness at the rear three-quarter, as seen in the Peugeot 307 CC. The load area goes as much as 404 litres when the hood is up. But once the roof is lowered, the space is limited to just 200 litres.
In terms of performance, we recommend the 148bhp D3 petrol engine. You get the right speed and ride without having to pay an extra price. If your budget is willing, however, there’s the 174BHP D4 that sports the same fuel efficiency and goes at a faster pace.
No need to worry about easing into this new vehicle: the driving position is perfect and the seat adjustment at a wide range. The steering wheel is also smooth under the hands; the pedals and controls are all in the right places and spaces. There’s also enough space for two adults at the back area.
Both the D3 and D5 2.0-litre diesel engines offer practical performance and ample in-gear flexibility. You can have both diesels partnered with a six-speed manual gearbox—a much better choice over the Geartronic five-speed automatic’s sluggish pace.
The C70’s overwhelming weight has its advantages: handling is more secure and the ride more secure than ever. Despite its weight, this model is also able to comfortably cruise through sharp drives.
Safety is guaranteed with the inclusion of world-fist airbags that reach upwards from the doors, plus twin front and side airbags. Brakes get an anti-lock via electronic brake-force distribution.
Interior space becomes limited when the roof is in place. There’s also the addition of road and wind noise as soon as the roof is shot. It’s much quieter when you’re at the front seat, enjoying the motorway speed pace. Wind noise also stems from the pillarless side windows. The five-cylinder petrol doesn’t keep quiet either and neither do the diesels. You’ll have to keep the roof down to avoid any of these distractions.
The C70 is limited by its weight and the slow performance of the Geartronic automatic gearbox. Given its immense size at 1700 kg, reaching 60mph takes a not so impressive 8.4 seconds versus the reported 7.4 second advertised by Volvo. Ride and handling is as old as its age: expect a jittery journey that can’t take on bumps through its large frame. Limits continue in the grip, body lean exaggerated, and the steering far too light in feel.
Grip levels are rather high, resulting in understeering that is predictable and far too mild. There’s also little feedback and the only upside is the linear steering.
Overall the C70 is a decent improvement but still could use a lot of work on the performance aspects.
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