Used 2000 Volvo C70 Convertible Review
Based on a platform that is nearly a decade old, the C70 is a comfortable, sleek coupe with no real sporting ambition.
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 crunchers 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 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 its own curvy coupe or convertible.
Under the C70's skin, 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 2.4-liter engine allows for a lower-priced ticket into the class and is the same motor 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 head and chest side airbags and WHIPS, an innovative safety system that reduces head and neck injury in a rear-end collision by moving the seat back 15 degrees after impact. This prevents the person's body from snapping forward again. At the same time the headrest moves forward, providing extra support for the head and neck. Homelink is now standard on the C70 HPT coupe and exterior paint color Champagne is replaced by Moondust and Venetian Red.
The C70 HPT convertible is introduced for 2000 with either a four-speed automatic or a manual gearbox. Content includes all features on the LT convertible, plus an SC-900 radio, genuine wood dash inlays, auto-dimming mirror and a trip computer. The HT convertible can be spiffed up with options like heated front seats, 17-inch alloy wheels, and stability traction control.
Structural rigidity is 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, 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 Mercedes-Benz CLK, the BMW 3 Series and larger models such as the Cadillac Eldorado Touring Coupe. But the C70s have changed the way people think about Volvo, and should fare well in the fight.
edmunds expert review process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.