2008 C70 New Car Test Drive
The Volvo C70 is a true convertible, converting from coupe to roadster with the press of a button. With a folding steel roof that deploys from its trunk, it converts from an open car to a closed one in just 30 seconds. The C70 helped launch a trend toward true hard-top convertibles when it debuted as a 2006 model, and it was an immediate sales success.
For 2008, the C70 benefits from its first significant upgrades. Among them: more horsepower, new safety features, real wood in the interior, and Sovereign Hide premium leather seating surfaces as a new option. Fuel economy is an EPA-estimated City/Highway 18/27 miles per gallon.
The sporty C70 is based on the S40 sedan, but it has more luscious lines. It also has a wider track (the distance between the right and left wheels). The engine, suspension and transmission are proven Volvo components, while the rigid chassis was designed to meet Volvo's industry-leading safety standards.
We found the C70 to be an excellent highway cruiser, smooth and steady at high speeds. With the top up, it's quiet. It's a steel top, so it feels like a coupe when it's up. The C70 drives like a sports car. It has a solid feel and strikes an appropriate balance of responsive handling with a smooth, well-controlled ride quality and fade-resistant brakes. We liked it best with the six-speed manual, but the five-speed automatic is crisp and responsive.
The styling is brilliant, with elegant coupe lines, and the retractable hardtop is an engineering masterpiece. The cabin features comfortable seats, the latest in Volvo interior styling and fabrics, and a clever cubby behind the center dash. The stereo sounds superb. Everything operates as it should, and it's a beautiful piece of work.
Nothing else on the market offers what the C70 does, priced under $40,000.
The 2008 Volvo C70 comes in only one trim level, which Volvo calls T5 ($39,240). The retractable hardtop is standard. A six-speed manual transmission comes standard; a five-speed automatic is optional ($1,250).
Standard features include fabric upholstery, power front seats, leather steering wheel with controls, and a deluxe stereo featuring an in-dash six-disc CD changer, MP3 playback capability, eight speakers and four amplifiers. Seventeen-inch Sadira alloy wheels come standard, while 18-inch Mirzam alloy wheels are optional ($750).
The Convenience Package ($1,595) bundles the Blind Spot Information System (with cameras near the outside mirrors to detect vehicles where the driver might not see them), keyless drive, Interior Air Quality System (IAQS), power retractable mirrors, and rear park assist. The Premium Package ($1,495) combines leather seating with auto-dimming rearview mirror, compass, and HomeLink; Premium Package buyers may add Sovereign Hide leather ($995) in a choice of three colors. The Climate Package ($675) comprises heated front seats, headlamp washers and rain-sensing wipers. The Dynaudio sound system ($1,550) features 12 speakers and five main amplifiers, plus two separate subwoofer/amplifiers blasting 910 total watts via Dolby ProLogic II Surround Sound. Stand-alone options include bi-xenon high-intensity discharge (HID) headlamps with washers ($700), DVD navigation ($2,120), Sirius Satellite Radio ($295), silver metallic paint ($475), and pearlescent white paint ($625).
Safety features include electronic stability control with traction control, and anti-lock brakes (ABS) with brake force distribution (EBD). In addition to the required front airbags, there are side airbags in front, and air curtains which activate upwards from the doors, even with the windows rolled down. The Rollover Protection System (a pop-up roll bar), is activated by a pyrotechnic charge, which will smash the roll bars through the glass when the roof is on. New for 2008 is Automatic Hazard Warning: Should any of the C70's airbags be deployed, the hazard lights automatically activate to attract the attention of other motorists. A standard tire-pressure monitor has also been added for 2008.