in 2009 Upscale Midsize Cars

Avg. Price Paid: $15,403 - $15,706
Original MSRP: $39,800 - $39,800
MPG: 18 City / 27 Hwy
Search Used Listings:

2009 Volvo C70 Performance

This performance review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

The 2009 Volvo C70 is a sharp handler, but underpowered compared to similar cars from other manufacturers. 

  • "If you desire leading-edge performance from your European sportster, you might find the C70's performance a tad on the tame side." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The easy-to-drive C70 makes for a pleasing highway or boulevard-cruising companion." -- Edmunds
  • Top-up wind noise is modest, if not as subdued as a true hardtop. Occasional top-up creaking plagued one test C70. There's little top-down wind buffeting." -- Consumer Guide

Acceleration and Power

The consensus of the automotive press is that Volvo's convertible has enough power for commuting, but trails the upscale midsize class standard in acceleration. The C70 is powered by a turbocharged inline-five-cylinder engine putting out 227 horsepower. It is available with a six-speed manual transmission or an optional five-speed Geartronic automatic model with manual shift mode.

The Environmental Protection Agency has not published mileage figures for the 2009 C70, but similar 2008 models got 18 miles per gallon in the city and 26 on the highway with the automatic transmission, or 18/27 mpg city/highway with the manual transmission.

  • "C70 loafs until the turbo begins boosting around 3000 rpm. It's strong thereafter, with very satisfying passing power. A manual-transmission C70 did 0-60 mph in 8.0 seconds in our test, which isn't outstanding for a sporty car." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Acceleration is hardly mind-blowing, but the 2008 Volvo C70's turbocharged engine offers enough low-end torque to efficiently hustle the car from a stop." -- Edmunds
  • "Torque is adequate but a little more horsepower would turn the C70 from a satisfying ride to a thrilling one." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "There's nothing inherently wrong with the car. It's just that those who prefer a bit more pep to the driving experience might get bored behind the wheel of this Volvo." -- Forbes

Handling and Braking

While critics aren't impressed with the C70's engine power, they do like the car's handling balance. Brakes are usually a Volvo strong point, but a vocal segment of the press says the C70 needs more braking power.

  • "Not sports-car nimble, but C70 corners with front-drive assurance, modest body lean, and tolerable noseplow. Extra grip of the 18-inch tires seems offset by compromised control in bumpy corners. Some testers find the steering nicely weighted, while others judge it a bit light and not that quick." -- Consumer Guide
  • "On the move, the car's body's structure is rigid and stays flex-free when driven over bumps." -- Edmunds
  • "Volvo has been working on suspension calibration and refinement, to good effect." -- The Auto Channel
  • Brakes "lack tactile immediacy and sharpness." -- Forbes