2011 Volvo C70 Convertible Review | Edmunds.com

2011 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 5-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 227 hp @ 5000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 19/28 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2011 Volvo C70

  • The 2011 Volvo C70 boasts a retractable hardtop, a luxurious interior and a smooth ride, though its middling performance means some competitors will leave it behind.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Convenient retractable hardtop, cosseting cabin, quiet and comfortable ride, surprisingly practical.

  • Cons

    Unremarkable performance, confusing audio/Bluetooth/navigation controls.

  • What's New for 2011

    The 2011 Volvo C70 receives refreshed exterior styling as well as a new instrument panel and upgraded interior materials. Also, the six-speed manual transmission has been discontinued, and leather upholstery and satellite radio are standard.

Full 2011 Volvo C70 Review

What's New for 2011

The 2011 Volvo C70 receives refreshed exterior styling as well as a new instrument panel and upgraded interior materials. Also, the six-speed manual transmission has been discontinued, and leather upholstery and satellite radio are standard.


Remember the late 1990s and early 2000s, when the first modern retractable-hardtop convertibles appeared? Remember how the mechanical ballet of their folding roofs would leave onlookers gaping and pointing? What a difference a decade makes. Today, it's the rare luxury convertible that doesn't have a retractable hardtop, and this feature is even available on some affordable convertibles. As such, the retractable hardtop does little to set the 2011 Volvo C70 apart, though other elements -- including an agreeable character and a new injection of style -- make this convertible worth checking out.

Let's start with the style, because that's what's most distinctive about this year's C70. Outside, there's a new front-end design that takes the C70's visage from dull to dashing, thanks to sleeker headlamps and a more chiseled appearance. The rear-end styling has been freshened as well, highlighted by LED taillamps and subtly reworked contours. Inside, there's a new instrument panel that features C70-specific gauges and graphics rather than borrowed versions from other Volvos. The overall interior design remains familiar from previous years, but no matter -- we've always found this to be a C70 strong suit.

Under the skin, the C70 is essentially the same luxury hardtop convertible that debuted in 2006. That means it continues to prioritize comfort over performance, which should suit many shoppers in this segment just fine. The C70 rides smoothly and confidently, evincing a pleasing solidity over bumps despite its open-roof structure. The turbocharged inline-5 engine may not be a match for the best from Germany and Japan, but it's peppy enough for most tastes. Handling is the only area where the C70 unequivocally falls short: If you care about cornering ability, this Volvo's pronounced body roll and low limits will likely disappoint.

Another advantage for the 2011 Volvo C70 is its reasonable pricing. Volvo's drop top is considerably cheaper than the 2011 BMW 3 Series and Infiniti G37 hardtop convertibles, and the similarly priced 2011 Lexus IS 250 C is relatively short on power and interior style. A cheaper option is the 2011 Volkswagen Eos, but it shares the Lexus' drawbacks. And the Audi A5 Cabriolet's sexiness is mitigated by its less versatile soft-top design. With its rejuvenated appearance and well-rounded nature, the aging Volvo C70 still occupies an appealing niche in this competitive segment.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2011 Volvo C70 is a four-passenger luxury convertible with a retractable hardtop, and it's available in only one trim level, the T5. It comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, a power-retractable hardtop, front and rear foglights and heated outside mirrors. Standard interior features include leather upholstery, eight-way power front seats (with driver memory), automatic dual-zone climate control, full power accessories, cruise control, Bluetooth and an eight-speaker CD/MP3 audio system with auxiliary audio/USB jacks and satellite and HD radio.

Five option packages are available for the C70, along with a variety of stand-alone upgrades. Going with the Multimedia package equips the C70 with a 14-speaker Dynaudio premium surround-sound system and a hard-drive-based navigation system with real-time traffic. The Convenience package adds keyless ignition/entry and rear parking sensors, while the Climate package includes headlamp washers, rain-sensing wipers, heated front seats and an interior air quality sensor. The Dynamic package gets buyers 18-inch alloy wheels, adaptive xenon headlamps and a sport steering wheel with aluminum inlays. Stand-alone options include a wind blocker, a blind-spot monitor, a portable navigation system and interior wood inlays.

Powertrains and Performance

The front-wheel-drive 2011 Volvo C70 is powered by a turbocharged 2.5-liter inline five-cylinder engine rated at 227 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed automatic with manual-shift control is mandatory. This powertrain is EPA-rated at 19 mpg city/28 mpg highway and 22 mpg combined.


The C70 comes standard with antilock disc brakes with brake assist, stability control, front-seat side airbags, side curtain airbags for front passengers, roll bars that deploy in the case of a roll-over accident and whiplash-reducing front head restraints. In crash tests, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the C70 its highest rating of "Good" for frontal-offset and side impact protection.

Interior Design and Special Features

The C70's cabin is anchored by Volvo's signature "floating" center stack, a slim panel that spans the gap between the dashboard and the center console. The stereo, Bluetooth and navigation functions are unintuitive, but the now-familiar "mode man" climate controls are foolproof. The optional wood trim dresses up the center stack, but even the standard aluminum trim looks classy. The optional Dynaudio sound system is one of the best-sounding open-air audio experiences available from any automaker.

The C70's front seats are superbly supportive, and a button on each backrest slides the seats forward for rear-seat access. Rear legroom isn't expansive, but it's better than the norm, allowing children or small adults to ride in relative comfort. With the top up, trunk capacity is a generous 12.8 cubic feet, though with the top down it drops to less than half that at 6 cubes. A button in the trunk activates the C70's standard Load Assist feature, which lifts the compacted roof assembly a few inches to create a bit more space for small items.

Driving Impressions

The 2011 Volvo C70's rigid chassis keeps the structure flex-free over bumps, and its softly sprung suspension makes for agreeable commuting and cruising. The cabin is hushed with the top up and remains turbulence-free at sane velocities with the roof retracted. If you try to drive the C70 aggressively on a winding road, however, you'll encounter numb steering, considerable body roll and pronounced brake dive. But for many convertible drivers, this will seem a small price to pay for the C70's high comfort quotient. The turbocharged engine offers solid low-end torque and a distinctive soundtrack, even if it can't keep the C70 abreast of pricier models like the BMW 335i and Infiniti G37.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Excellent value

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Volvo C70 T5 2dr Convertible (2.5L 5cyl Turbo 5A)

We purchased this car about 5 months ago, and in 6,000 miles have never regretted our decision. The car is very comfortable, has all the acceleration that we require, and gets excellent gas mileage, actually better than our Turbo Beetle Convertible. We looked at several different convertibles in this class and the C70 was by far the best car for the money. Add in the safe and secure warranty coverage and I don't see how you could do better. Take a test drive and you will be hooked.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Yip e

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Volvo C70 T5 2dr Convertible (2.5L 5cyl Turbo 5A)

After one month, this is my favorite Volvo in initial quality and design. I have owned a 850 GLT and currently own an S80. The C70 is quieter at interstate speeds than my S80 and my wife and I feel like we are in a snug, safe, comfortable cocoon when driving. It's just plain fun to drive and we also like the head-turning effect.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

My first volvo

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Vehicle: 2011 Volvo C70 T5 2dr Convertible (2.5L 5cyl Turbo 5A)

This is my first Volvo..It won't be my last! It is fast, comfortabe.well designed inside and out and fun to drive. I am very satisfied with the mileage,getting 29mpg city and open road. Fit and finish is great and to date not a single concern.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Catch the sun

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Volvo C70 T5 2dr Convertible (2.5L 5cyl Turbo 5A)

This is a great car! It rides like a coupe but has the fun of a convertible. From the aggressive nose to the LED taillights it is a nice looking and well engineered ride. The celestial blue gives it an air of dignity but the 18 inch rims give it that sport look. The gas mileage is so-so 19 in the city but you don't buy it for that...it has all the Volvo safety features and the 5 year (covers everything) warranty is "just in case." Had to wait for this special order...2 months...but the spring timing was perfect. The dealership, Fairfax Volvo, made certain that the car was perfect. Very pleased...enjoying the sun!!!

Excellent car -- love it

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Volvo C70 T5 2dr Convertible (2.5L 5cyl Turbo 5A)

Just a joy to drive. Simple, zen like interior. Peppy fwd engine. Real head turner.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Fun car and great value

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Volvo C70 T5 2dr Convertible (2.5L 5cyl Turbo 5A)

I've had the C70 for a couple of weeks. Compared the C70 to the BMW 3 series. Glad I bought the C70. It's a fun car to drive and very stylish. All the complaints I've read in other reviews have been resolved with the 2011 model. It has plenty of power for my driving style and good passenger room. I have the convenience and climate packages. The car is a real head turner when parked at the local restaurant or gas station.

Talk About The 2011 C70

2011 Volvo C70 Discussions See all Started By

Our 2011 Volvo C70 with 15,000 miles has an intermittent problem with the gas cap. The other day, we were half way through a full tank of gas and the Check Engine light came on. When we took it to the...

Howdy y'all! I have a 2010 XC60, so I've followed this thread for some time. My question is about the C70(VERY little action on the C70 threads!). Do we know when the 2012 model year intro will be...

ases.aspx , which is a press release on September 1, 2009 about the 2010 Volvo C70 (note bottom of article C70, Model Year 2010). The information about this model being the 2011 was released just bef...

Gas Mileage


  • 19
  • cty
  • 28
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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