Volvo C70 (2010) review

Verdict on diesel set to be range’s top seller

Overall Auto Express Rating

3.0 out of 5

THE C70 was the world’s first four-seater with a folding hard-top when it debuted in 2006 – and this innovation meant it was warmly received. Since then, though, the competition has caught up with it – and in most cases overtaken it. BMW and Lexus have both moved the game on considerably in terms of technology and driveability. But the C70 still offers a good all-round package, with a healthy range of engines – and at a class competitive price.

Volvo is raising the roof with its new C70! Launched four years ago, the Swedish maker’s stylish coupé-cabrio has been given a well earned mid-life facelift.

We drove the 2.4-litre D5 diesel back in Issue 1,100. This time round, we’ve got our hands on the 2.0-litre oil-burner, which Volvo expects to be its best seller.

The most obvious place to start, therefore, is with the new engine. Delivering 134bhp and 320Nm of torque, the unit has more than enough power, and although the 10.3-second 0-62mph time doesn’t seem that fast, the car feels much quicker and continues to impress all the way through the rev range. With fuel efficiency quoted at 47.1mpg and emissions of 158g/km, the Volvo is a strong all-round performer.

The modifications to the C70’s exterior are less impressive. A redesigned front end incorporates the company’s fresh headlights and nose, while at the back there are the same LEDs that also feature on the new XC60.

Inside, there is little change, with the dashboard, interior and instrument panel remaining virtually the same as the previous car. There is little doubt the C70 has a simple and elegant layout, and it looks smart and feels well built – but the trade-off is a lack of any real personality.

Sitting at the wheel, there just isn’t enough to distinguish the C70 from any other Volvo currently on sale. On top of this, it can’t match the luxury found in rivals from BMW and Lexus. The boot is cleverly designed, though, with the area the roof folds into acting as a separate cubby when the top is in place, and a decent amount of space for a convertible.

On the move, the C70 is both smooth and refined. The steering is direct, there isn’t much body roll and the ride is comfortable, too. But as with the styling, there is very little to get excited about, with driver thrills in short supply. It’s with the top down, though, that the C70 is at its best. The folding mechanism is fast and easy to use, and with the roof fully stowed the cabin feels comfortable and well insulated.

On sale now, the 2.0-litre diesel is the cheapest variant in the new C70 line-up. Our car was finished in top-of-the-range SE Premium trim, and costs £31,345. The entry-level S version is considerably cheaper, with a price tag of £26,995.

Rival: Lexus IS 250C The four-seat hard-top IS 250C features high levels of standard equipment, and is very refined and smooth on the road. However, at £35,295, the Japanese model is expensive, and it is available only with a lacklustre and thirsty 2.5-litre V6 petrol engine.

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