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What Car? says

2 out of 5 stars

For The C70 is a good-looking, comfortable, easy-cruising convertible

Against Small in the back and in the boot, and not as good to drive as a 3 Series

Verdict A desirable, high-quality reliable car, but let down by poor handling

Go for… 2.4-litre turbo models

Avoid… 2.0-litres with auto 'boxes

Volvo C70 Convertible
  • 1. The C70 has a real problem with leaking door mirrors
  • 2. If there are signs of kerbing damage on the wheels, there could be a problem with the suspension as a result
  • 3. The roof folds away in 30 seconds
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Volvo C70 Convertible full review with expert trade views

Volvo's C70 coupe was an instant hit with buyers, and this cabriolet retained the Coupe's chiselled looks, but let buyers enjoy the best of the weather at the flip of a switch, with a roof that folds away in 30 seconds.

To compensate for the lack of roof and keep the body stiff, though, the cabriolet needed weighty reinforcing, and that damaged the performance.

To make matters worse, bumpy roads soon expose the limitations of the C70's ride and the whole car can shudder over larger bumps. Its handling is clumsy, too, and the car feels like it's fighting back when driven hard on twisty roads.

That said, if you stick to smooth roads and sedate speeds, the C70 can cover ground effortlessly and smoothly. You're well protected from outside noise, although there's a fair amount of wind noise with the hood in place. With it down, wind buffeting is surprisingly light.

Also impressive is the generous space for passengers in the front, but the storage space for the hood robs the rear passengers of room compared with the coupe. The boot is also noticeably smaller.

Trade view

Kurtis Williams

A cruiser compared to the Coupe. Heavier and lazier. Auto is favourable over manual

Kurtis Williams
Buyer,
Lex Vehicle Leasing

First, we'll start with two engines to avoid. The entry-level 2.0 might be turbocharged, but its 163bhp isn't enough in the C70's heavy body (especially with the automatic gearbox), while the 240bhp 2.3 T5 exposes the limitations of the chassis, and the front wheels often struggle to find enough grip.

The best bet is the 193bhp (later 200bhp) 2.4T, and preferably with the four-speed automatic gearbox option, which is slightly easier to live with than the manual gearbox, which doesn't like being rushed.

Whichever you go for, you won't be short of kit. The Cabriolet comes with a comprehensive specification, including smart alloy wheels, climate and cruise control and full leather trim. A GT option was also available, adding an upgraded stereo, heated front seats, traction and stability control and a sports steering wheel.

Due to the age of the C70, independent dealers have a fair selection, but a private sale is your best bet for a bargain.

Trade view

John Owen

Stylish four-seat convertible now at sensible money. The 2.0T is cheap and effective

John Owen
Buyer,
Fords of Winsford

The Volvo badge may have a certain amount of prestige, but that doesn't mean the C70 is expensive to maintain. Dealers are better for newer cars, so using an independent to carry out the maintenance every 10,000 miles will save you a fair few pounds.

On the other hand, daily running costs look pretty dear. Fuel economy on the big turbocharged T5 goes as low as 28mpg, but it's no different on the 2.4, and the 2.0-litre is only a little better at 29mpg. An automatic gearbox reduces all figures by 3-4mpg.

Insurance is likely to upset you, too - all models carry a large premium. The least-powerful engines hit group 15, while the 2.4 is in group 16 and the T5 is in group 18. GT trim can also add another group to further increase the cost.

The C70 does hold its value well, but against its competitors - the BMW 3 Series and Mercedes CLK Cabriolet - it's not as satisfying to own. It won't be much cheaper to run, either.

Trade view

Kurtis Williams

A cruiser compared to the Coupe. Heavier and lazier. Auto is favourable over manual

Kurtis Williams
Buyer,
Lex Vehicle Leasing

The C70 is pretty reliable, mainly because it uses lots of tried and tested components from the old S70 saloon.

Look for a full service history, though, which should show that a car has had some TLC. The turbo engines are quite highly stressed, but will perform well if serviced regularly. However, if you get suspicious-looking blue or black smoke when revving a hot engine, the turbo is probably finished, so look for another car.

Also, check the hood for wear and tear and ensure it folds up and down without any problems - replacements and parts are expensive. Check the footwell carpets, too; but, if they're wet, it might not be the roof - the C70 has a real problem with leaking door mirrors, which can very difficult to fix.

Also check how even the tyre wear is. If it's not even or there are signs of kerbing damage on the wheels, there could be a suspension problem - or even worse, driveshaft damage.

Finally, check that recall work on the airbags has been done.

Trade view

John Owen

Stylish four-seat convertible now at sensible money. The 2.0T is cheap and effective

John Owen
Buyer,
Fords of Winsford
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