The Car Connection Volvo C70 Overview
The front-wheel-drive C70 was first introduced for 1998, as Volvo was pushing its image a bit upscale. Compared to the boxy, utilitarian, and sometimes dowdy designs that the brand had been selling in recent years, the C70 was a bit sexy and more daring than anything else in the lineup. But even though it garnered attention from a design standpoint, the driving experience was decidedly understated. The turbocharged five-cylinder engine, whether in lower-pressure 190-hp or higher-boost 236-hp form, provided gutsy straight-line performance, but the C70's suspension was softly calibrated and it didn't feel like a aporty vehicle from behind the wheel. Interior appointments also felt rather conservative, though the power-operated soft top was one of the tightest, best-insulated arrangements of the time and the back seat was usable by adults.
The current version of the C70 was introduced in 2006. While the turbocharged in-line five-cylinder engine was carried over, it now made 227 hp and was paired with a five-speed automatic or six-speed manual transmission. Once again, acceleration is strong with this powertrain but the C70 is more of a cruiser than a tight-handling sport machine. Front seats are very comfortable, as is the case with those in most Volvos, but the back seat is cramped—perhaps more so than the last generation.
A new retractable hardtop setup provides an even quieter, more weather-tight setup that can fold down and stow in the trunk in 30 seconds. However the hardtop cuts trunk space down to about 6 cubic feet with the top down, and visibility still isn't great with the top up, especially when parking. Safety hasn't been sacrificed, though; Volvo has fitted a pop-up roll bar, and electronic stability control and six airbags are standard. The IIHS has even rated the C70 'good' in frontal and side protection.
Volvo has tweaked its standard-equipment list for the C70 seemingly every year, in recent model years, but over the past several years the convertible has come with most typical luxury features plus a nice 160-watt CD/MP3 sound system, plus Bluetooth and an iPod/USB connector. A Multimedia Package upgrades to an even stronger Dynaudio surround-sound system and hard-drive-based nav system with Real Time Traffic. Among several minor changes, Volvo introduced new wheel designs and a new front headrest design for 2010.
The C70 continued into the 2012 model year with a special-edition Inscription convertible. which continued as a package into 2013. Volvo also added standard rain-sensing wipers and headlight washers to the C70's standard equipment for 2013, and with a factory fill of fully synthetic oil, service intervals are now 10,000 miles.
The factory that produces the C70 is planned for closure, and an immediate replacement for the C70 is unlikely.