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Expert Reviews 1 of 3
By Rick Popely
May 2, 2000
Vehicle Overview The C70 started Volvos move away from its traditional boxy styling when the coupe arrived in fall 1997 and was followed the next summer by the similar convertible. Since then, the Swedish company has introduced the S80 sedan, which gives more curves and contours to traditional Volvo styling cues.
Though Volvo is still based in Sweden, it now is owned by Ford. As yet, there have been no changes to the C70 lineup to reflect the new ownership.
Exterior If you dont see the customary vertical-bar grille or Volvo logo on the front, it might be hard to tell who built these curvaceous, stylish cars. Volvos previous coupe designs looked like the boxes the C70 come in.
A power glass sunroof is available on the C70 coupe, and the convertible comes with a power soft-top with a glass rear window with a defogger.
Interior Volvo describes the C70 as a four-passenger car, and though it comes closer than most coupes and convertibles to fulfilling that promise, the rear seat is still cramped for most adults and hard to enter and exit. A power front passenger seat that slides forward is intended to improve rear-seat access, but it moves about as quickly as a turtle.
The standard sound system is a 400-watt setup with a cassette player and an in-dash, three-disc CD changer.
Under the Hood Two turbocharged inline-five-cylinder engines are available in the front-drive C70. A 2.4-liter engine with what Volvo calls a light-pressure turbocharger produces 190 horsepower. A high-pressure turbo 2.3-liter generates 236 hp. The light-pressure turbo engine comes with a four-speed automatic transmission, and the high-pressure turbo offers a choice of five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmissions.
Traction control is standard with the high-pressure turbo engine and is optional with the other.
Safety Standard safety features include side-impact airbags for the front seats, antilock brakes and Volvos Whiplash Protection System, which moves the front seats rearward in a collision. The side airbags this year are designed to protect the head and upper body, as well as the chest. The federally required front airbags deploy at two levels, with lower force used in low-speed collisions.