Volvo is a car company well known for its fantastic contributions to automotive safety. Over the past 50 years, the company has worked tirelessly to ensure that its vehicles are amongst the safest on modern roads, and the technologies that it has deployed in its own cars have forced other automakers to step up their own efforts at protecting vehicle occupants so as not to fall behind in the features race.
Of course, while safety might be a topic that is never far from the minds of most car buyers, it is definitely not very sexy. Try as they might, Volvo was unable to engage buyers on a purely visceral level, largely due to the fact that their automobiles sacrificed style for protection. In the 1980s it was quite expensive to craft bodywork that managed to be both attractive and also hide a the network of steel bars and safety devices that Volvo engineers had scattered throughout each of their sedans and wagons. This doomed Volvos to a box shape that became, after safety, their most identifiable characteristic through the 1980s and early 1990s.
Sensing that they needed a complete visual makeover in order to gain better access to the buyers who were starting to stray over into the showrooms of their Teutonic competitors, Volvo developed the C70, a coupe and convertible platform that would give the brand a halo car that they could be proud of. The novelty of an open top Volvo was enough to draw many new clients into the company's dealerships, and despite issues surrounding the stiffness of the vehicle's chassis and body panels, the C70 became an important model for the Scandinavian brand.
In 2006, Volvo released their update of the C70, one which included a very important new feature: a folding steel roof. The addition of a retractable hardtop and a rigid new chassis not only addressed the quality concerns surrounding the original C70, but also vaulted the vehicle into a very exclusive realm. Technological sophistication aside, the hard top provided a coupe-like experience when raised, along with hassle free year-round convertible fun. Very few other vehicles on the market came with such a feature, and it became the centerpiece of the vehicle's engineering achievements.
This article examines the second generation Volvo C70, the best used convertible available from the brand, and discusses its features and specifications so that buyers can decide whether this attractive drop top is the right choice for them.
2006 - 2007 Volvo C70
One of the easiest ways to draw a crowd on a busy street is to push the button that activates the 2006 - 2007 Volvo C70's retractable hard top mechanism. Designed to go from closed to open or vice-versa in a mere 30 seconds, the spectacle of the solid roof disappearing into the vehicle's brief trunk is sure to attract attention from even the most jaded passersby. The vehicle's profile with the top either up or down is quite stunning, with Volvo's trademark nose treatment giving way to a solid exterior design that matches up well against anything spewing forth from German assembly lines.
The 2006 - 2007 Volvo C70 provides a single engine option a 218 horsepower, 2.4-liter 5-cylinder motor that also produces 236 lb-ft of torque. In a nice change of pace from Volvo the C70 is outfitted with a 6-speed manual transmission as standard equipment, with a 5-speed automatic showing up as an option only. The vehicle is not quite as quick as some of the competition, taking 7.6 seconds to reach 60 miles per hour from a standing start, but it certainly never feels slow and for a mid-size convertible its performance is well in line with what is expected. Braking is excellent, helping the C70 to maintain a sports car feel that matches its exterior package.
The C70's interior strikes a great balance between sport and luxury, with a unique material called Flextech taking the place of cloth on the seats in order to help grip driver and passengers and keep them in place during sharp cornering. The rear accommodations in the convertible are not quite as comfortable as a sedan, but there is more space back there than that which is found in other European drop tops. A leather wrapped steering wheel and the option of heaters for the front seats are some of the small touches which help to make the C70 feel like a Volvo.
The 2006 - 2007 Volvo C70 is a used convertible that serves as Volvo's wakeup call to the rest of the luxury car industry, an excellent piece of machinery that will provide many happy hours behind the wheel.