We use cookies on whatcar.com to improve your browsing experience and to provide you with relevant content and advertising, by continuing to use our site you agree to this. Please see our privacy policy for more details. Continue

What Car? says

3 out of 5 stars

For The C70 has loads of style and plenty of room

Against It's definitely a cruiser, not a bruiser

Verdict Sophisticated and stylish – this is a mould-breaking Volvo

Go for… 2.4 turbo

Avoid… 2.0 turbo automatic

Volvo C70 Coupe
  • 1. C70s tend to eat tyres - the bigger the engine, the worse the problem is
  • 2. Door mirrors can leak and soak the cabin and footwells
  • 3. Unlike some coupes, the C70 is a genuine four-seater
advertisement

Volvo C70 Coupe full review with expert trade views

In 1997, when the C70 arrived, Volvo wasn’t known for its design appeal, but the Coupe had more than a hand in changing that. With its chiselled good looks, it attracted buyers to the brand who previously wouldn’t even have considered buying a Volvo.

And, despite being introduced all those years ago, the C70 has aged fairly well and the design and materials used still feel fairly modern. Above all, it's still a Volvo through and through. The company's famous build quality and refinement are present and, of course, you get a host of safety features as standard.

Despite all appearances to the contrary, though, this is a cruising coupe, not a sports car. Even when it was launched it wasn’t that exciting to drive and by today’s standards it certainly has been superseded. The ride is smooth enough, but the more powerful engines soon expose the chassis’ limitations of grip and handling.

On the other hand, there are certainly no probems with the amount of space inside - or in the boot for those weekends away.

Trade view

Martin Keighley

Nothing like the image of a CLK but a lot more affordable. T5 is the best choice

Martin Keighley
Valuations expert,
What Car? Used Car Price Guide

There’s a wide variety of petrol engines to choose from, but originally the C70 only came in one flavour: a 2.3-litre T5 with 240bhp. As the car matured, a 2.0-litre turbo, 2.4-litre, 2.4 Turbo, a 2.5-litre 20v and a 2.5 Turbo were introduced. All produced different power outputs, but none could match the original T5’s.

Of these various options, the best is the 193bhp 2.4-litre Turbo. It has enough performance to entertain a driver, but you’ll spend less time at the petrol station, and avoid the massive insurance premiums of the bigger engines.

Also, because the five-speed manual gearbox doesn’t like to be rushed, consider an automatic for relaxed cruising, particularly the five-speed version introduced after ’99.

As you might expect of a Volvo, every C70 came with lots of goodies as standard. Later on, a GT option was added, including a leather sports steering wheel, stereo upgrade, stability control and sunroof; it's worth tracking down a car with this fitted.

Trade view

Kurtis Williams

Value for money and was a status car. Handling could be better

Kurtis Williams
Buyer,
Lex Vehicle Leasing

The C70’s fuel economy is reasonable no matter which engine you opt for. The 2.0T, T5 and 2.4T all hover just below the 30mpg mark.

Insurance might seem pricey, but when you take into account the performance available and the original cost of the car it’s not that bad. All models are in groups 14 to 16.

You shouldn't have too much to pay for unscheduled work, because the C70’s underpinnings come from the old S70 saloon, which has a reputation for reliability. And, further good news comes in the fact that Volvo dealers have reasonable rates for routine maintenance, which is just as well as the C70 needs to visit them every 10,000 miles. An independent specialist could save you money.

One other thing you'll need to budget for on turbocharged versions of the C70 is that they have quite an appetite for tyres – drive with a heavy right foot and you’ll get through a front pair within 10,000 miles.

Trade view

Martin Keighley

Nothing like the image of a CLK but a lot more affordable. T5 is the best choice

Martin Keighley
Valuations expert,
What Car? Used Car Price Guide

The C70 shouldn’t let you down as long as it’s been properly maintained. So, have a look at the service history to make sure no intervals have been missed. The turbos are reliable but have to work hard, and if an oil change has been skipped, it could spell trouble.

Check the wheels and tyres, too. The bigger the turbo, the bigger the car’s hunger for rubber, so see how much life is left on them. Worse still, if the wear is uneven or irregular there could be problems with the front suspension or driveshafts.

If the front footwells are damp, then you might have the C70’s trademark door mirror leak. It doesn’t affect every car, but is notoriously difficult to fix.

Finally, there were a couple of recalls on the C70, both of which concern the airbags and Side Impact Protection System. So, check that any necessary work has been done.

Trade view

Kurtis Williams

Value for money and was a status car. Handling could be better

Kurtis Williams
Buyer,
Lex Vehicle Leasing
Haymarket Logo What Car? is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media
What Car? is part of Haymarket Motoring
© Haymarket Media Group 2014