Full 2013 Volvo C70 Review
What's New for 2013
For 2013, the Volvo C70 gets a few more standard features (including automatic wipers and headlight washers) but otherwise continues unchanged.
With its handsome styling, comfortable seating and relatively practical nature, the 2013 Volvo C70 has plenty going for it. The C70's classy exterior design manages to hide the typically awkward rear-quarter cut lines that sully the profiles of other retractable-hardtop convertibles. Inside, the cabin is also cleanly executed and boasts comfortable front seats and a decent-sized backseat and trunk.
Under the hood is a turbocharged 2.5-liter inline-5 engine good for up to 250 horsepower. It's not the most dynamic engine in this segment, but it generally gets the job done. More importantly, the C70's retractable hardtop provides coupelike quietness along with a level of security and foul weather practicality that a soft top can't match.
The C70's interior doesn't quite have the luxury vibe of rivals such as the Audi A5 convertible, while its performance and handling are no match for the BMW 3 Series or Infiniti G convertible. Still, the 2013 Volvo C70 costs considerably less than most of those models, while also being more practical. So even in the face of several other worthwhile choices, the C70 offers a combination of style, substance and value that's hard to ignore.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2013 Volvo C70 is a four-passenger luxury convertible with a retractable hardtop. The single T5 trim level comes equipped with 17-inch alloy wheels, a power-retractable hardtop, foglights, automatic wipers, heated mirrors, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, eight-way power front seats, driver seat memory functions, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a trip computer, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity and an eight-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite radio, HD radio, an iPod/USB audio interface and an auxiliary audio jack.
Opting for the Premier Plus package gets you LED running lights, rear parking sensors and keyless ignition/entry. The Platinum adds to that a navigation system and a 14-speaker premium surround-sound audio system.
The Inscription package includes a more powerful engine, unique 18-inch wheels, adaptive xenon headlights, LED running lights, a rear spoiler, a sport steering wheel, aluminum sport pedals, monogrammed front seats/floor mats, and leather covering for the dash, center armrest and hand brake lever.
Other options include the Climate package (heated front seats and an automatic cabin air filter), the Dynamic package (18-inch alloy wheels, adaptive bi-xenon headlights and a sport steering wheel) and a blind-spot warning system.
Powertrains and Performance
The 2013 Volvo C70 is powered by a turbocharged 2.5-liter inline-5 engine rated at 227 hp and 236 pound-feet of torque. Opting for the Inscription package includes a higher-output version of that engine with 250 hp and 273 lb-ft. Front-wheel drive and a five-speed automatic transmission are standard.
In Edmunds performance testing, the C70 Inscription ran from zero to 60 mph in 7.8 seconds -- energetic enough for most folks, but slow for the class. EPA fuel economy estimates for this powertrain are 19 mpg city/28 mpg highway and 22 mpg combined.
The 2013 Volvo C70 comes standard with antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, front-seat-mounted side airbags, front seat curtain-style airbags, an automatically deploying rollover bar and active front head restraints.
In Edmunds brake testing, the C70 came to a stop from 60 mph in 133 feet, which is about 10 feet longer than average.
In crash tests, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the C70 its highest rating of "Good" for frontal-offset, side-impact and roof-strength protection.
Interior Design and Special Features
The C70's passenger cabin earns high marks for form, with a sleek, stylish design accented by Volvo (http://www.edmunds.com/volvo/)'s trademark thin center stack panel that appears to float in the space between the dash and the center console. Quality materials, including leather upholstery and both the standard aluminum and optional wood trim, complete the effect. The front seats are very comfortable and the Platinum package's 14-speaker surround-sound audio system is one of the best you'll find in a convertible.
Function is more of a mixed bag, however. While the familiar "mode man" climate controls are intuitive, the audio controls can be frustrating and the optional navigation system has one of the worst control interfaces on the market. Rear seat legroom is a little tight, though still better than what you'll find in an A5, 3 Series or Infiniti G.
As with all retractable-hardtop convertibles, you'll lose trunk space with the top down. But the Volvo goes from a very generous 12.8 cubic feet with the top up to a still-usable 6.0 cubic feet with it lowered. That doesn't seem like a lot, but it's better than many competitors. Pressing the trunk-mounted Load Assist button lifts the roof assembly to make it easier to access the remaining space within the trunk.
What you think of the 2013 Volvo C70's performance depends a great deal on your expectations. If you're looking for sports car handling you're bound to be disappointed, as the steering feels a bit numb and the suspension allows a good deal of body roll and brake dive when pushing the car hard on a curvy stretch of asphalt. The turbocharged engine, while no slouch, can't match the punch delivered by the motors in more expensive competitors like the BMW 335i and Infiniti G37 convertibles.
The majority of convertible shoppers will find driving the C70 to be a pleasant experience, however. The car's supple suspension delivers a very civilized ride quality. With the top up, the cabin is luxury car quiet while the breeze is well-controlled with the top down.