Volvo C70 (2007) - long-term test

A faulty roof has seen it out of action for a few weeks, but now our long-term Volvo C70 is ready for some summer sun

  • Engine - It's smooth, powerful, economical and, considering it's a diesel, sounds pretty good. Although it's audible around town with the roof down, the five-cylinder isn't too coarse.Styling - I first thought it was a bit staid, but the C70's lines have grown on me - it's sophisticated and is different enough from the S40 on which it is based.Refinement - Accept the C70 is no sports car and just revel in its comfort and excellent electric seats. It's just so soothing to drive.
  • Rear visibility - The high boot and small screen mean parking sensors should be standard. A dent in the rear bumper proves the devices are fallible, though.Roof - The car's key feature could be its Achilles' heel. Each C70 should be fitted with a warning sticker on the lining to alert owners that incorrect operation can cause damage.

Murphy's Law states that if something can go wrong, it will. And the last two photo shoots for our long-term Volvo C70 have proved this theory to be absolutely spot on.

This time it rained on the C70's parade, although that's a minor inconvenience compared to what happened last time round.

We were taking pictures of the three-part roof in action, and so repeatedly pressed the open and close button to get the perfect shot. But, as we found out, this isn't a very good idea. If you don't finish each process fully - until the car's computer says it is complete - the roof sensors get confused and 'forget' where they are.

The result in our case was that when we eventually closed the lid completely to go home, it shut at an incorrect angle. Part of the lining became caught on the front headrests, bending the entire roof structure.

That wasn't a good sign! I booked the C70 into HR Owen Volvo at Regent's Park in London, and was told that ours wasn't the only case of this happening. A technician explained the problem, and pointed out the car's manual states that you should always complete the full roof process. Yes it does, but it's only listed under a "Volvo also recommends" heading. This would be more accurately titled: "Warning - risk of massive damage and a lengthy repair"!

I was told that the fix should only take a few days. But then days turned into weeks - six to be exact! At least the dealership was very helpful and kept me mobile with a selection of Volvo courtesy cars, giving me a chance to try out other C70s. This let me conclude that the drop-top looks better in black rather than the metallic blue of our long-termer, and the D5 diesel is a better choice than the range-topping, but thirsty, T5 petrol.

It was great to finally have OV56 LFM back. I found out its roof had to be completely removed, stripped and refitted not once, but twice! Yet every cloud has a silver lining - the dealership not only fixed the top, but also got rid of the annoying rattle which had been bugging me in our previous report.

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