Volvo C70

A road trip to Barcelona gave our Volvo C70 a chance to stretch its legs. But how practical, comfortable and frugal is a coupé-cabrio over such a distance?

  • PRACTICALITY: Even though the folding metal roof takes up half of the boot space, there was still more than enough room for a week’s worth of luggage.<BR><BR>COMFORT: Considering how many miles we covered during the course of our break, none of the occupants had any issues with comfort in the C70.<BR><BR>INTERIOR: The dashboard and floating centre console have a sleek, minimalist look, which provides the interior with a pleasing, uncluttered feel.
  • SAT-NAV: While it’s expensive, Volvo’s £1,850 built-in sat-nav would have been more practical for our trip. We took a TomTom portable with us, but it had to be hidden away from prying eyes when the Volvo was parked.<BR><BR>ROOF: The folding mechanism was occasionally quite stubborn, and it took a few attempts to raise or lower the top.

One Volvo C70 D5, two European countries and three men with one destination… Barcelona. In August, I took our long-term coupé-cabrio on a 2,000-mile road trip, including a couple of nights in France and a break in the Catalan capital.

An early test for the C70 was working out how much kit we would be able to fit under its boot separator. With three nights of the trip involving camping, luggage had to be kept to a minimum so as to leave the main section of the boot free to store the folding metal hard-top. But aside from a few essentials on the spare rear seat, every necessary item made it on board – and with zero discomfort.

The drive across France took in a stopover south of Chateauroux, and another at a campsite near Beziers, before the next day’s trip to Barcelona. Unfortunately, the roof stayed up for the majority of this journey due to rain. It was only after we had reached the Viaduc de Millau suspension bridge that the weather brightened up.

Once across the Spanish border and into Barcelona, the sunshine was on our side and the top came down. The car drew lots of attention in the city – right-hand-drive convertibles are apparently a very rare sight.

Overall, the C70 was a great choice for this trip. In particular, the cruise control was excellent on France’s autoroutes. Keeping the engine at a constant speed helped fuel economy, too, with a return of 34.2mpg from the 2.4-litre diesel. In fact, the entire 2,000-mile journey was completed on only four-and-a-half tanks of fuel.

What’s more, the C70 comes with an auxiliary port for an iPod – this is so well hidden that news and features editor Mat Watson, who normally runs the car, hadn’t even noticed it! And it made a real difference on the longer stretches of our journey. However, a multiple power point would have been useful; we found ourselves having to alternate between our MP3 player and our TomTom portable sat-nav as there’s only one 12v supply.

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