2009 Volvo C70 Review

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The Car Connection Expert Review

Trevor Wild Trevor Wild Author
June 3, 2009

The C70 fills the space of the former Coupe (discontinued in 2002) and the Convertible (discontinued in 2004). It's less sleek than the cars it replaces, and while it's a little plain, the C70's shape is clean and well detailed with a minimum of clutter.

TheCarConnection.com's editors drove the new Volvo C70 in order to give you an expert opinion. TheCarConnection.com's auto experts then researched available road tests on the new Volvo C70 to produce this conclusive review and to help you find the truth where other reviews might differ.

The limited space inside the 2009 Volvo C70 restricts the amount of cargo or number of friends you can invite along, but with the top down, the C70 is a blast of fresh air. The 2009 C70 mates a folding hardtop to a four-seat cabin, a front-wheel-drive layout, and a turbocharged engine.

Powering the 2009 Volvo C70 is a 2.5-liter turbocharged five-cylinder producing 227 horsepower. C70s come standard with a six-speed manual transmission or an optional five-speed automatic. The manual transmissions have sweet linkages, but the automatic clicks off shifts without an ounce of drama. Both transmissions mate well with the turbo's whizzy, high-energy thrust. Volvo says the manual C70 will accelerate 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 mpg city, 27 highway with the manual, 18/26 mpg with the automatic.

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. Electric power steering is probably the most controversial bit, but it's well tuned here, with realistic response and feel. MacPherson struts in front and a multilink rear suspension help the 2009 Volvo C70 maintain good ride control and entertaining handling.

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Top up, the 2009 Volvo 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. At the push of a button and a foot on the brake, the C70's top lowers in 30 seconds and folds away in the trunk.

The front is the place to ride: The slick console design is styled like high-end audio equipment, there's aluminum trim (replacing the light oak trim for 2009), and in general, the theme is Scandinavian modern. 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.

Volvo’s reputation for safety doesn’t ebb just because this is a convertible. 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 2009 Volvo C70 is a Top Safety Pick, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Changes to the C70 for 2009 are minimal, but they do exist. The six-disc CD player is swapped from a standard item to a feature of the Premium Package, but Volvo makes standard a Bluetooth hands-free phone interface. The Volvo DVD-based navigation system improves, via its driver interface that now features scroll-along route in scroll mode, extended point-of-interest menu, bird-view map with detailed intersection and building footprints, and a unique "Map Care" program that provides two map updates.

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