Used Volvo C70 Coupe 1997 - 2002 review

Category: Coupé

Sophisticated and stylish, the original Volvo C70 was a mould-breaker for the firm

Volvo C70 Coupe (97 - 06)
  • Volvo C70 Coupe (97 - 06)
  • Volvo C70 Coupe (97 - 06)
Used Volvo C70 Coupe 1997 - 2002 review
Star rating

What's the used Volvo C70 coupe like?

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.


Sophisticated and stylish, the original Volvo C70 was a mould-breaker for the firm

  • Loads of style
  • Plenty of room
  • Mediocre handling
  • Appetite for tyres

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 Even when it was launched it wasn't that exciting to drive and by today's standards it certainly has been superseded.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.

Ownership cost

What used Volvo C70 coupe will I get for my budget?

How much does it cost to run a Volvo C70 coupe?

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 may 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 31 to 35.

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 with the news 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. We'd recommend an independent specialist, though, which could save you money.

One other thing you'll need to budget for on turbocharged versions of the C70 is tyres - drive with a heavy right foot and you'll get through a front pair within 10,000 miles.

Our recommendations

Which used Volvo C70 coupe should I buy?

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.

Overall, though, the best engine 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, with a leather-trimmed sports steering wheel, stereo upgrade, stability control and sunroof; it's worth tracking down.

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