Used Volvo C70 Convertible 1997 - 2006 review

Category: Convertible

The Volvo C70 Convertible is a desirable, high-quality reliable car, but it's let down by poor handling

Volvo C70 Convertible (97 - 06)
  • Volvo C70 Convertible (97 - 06)
  • Volvo C70 Convertible (97 - 06)
Used Volvo C70 Convertible 1997 - 2006 review
Star rating

What's the used Volvo C70 sports like?

The Volvo C70 Cabriolet retains the same chiselled looks as the C70 coupe, but lets buyers enjoy the best of the weather at the flick of a switch, with a roof that folds away in 30 seconds.

To compensate for the lack of a fixed roof and keep the body stiff, the cabriolet needed weighty reinforcing, and that harmed the performance.


The Volvo C70 Convertible is a desirable, high-quality reliable car, but it's let down by poor handling

  • Slick styling
  • Comfortable
  • Not much room in the back
  • Small boot
  • Not as good to drive as a BMW 3 Series

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 fabric roof in place. With it down, wind buffeting is surprisingly light.

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

Ownership cost

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

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

The Volvo badge might have a certain amount of prestige, but that doesn't mean the C70 Convertible is expensive to maintain. All cars are getting on a bit now, so use an independent garage to carry out the maintenance every 10,000 miles.

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 31, while the 2.4 is in group 35 and the T5 is in group 37. GT trim can also add another group to further increase the cost.

Our recommendations

Which used Volvo C70 sports should I buy?

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, which added an upgraded stereo, heated front seats, traction and stability control and a sports steering wheel.

Because of the age of the C70, a private sale is your best bet for a bargain.

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