2008 Volvo C70 Convertible Review | Edmunds.com

2008 Volvo C70 Convertible

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Volvo C70 Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.5 L Inline 5-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 227 hp @ 5000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 18/27 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2008 Volvo C70

  • With its gee-whiz retractable hardtop, the 2008 Volvo C70 is a strong pick for those seeking a premium convertible with a healthy list of safety features and a stylish interior. However, if performance is your mandate, there are better choices.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Versatile and user-friendly convertible hardtop design, good visibility for a convertible, sophisticated safety features, accommodating interior with an ergonomic layout.

  • Cons

    Middling acceleration and braking performance, unimpressive steering feedback.

  • What's New for 2008

    The 2008 Volvo C70 sees a slight horsepower increase, up from 218 to 227. The car's interior also gets a few upgrades, with new wood accents, a leather steering wheel and gearshift knob, and redesigned air vents.

Full 2008 Volvo C70 Review

What's New for 2008

The 2008 Volvo C70 sees a slight horsepower increase, up from 218 to 227. The car's interior also gets a few upgrades, with new wood accents, a leather steering wheel and gearshift knob, and redesigned air vents.


The Volvo C70 got its start in the late 1990s and was one of the first models to break out of the Swedish brand's stodgy image and into territory occupied by truly stylish cars with sleek, sensuous lines. Initially available as both a convertible and a coupe, the C70's lineup was soon narrowed to include just a convertible. Unfortunately, the car's charm was marred by the fact that its antiquated underpinnings made it a lot less fun to drive than similarly priced competitors. Volvo placed the C70 on a brief hiatus and then redesigned it from top to bottom for 2006.

With the Volvo C70's overhaul came a new body structure based on the current S40 sedan, handsome exterior styling and the addition of a three-piece retractable roof that elegantly assembles itself with the grace of an Arabian veil dancer. Once the hardtop is in place, this convertible in essence becomes a coupe, tightly sealed against the elements.

Unlike some other convertibles, the Volvo C70 doesn't confine, with ample top-up headroom for those who stand north of 6 feet. Visibility is another pleasant surprise, with lean rear pillars offering good sight lines for reversing drivers. The 2008 Volvo C70 is just as agreeable with the top down, thanks to minimal wind buffeting. It's also one of the safest convertibles on the market, as it's equipped with side curtain airbags that deploy when the top is lowered. To accomplish this feat, Volvo mounted the airbags in the doors.

But alas, all isn't perfect in Volvo C70 Land. Though the car elicits more warm sparks than its predecessor, it's hampered by its unimpressive turbocharged inline-5. Handling is competent but hardly energetic. If pep and performance rank high on your list, you'll want to shift your attention to the more pleasurable (though more expensive) BMW 3 Series convertible. Volkswagen's Eos is another interesting alternative, given its very similar demeanor and lower price. Still, with its noteworthy trunk space and outstanding safety features, the 2008 Volvo C70 excels as a reasonably family-friendly choice for those in search of a sexy drop top that doesn't sacrifice versatility.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2008 Volvo C70 is a luxury convertible with a retractable hardtop design. Volvo keeps things simple by offering just one trim level, the T5. Standard features include 17-inch wheels, a power-retractable hardtop, cloth upholstery, eight-way power front seats (with driver memory), automatic dual-zone climate control, full power accessories, heated outside mirrors and an eight-speaker audio system with a six-CD changer and auxiliary audio input.

Buyers can beef up the C70's content with a quartet of packages. Choose the Premium Package for goodies like leather seats, a compass and HomeLink. The Climate Package gives you heated front seats, rain-sensing wipers and headlamp washers. Pick the Convenience Package and get rear park assist, keyless start, power retractable side mirrors, a cabin air filtration system and Volvo's blind spot information system (BLIS) -- with BLIS, indicator lights issue a warning if a vehicle enters your blind spot. Make the most of your music by outfitting your C70 with the Dynaudio Package; it offers a 14-speaker Dolby ProLogic II premium sound system with 910 watts and two subwoofers. Stand-alone options include a navigation system, 18-inch wheels, satellite radio and bi-HID xenon headlights.

Powertrains and Performance

Powering the C70 is a turbocharged, 2.5-liter, inline five-cylinder engine. It's good for 227 hp and 236 pound-feet of torque, with power sent to the front wheels via a standard six-speed manual transmission. Those who'd rather not shift their own gears can go for the optional five-speed automatic. With a manual transmission, the C70 gets 18 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway. Automatic-equipped C70s get an 18/26 mpg rating.


This being a Volvo, safety is paramount. Standard safety features include antilock brakes, traction control and stability control. Side airbags are also provided, along with special door-mounted, head-protecting side curtain airbags; these are capable of protecting front occupants even when the top is down. In the event of a rollover accident, rollover bars mounted behind the seats automatically deploy for maximum safety. Anti-whiplash seats are also offered as standard equipment. Volvo's BLIS is available as an option.

Interior Design and Special Features

Activate the retractable roof and the C70's dual-hinged trunk lid opens in a reverse motion and the roof pieces arc backward and stack inside the trunk. Overall, the process is rather seamless, though it does take a longish 30 seconds to complete. With the top up, there are a generous 12.8 cubic feet available for your gear. Top down, you're left with 6 cubic feet of trunk volume, however.

Most people will find the C70's front seats extremely comfortable. Legroom is tight for those in the rear, but it should be adequate for children and smaller adults. Fluid and graceful Swedish good looks abound in the C70's cabin; its lines are free of clutter, and highlights include a center stack that undulates with a ribbon's clean grace. Still, the C70 has a fair amount of cheap-looking plastics -- troubling for a car in this price range.

Driving Impressions

Acceleration is hardly mind-blowing, but the 2008 Volvo C70's turbocharged engine offers enough low-end torque to efficiently hustle the car from a stop. On the move, the car's body's structure is rigid and stays flex-free when driven over bumps. The suspension is softly tuned, and the easy-to-drive C70 makes for a pleasing highway or boulevard-cruising companion. But pushed harder, the C70 is an unwilling partner due to uninspiring handling dynamics, numb steering and noticeable brake fade after miles of fast driving.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

Fun pleasureable and reliable

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Volvo C70 T5 2dr Convertible (2.5L 5cyl Turbo 6M)

I bought this car used in march 2011. It came with 19,000 miles that woman put on before me. She traded it in and bought a new one. I compared this to the camaro, bmw and infiniti convertibles. These cars could not compete with the value and the feel of this car. The hard top convertible is amazing to watch go up and down. It has surprisingly good power with its 230 hp with its 2.5 liter turbo 5 cylinder. Still gets good gas mileage. I average 22 city and 28 highway driving slow like i normaly do. But I want to pass someone its very easy. Im at 30k miles and had no problems. Very reliable. Only thing its expensive to maintain. Around 200-600 dollars every time i bring it in.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Liked it so much, i

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Volvo C70 T5 2dr Convertible (2.5L 5cyl Turbo 6M)

We enjoyed our '08 C70 so much, we just purchased the slightly updated 2011 model. We kept the '08 for 3 1/2 years and just under 30K miles. It was never in the shop for anything other than scheduled maintenance and one warped brake rotor. The key-fob seat memory was a little balky...more of a nuisance than anything. Our avg mpg was 23ish for the total period, highway mileage was closer to 30 when we were trying to 'watch' it. After owning the '04 ragtop version of the C70, the '08 was superior in almost every way. Very solid with the top up or down...no problems with the top or its operation. The FWD can get a little 'slippy' if the driver sends too much power on slick roads, FYI.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

Never again

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Volvo C70 T5 2dr Convertible (2.5L 5cyl Turbo 6M)

I purchased this car used with about 22k miles on it. It now has 36k miles. It's been in the shop twice to fix a front wheel/hub issue that impacted braking function and a third time to replace A/C compressor. A/C still doesn't work correctly and now check engine light is on. I've owned 50 plus vehicles before this one. I've never had a vehicle that required so much time in the shop. So 4 times in the shop in 14,000 miles. Can't wait for the next 14. I'll be dumping this pc of junk before the warranty expires.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Dream car

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Vehicle: 2008 Volvo C70 T5 2dr Convertible (2.5L 5cyl Turbo 6M)

We just purchased the car today and took it fir a long drive down Cutler Road in Miami what an sunny day and nice breeze off the bay. We have not driven and enjoyed time together like that with my wife in a long time, With the top down we felt we were sailing in time, I want to Thank Phil at Deel Volvo for his patience and honesty they all made the process so simple and honest. I will give you all an updates as the weeks pass,

Never again

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Volvo C70 T5 2dr Convertible (2.5L 5cyl Turbo 6M)

I was never more excited to get behind of the wheel of this car. It's sexy in black with a white interior. Although the inside isn't much to write home about, the outside catches eyes. That's about it. In 3 years, it's been in the shop countless times...broken AC, heat, another issue with the engine. The top has malfunctioned 3 times in the last 2 months...twice in the last week alone. Not what I'd expect for the cost. Contacted corporate and they were nice to send out some rebate coupons if I wanted to buy more stuff from Volvo. yeah right. It's looking the brakes need to be replaced too after only 28K miles. I'd rather have a KIA

Great car, best looking under

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Volvo C70 T5 2dr Convertible (2.5L 5cyl Turbo 6M)

Looked at BMW convertible. BMW had better performance and name, but C70 has great (better) looks and fine handling for $10K less than BMW. Still get people to see what kind of car it is. Excellent safety/accident reports are a bonus. 49,000 miles with no problems.

Talk About The 2008 C70

2008 Volvo C70 Discussions See all Started By

johnnyb756 - when (and where) are you picking up your new C70? 2008 or 2009? We're picking up an 'in-stock' 08 in GOT on Labor Day. Metallic Silver w/ Off Black Leather. Maybe we could hook up at ...

Just got my new C70 2008 this week. I'm trying to get the homelink lights to blink, pressing 1 and 3, the 2 outside lights. Nothing. What could I be doing wrong? I'm thinking it's just not workin...

C70 2008, MSRP 43,000. Selling price 35,400....

Gas Mileage


  • 18
  • cty
  • 27
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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