- Folding hardtop
- Smooth transmissions
- Light steering
- Large trunk (top up)
- Styling’s a little plain
- Rear seats aren’t large enough
- Teeny trunk (top down)
The 2008 Volvo C70 feels light and gets lighter with the top down -- just don’t plan on taking many friends or much cargo along for the ride.
The 2008 Volvo C70 mates a folding hardtop to a four-seat cabin, a front-wheel-drive layout, and a turbocharged engine. The new C70 fills the space of the former Coupe, which left the United States in 2002, and the Convertible, which went off into the Swedish sunset in 2004. It's less sleek than the car it replaces, and while it's a little plain, the C70's shape is clean and well detailed with a minimum of clutter.
The 2008 Volvo C70's turbocharged 2.5-liter inline-five has 227 horsepower. A six-speed manual or a five-speed automatic gearbox is offered on the front-driver. Manual cars have sweet linkages, but the automatic clicks off shifts without an ounce of drama. Either transmission mates well with the turbo's whizzy, high-energy thrust. Volvo says the manual C70 will slip from 0-60 mph in 7.6 seconds, the automatic in 8.0 seconds. Top speed is a teeth-baring 150 mph, and fuel economy is 18/27 mpg with the manual, 18/26 mpg with the automatic.
MacPherson struts in front and a multilink rear suspension help the 2008 Volvo C70 maintain good ride control and entertaining handling. Electric power steering is probably the most controversial bit, but it's well tuned here, with realistic response and feel. With the turbo whine, a light touch to the controls, and tight steering, the C70 doesn't feel at all like a hefty grand tourer.
At the push of a button and a foot on the brake, the 2008 Volvo C70's top lowers in 30 seconds and folds away in the trunk. Top up, the C70 has 12.8 cubic feet of trunk storage, the largest in its class; top down, it has 6 cubic feet, enough room for a set of golf clubs but the smallest in its class.
The front seats are fantastically supportive, but adults will not want to spend more than a crosstown trip in the Volvo C70's two backseats. There's just not enough legroom for American-sized males. The front is the place to ride, anyway; the slick console design is styled like high-end audio equipment, there's wood or aluminum trim, and in general, the theme is Scandinavian modern.
Volvo wants you to feel safe in the cabin, hence the six airbags, including inflatable curtain airbags, packaged into the cabin. Stability control, traction control, and anti-lock brakes are standard. And a pair of pop-up bars can blast through the rear glass in case of a rollover. The 2008 Volvo C70 is a Top Safety Pick, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.