1999 Volvo C70 Review

Pros & Cons

  • Roomy inside, sexy outside, Volvo safe under the skin. Turbo provides as much speed as you'll ever need.
  • Poorly conceived easy-entry power feature for front seats. Tacked-on look of Dolby center dash speaker.
List Price Estimate
$514 - $1,133

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Vehicle overview

Forget what you think you know about Volvo. Well, almost everything you know. Volvos are still safe cars, but they aren't to be relegated to granola crunchies and conservative suburbanites any longer. The C70 coupe and convertible are proof of that.

With the mission of going after buyers looking for a little excitement, Volvo engineers transformed the sturdy but boxy S70 into a svelte coupe last year with impressive performance and room for four bona-fide adults. Sheetmetal forward of the windshield is shared with the S70 sedan and V70 wagon, but aft of the front glass, the C70 is all curvy coupe or convertible.

Under the C70's sheetmetal, buyers will find the chassis of the S70/V70, along with the choice of two powertrains: the 2.3-liter turbocharged five-cylinder that makes 236 horsepower or the 2.4-liter light-pressure turbocharged five cylinder engine that makes 190 horsepower. The smaller engine allows for a lower-priced ticket into the class and is the same engine found under the hood of the S70 GLT Sedan and V70 GLT wagon.

This year, buyers of both coupe and convertible models will enjoy standard interior enhancements that include a leather steering wheel, redesigned interior light switches, 130-mph speed limiter, front fender turn indicators and red walnut dash trim in place of last year's black wood. A new 17-inch alloy wheel option is available in 1999 for both coupes and convertibles. The coupe also gets an in-dash cruise control indicator light. New colors include Desert Wind for the coupe and Champagne for the convertible.

Structural rigidity was a priority with the C70, and the results show when driving it along winding roads. This coupe is rock solid but the convertible exhibits more cowl shake than we expected. And, in keeping with Volvo's tradition of providing safe transportation, the C70 has dual front airbags with two-level triggering this year, side airbags for front passengers, three-point inertia reel safety belts at all positions, anti-submarining front seats and the SIPS side-impact protection system. Additionally, convertibles provide a rollover protection system (ROPS).

The C70s battle the shapely new Mercedes-Benz CLK, the BMW 3-Series and larger models like the Cadillac Eldorado Touring Coupe. But the C70s have changed the way people think about Volvo, and should fare well in the fight.

1999 Highlights

Volvo offers a light-pressure turbocharged engine in the coupe. Both coupes and convertibles get a bit of new standard and optional equipment.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 1999 Volvo C70.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Tough Volvo Powertrain....Get the 4 speed tranny .
Jack Weed,02/08/2016
LT Turbo 2dr Convertible
Stay away from the five speed tranny (FORD). It fails early...The 4 speed automatic will go forever, as will the 5 cylinder engine. The front ends on these cars squeal, squeak...The dealer will say that you need an front end rebuilt...Don't do it...it will still squeak after you pay $2500 to get it rebuilt, and the original front end will go 250,000...if you don't mind the noise. All in all, Volvo tough...and a fun car to drive.
1999 C70 LT Coupe, Overall a Good Car
Tareq Shahwan,10/08/2008
Bought this car used with about 30,000 miles. I've owened now for 6+ years, very little problems. I had an issue with the turbo (was leaking and had it repaired for about $150). Other than that, it has been a pretty good car. The only issue with this model (and the dealers I've visited agreed with me on) is the ABD braking system. It is flaky and kicks in during normal braking conditions. One issue I had recently was with the switching panel on the dirver door that controls the windows, the unit blew up while I was driving and I saw smoke come out inside the car. I ordered a brand new unit for about $145 (if I remember correctly) and replaced it myself. Other than that, it's been fun
Volvo C70 convertible
What a fun car to drive! Only problems are minor, and peculiar to convertibles (this is my first). For instance, the shoulder belt is hard to get to when the door is closed, and the inside rearview mirror view out of the tiny rear window is ... well, tiny. Also, there's a huge blind spot for the driver off the right and left rear sides in the back seat, where the convertible top blocks a lot of the view. It's hard to change lanes, sometimes, or to pull out into traffic and be confident you can see oncoming traffic. Other than this, it's a great car. We bought it used, a year ago, and have gone through one Pennsylvania winter so far, no problems.
Drive It Until 300K
This was our first new car. It's been an every day commuter since we bought it. We had almost zero problems for the first 100K miles. After that, only the seat motors have gone out and a few minor electrical problems. The reliability seriously rivals an Accord. Also, it's surprisingly quick for only 200 HP. Finally, it's built like a tank. Girly men need two tries to swing the doors shut. That may sound like a downside, but I hate the tinny feeling of a 3 series BMW. And, for a two-door, the back seat is amazingly roomy. A 5'10" man can sit very comfortably for a long ride.

Features & Specs

See all Used 1999 Volvo C70 features & specs 


IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 1999 Volvo C70

Used 1999 Volvo C70 Overview

The Used 1999 Volvo C70 is offered in the following submodels: C70 Coupe, C70 Convertible. Available styles include LT Turbo 2dr Convertible, LT 2dr Coupe, and HT Turbo 2dr Coupe.

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Should I lease or buy a 1999 Volvo C70?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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