Review: Volvo C70 (2010 – 2013)

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Refined open-top cruiser with a metal folding roof. Classy interior design. Sharper looks after 2010 facelift. Strong diesel engines including D5.

Steering lacks feel. Firm ride. Boot space difficult to get to with the roof down.

Volvo C70 (2010 – 2013): At A Glance

The C70 is arguably Volvo's most stylish and desirable model and it's easy to see why. It's a well built and comfortable convertible but rather than using a traditional fabric roof, it features a neat metal folding roof which means it's as comfortable in the winter with the roof up as it is in the summer, when you can enjoy open-air driving.

This 2010 Volvo C70 isn't strictly new, as you'll have guessed from the pictures - it's a facelifted version of the model that was first launched in 2006. The changes are most noticeable at the front, which now has a much sharper look with angular headlights giving the C70 a sleeker appearance overall.

It's not just the exterior that's been revised either in the Volvo C70, the interior has been subtly upgraded but retains the minimalist and clean design that's become a trademark of modern Volvos. This is certainly a model designed for relaxed cruising, rather than enthusiastic driving and that's quickly evident on the move. In corners it feels soft, yet ironically the ride can be too firm, which is most noticeable on poor quality roads, such as city streets.

It's not quite in the same league as the BMW 3 Series Convertible, but the Volvo C70 still has much to recommend it, including a good range of engines and a high quality, stylish interior.

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What does a Volvo C70 (2010 – 2013) cost?

Volvo C70 (2010 – 2013): What's It Like Inside?

Length 4582–4615 mm
Width 1820–1847 mm
Height 1400 mm
Wheelbase 2640 mm

Full specifications

The interior of the C70 is similar to other Volvo models with a clean and stylish look that's become somewhat of a trademark for the brand. It has a very Swedish feel to it too, with some neat details and a very simple, yet functional design.

The main instrument panel has been redesigned to give it a wider, sleeker look with an improved finish. The surface has a new texture too that adds to the quality feel plus there's the thin 'floating' centre stack, another unique Volvo design. There's plenty of scope to personalise the interior of the C70 too with a range of different seat materials and colours, while the centre console comes in aluminium, a lovely Nordic light oak or a new Oyster Burst finish.

The quality is very good and everything has a high-quality feel to it, especially the incredibly cossetting seats. The Volvo C70 is a decent four-seater too with enough room in the back for adults (for shorter journeys anyway), although if you have a taller driver or front passenger, you'll find it a squeeze as the with the seats slid all the way back, there's virtually zero legroom in the back.

The boot could be better too. It's very spacious with the roof up with 404 litres of carrying capacity roof-up, but drop the top and this is cut to 200 litres. That in itself isn't bad, but getting to the space is made very tricky as the roof sits right in the way. However, to help, the folded roof can be electrically lifted slightly plus there's a ski hatch to transport longer objects. Like skis.

If you have the optional sat nav, it uses a neat screen which flips up from the dash top, although to work the system, you have to use a remote control and it's not a very intuitive system compared to those form Audi or BMW for instance. Setting the sat nav with the remote control is a pain too - it would be much easier with a dash mounted control or buttons.

Equipment from launch (January 2010):

S gets ECC (Electronic Climate Control), 16-inch alloy wheels, DSTC, front fog lights, electric windows, a trip computer, cruise control, a performance sound system with a CD stereo, floor mats, Bauxite trim and Borgholm upholstery. Safety is a key element too and all C70 models get dual stage driver and passenger airbags, Volvo's SIPS (side impact protection system), plus ROPS (rollover protection system) and door-mounted inflatable curtain airbags.

SE adds Bluetooth, rear parking sensors, 17-inch alloy wheels, Haverdal leather upholstery, aluminium trim, rain sensing wipers and a high-performance CD stereo with eight speakers and 4x40 W amplifier.

SE Lux includes power folding door mirrors including ground lights, a power drivers seat, leather upholstery and active bending lights with a headlamp cleaning system.

There is also an additional Premium specification on any engine in SE and SE Lux trim levels which includes the addition of leather upholstery and satellite navigation.

ES (from May 2010) is the entry-level trim and replaces the S specification. It includes all the same features and safety systems.

Child seats that fit a Volvo C70 (2010 – 2013)

Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.

Which car seat will suit you?

What's the Volvo C70 (2010 – 2013) like to drive?

There are two diesel and two petrol engines in the Volvo C70 range but the most economical is the 2.0D - a four-cylinder engine (the rest are all five-cylinder engines) with 136bhp and average fuel economy of 47.1mpg. It's certainly strong enough in the C70, helped by a healthy 320Nm of torque which makes it ideal for relaxed motorway driving and for easy overtaking, plus it's available with the newer Powershift gearbox (shared with Ford). This is a twin-clutch gearbox similar to Volkswagen's DSG system and it's very impressive with extremely fast and smooth gear changes.

The other diesel is the well proven D5 - the 2.4-litre diesel that's used across the Volvo range. It has 180bhp in the C70 and although it's not as smooth or refined as newer diesel engines, it's still very punchy with plenty of character, accelerating from 0-62mph in a brisk 9.0 seconds.

The petrols work well in the Volvo C70 too with the smaller engine a 2.4-litre with 170bhp, however it lacks the torque of the other engines so has to be worked quite hard to get meaningful pace. The T5 is the top of the range choice. The T in the name denotes the fact that it's turbocharged and this results in an impressive power figure of 230bhp from the 2.5-litre unit. It sounds great, especially on start-up and manages 0-62mph in just 7.6 seconds. Economy is fairly poor though at 41.7mpg.

In May 2010 the range was overhauled with new engines and new names. There's a new five-cylinder 2.0D which comes in two different versions - one with 150bhp, which is badged D3, while the more powerful 177bhp version is named D4. Both are cleaner than the old 2.0D with economy of 47.9mpg and CO2 emissions of 154g/km. The T5 engine is still available but the D5 was dropped from the line-up (effectively replaced by the D4) along with the 2.4-litre petrol.

On the road the C70 is easy and comfortable to drive, but not particularly exciting. The steering is quite light and feels strangely artificial, while potholes and bumps transmit themselves through the steering column. On the plus side, the driving position is good with plenty of reach adjustment and there's very little noise from the road or tyres.

In corners it's composed enough, but there's a fair amount of roll and it's not especially agile. Volvo hasn't changed anything under the skin from the 2006 Volvo C70, so if you're thinking of upgrading and expect big changes, you may be disappointed. The body of the C70 is stiff to make up for the fact that it's a convertible, but that has the adverse effect of making it feel almost too firm and quite crashy over bumpy roads. It's much happier as a relaxed cruiser.

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
2.0 D 47 mpg 11.0 s 158 g/km
2.4i 31 mpg 9.1 s 215 g/km
D3 44–48 mpg 10.8–10.9 s 154–169 g/km
D3 Geartronic 44 mpg 10.9 s 169 g/km
D4 44–48 mpg 9.8–9.9 s 154–169 g/km
D4 Geartronic 44 mpg 9.9 s 169 g/km
D5 43 mpg 9.0 s 174 g/km
T5 31–32 mpg 7.6 s 209–217 g/km
T5 Geartronic 30 mpg 8.0 s 219 g/km

Real MPG average for a Volvo C70 (2010 – 2013)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

24–55 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

What have we been asked about the Volvo C70 (2010 – 2013)?

Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.

Ask HJ

Can you name a convertible with a reasonable sized boot big enough to take an electric golf cart?

Can you name a convertible with a reasonable sized boot big enough to take an electric golf cart?
A Volvo C70 has a pretty big boot and will look the part in the golf club car park. Make sure the roof operates correctly, though. We've not heard of many issues but it's quite a complicated system.
Answered by Andrew Brady
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