The Volvo C70 is a 2-door luxury coupe/convertible made in two different generations. The first generation of the C70 was available from 1996 to 2005 as a coupe or a soft-top convertible. The second generation of the C70 was available throughout 2006 and 2013 as a retractable hard-top convertible.
The C70 is available with a few different engine options on a familiar Volvo inline 5-cylinder engine platform. The C70 comes with either a manual gearbox for both the older and newer generations and an automatic for the second generation C70.
The first generation C70 is a lovely-looking cruiser as it does represent a design era that is no longer present in the current market. The second generation of the C70 looks a lot more modern and is one of the most Volvo-looking Volvo sedans ever.
Reliability-wise, the C70 is decent, but there are a few issues worth talking about. Value-wise, both the first and the second generation of the C70 offer a time capsule experience for not all that much money while practicality is somewhat hampered with the convertible versions.
Volvo C70 – The powertrain
The Volvo C70 is available with a few engines that are built around the familiar Volvo 5-cylinder platform. The starting engine is the 2.0L 5-cylinder model with 163hp while the 2.0L is also available with 225hp. The next engine up the range is the 2.3L 5-cylinder with either 240hp or 245hp. The C70 is also available with a 2.4L 5-cylinder with around 200hp.
The second generation of the C70 is available with more engine choices starting from a 2.4L 5-cylinder engine with 140hp, a 2.4L inline 5-cylinder with 170hp, a 2.5L 5-cylinder with 230hp, a myriad of diesel engines with power outputs between 136hp and 180hp, but these are not all that popular.
The C70 is a FWD car available with either a manual or an automatic gearbox for the second generation. The C70 is also a relatively efficient car considering its size and age with some models even being able to return close to 40MPG. All the engines available are smooth, sophisticated, and seamless which is exactly what you want from a convertible cruiser.
Volvo C70 – Design and chassis
The first generation of the Volvo C70 has aged fairly well, especially the coupe version which seems to have gathered somewhat of a fan club in recent times. Large, fast coupes have always been good-looking, but not all that many people are willing to buy them as they are not as usable as a 4-door sedan.
The second generation of the C70 is one of the most Volvo-looking Volvo cars ever which means that if you are someone who loves Volvo design language, you are definitely going to appreciate the way the C70 looks. Interior-wise, the second generation C70 is a lot more refined and available with a more advanced infotainment system while the 1st gen C70 interior is rather dated.
The design and chassis of the C70 are somewhat on the dynamic side, especially the first-gen coupe, while the convertible models are more tailored towards comfort. All in all, the C70 feels comfortable and well suited for all sorts of driving environments but cruising is where these cars tend to excel.
Volvo C70 – Reliability and common issues
It seems like the Volvo C70 is not the most reliable car Volvo has made because many people deem it to be fairly unreliable. The C70 seems to experience quite a few issues associated with the electronics, the engine and cooling, the structure, all sorts of equipment issues, and issues with the turbocharger.
The C70 has quite a few defective systems which are known to ruin the ownership experience for most C70 owners. As such, you should maintain your C70 as intended, otherwise, you will run into many issues long before the car reaches a higher mileage.
More about Volvo C70 problems.
Volvo C70 – Value and practicality
You can buy a used Volvo C70 between $10,000 and $26,000 for a more decent model. You can buy a C70 for even lower than $10,000 but those cars should be avoided at all costs. The C70 is a decent value car if it does indeed work without any major issues, so be sure to buy a well-kept model if you want it.
Practicality-wise, the C70 is relatively spacious for a convertible, but that still does not make it practical. The cargo space is hampered by the roof mechanism while headspace with the roof in place is rather limited for taller individuals.
Should I buy the Volvo C70?
The C70 is a niche product which means that people who are interested in one are indeed interested. Buying a 20-year convertible with questionable reliability credentials is not something most people are interested in, but if you are, be sure to find a model with all the necessary service history and repair bills.
The C70 can be a great buy if you do your diligence and find a well-kept model. However, buying a C70 as a whole is riskier when compared to most Volvo models out there. All in all, it is up to you, if you like it and you are willing to risk it, the C70 could be a reasonable purchase.
Why did Volvo stop making the C70?
The Volvo C70 has ceased production back in 2013 because it reached the end of its predicted lifetime. Volvo did not follow up on the second generation of the C70 because the sales were a bit discouraging. The reality is that people are not all that interested in large 2-door convertibles no more.
2-door coupes, in general, are also becoming scarce as they don’t make all that much sense from a practical standpoint.
Which generation of the Volvo C70 is better?
According to most Volvo forums, the 1st gen C70 is the better looking of the two, especially the coupe version while the second generation C70 is the more reasonable purchase. Many people have complained that the 2nd gen C70 looks fun, but is really dull to drive.
As such, the 1st generation C70 represents a more unique driving experience, and the majority of people consider the first-gen C70 to be the more interesting buy.