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PERFORMANCE | 7 out of 10
The turbocharged engine offers solid low-end torque and a distinctive soundtrack.
While the C70 is a pleasing car to drive overall, the extra weight of a folding hardtop is difficult to disguise, and others in its segment are more nimble overall performers.
Its softly sprung suspension makes for agreeable commuting and cruising. If you try to drive the C70 aggressively on a winding road, however, you'll encounter numb steering, considerable body roll and pronounced brake dive.
The C70 can accelerate plenty quick--to 60 mph around eight seconds--and the turbocharged engine works well with the transmission.
Under the hood of the 2011 Volvo C70, a 2.5-liter, turbocharged, five-cylinder 227-horsepower engine delivers power to the front wheels through a five-speed automatic transmission.
While the performance is satisfying, it's hardly thrilling. There's enough low-end torque to move away briskly from a stop, with acceleration from 0 to 60 mph of roughly 8 seconds, and a top speed of 150 mph. And the transmission shifts smoothly, taking advantage of the turbo's punchy power at higher revs.
The handling of the C70 gets mixed reviews. Many drivers felt it was suitably light and sporty, especially considering the considerable heft of the car. And the electric power steering, a technology that used to mean numb, feedback-free steering feel, gets good marks for linear and realistic road feel. The ride is well controlled, thanks to the MacPherson struts up front and a sophisticated multi-link rear suspension design.
Still, the C70 is a better grand touring car than it is a sports car. On winding roads, a suspension optimized for ride quality can cause the car to wallow. In most cases, though, body lean through turns is modest and the front-wheel-drive coupe behaves with predictable understeer.
The 2011 Volvo C70 is more of a boulevard cruiser than a sportscar, though luxury-minded buyers will appreciate its balance of ride and handling.