Upon reading his obituary in the New York Journal
, Mark Twain is said to have countered with the now-famous phrase, “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.”
The same can be said about Volvo’s aging power-retractable-hard-top convertible, the C70. When Volvo announced the closing of the C70’s manufacturing plant in Uddevalla, Sweden, and followed up with a commemorative C70 Inscription model for 2012, we believed it would be the final year for the car.
Not so, and like Mark Twain at the time of his first obituary, the Volvo C70
isn’t dead yet. Returning for 2013, the C70 offers buyers a personal luxury coupe that happens to double as a convertible, chock full of Volvo’s expected amenities and safety features.
With the top in place, the C70 feels nearly as tight as a conventional coupe, which is a big plus for buyers living in states that get four seasons worth of weather. Top down, the car pulls off an contemporary-but-elegant look, although it’s not quite as stylish with the top in place. If you like Volvo’s design, chances are good you’ll like the lines of the C70.
The same holds true with the C70’s interior, which is immediately recognizable as a member of the Volvo family. In typical Scandinavian fashion, there’s plenty of brushed aluminum and wood trim, which work well to convey a sense of practical luxury. While standard features (such as Bluetooth phone integration and audio streaming) abound, packages can add amenities like navigation, rear park assist and a premium audio system.
Under the hood, Volvo C70 models come with a turbocharged 2.5-liter five cylinder engine, rated at 227 horsepower and 237 pound-feet of torque. Opt for the C70 Inscription model (which carries over into 2013), and power is increased to 250 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. In either case it’s enough to get the job done, but the engine is mated to a five-speed automatic gearbox with no sporting aspirations whatsoever.
Unfortunately, that describes the car’s handling and road manners, too. With the top stowed, cowl shake is pronounced over all but glass-smooth surfaces. Steering is tuned for comfort, which is to say there’s not much feedback delivered from the front tires to the driver’s hands, and the suspension isn’t really up for the task of hauling the C70 quickly through a series of left-right-left transitions.
It’s a safe car, to be sure, but not one that those with a penchant for sports cars will find to their liking. Still, with the top stowed, the C70 is a great head-to-the-beach or take-the-scenic-route-to-dinner car, especially if you enjoy driving at a pace that encourages you to take in your surroundings instead of just speeding past them.
For complete details on the 2013 Volvo C70, see out comprehensive review on The Car Connection