2012 Volvo C70

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The Car Connection Expert Review

Nelson Ireson Nelson Ireson Senior Editor
November 11, 2011

Buying tip

If you're looking for a last fling with Volvo's stylish but quirky convertible, act quickly: there won't be 2013 model to follow it.

features & specs

2-Door Conv T5
2-Door Conv T5 Platinum
2-Door Conv T5 Premier Plus
18 city / 28 hwy
18 city / 28 hwy
18 city / 28 hwy

With a healthy dash of Scandinavian style and Volvo's excellent reputation for safety, the 2012 C70 makes a solid all-around choice for a hardtop convertible.

The 2012 Volvo C70 is the last year model for the high-tech Swedish convertible, as it packs up its folding hard top and retires. Thanks to that hardtop, however, the C70 still offers a comfortable and secure coupe-like experience when the weather's unfavorable, and its unique style and reasonable price tag mean it should still be on the luxury convertible shopper's list.

Though it carries forward for the new model year with no changes, the 2012 C70's folding hardtop remains the center of attention; it takes just 30 seconds to lower and folds intricately out of sight. Top down, the C70 cuts a sporty silhouette, though not everyone will be as pleased with the somewhat funky lines of the raised roof.

Inside, the design is typical Volvo: clean, sophisticated, and backed up by generally high-quality materials. Aluminum trim and sculpted wood are the highlights. Space isn't abundant, but considering it's a sporty convertible, you'll find enough room in the trunk for a couple of golf bags even with the top down; with the top up, it's just about sedan-sized.

Review continues below

A turbocharged 2.5-liter engine provides 227 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque, with peak torque arriving at just 1,500 rpm--figures that, while not mind-blowing, will provide quite a bit of peppy driving fun. Sixty mph arrives in 7.5 seconds, and the 2012 C70's top speed is limited to 150 mph. A five-speed automatic transmission is the only offering.

Handling is light, which is unexpected considering the car's portly 3,840-pound curb weight. That lightness doesn't equate to nimbleness, however; the electric power steering is precise, but the light feeling comes from slightly over-boosted electric power steering. On the whole, however, the C70 is a satisfying car to drive, if not truly sporty.

In spite of its weight and relatively potent engine, the 2012 Volvo C70 manages respectable fuel economy, registering 18 mpg city and 28 mpg highway for a combined rating of 21 mpg. While those numbers won't get you in with the hip green crowd, they will save some money at the pump in comparison to thirstier alternatives.

Features abound in the C70, with a strong standard options list supplemented by a variety of available upgrades. Bluetooth hands-free calling is standard, for example, as are auxiliary/USB inputs, Sirius XM Satellite Radio, and steering wheel audio controls. Volvo's navigation system can be added as part of a package, as can rain-sensing wipers, rear park assist, and a premium audio system.

The NHTSA hasn't rated the 2012 Volvo C70, but the IIHS rates the car at its top rank of "good" for all measures, though it doesn't earn a top safety pick. Volvo's reputation for safety and a wide array of standard safety gear, including roll-over protection, pedestrian protection, whiplash protection, front, side, and curtain airbags, a collapsible steering column, and much more mean there's plenty of both active and passive safety measures in every C70.

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Styling 8
Performance 7
Comfort & Quality 8
Safety 9
Features 9
Fuel Economy 7
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