in 2011 Upscale Midsize Cars

Avg. Price Paid: $22,058 - $22,058
Original MSRP: $39,950 - $39,950
MPG: 19 City / 28 Hwy
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2011 Volvo C70 Performance

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

The Volvo C70 has enough power for a daily commute or highway cruise, but it is underpowered compared to many of its sport-sedan based competitors. Its handling is adequate for most situations, but lacks the excitement of some rivals. Those looking for a sportier ride should test drive the Infiniti G37 or BMW 3-Series convertibles. Reviewers consistently praise the C70 for its stability with the top down – it suffers little of the cowl shake that plagues some droptops.

  • "Dull to drive.” -- Car and Driver
  • “Mediocre performance compared to the competitive pack." -- Edmunds

Acceleration and Power

The Volvo C70 is powered by a turbocharged five-cylinder engine making 227 horsepower.  Reviewers say the engine will meet the needs of most commuters easily, but it trails most of its competition in acceleration.

The engine is paired with a five-speed automatic transmission with a manual shift mode. Writers have few complaints about the automatic.

The EPA rates the 2011 Volvo C70 for 19 miles per gallon (mpg) in city driving, and 28 mpg on the highway.

  • "Likewise, while the turbocharged engine offers decent low-end torque, the C70 is a bit of a laggard when compared to segment standard-bearers from BMW and Infiniti.” -- Edmunds
  • "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

Among hardtop convertibles in this price range, the Volvo C70 is the only front-wheel-drive car. That gives it a different feel than its competitors. It is decidedly the least sporty of the bunch. Reviewers complain of dull steering feel and sloppy cornering. Brakes are strong – a common Volvo trait -- but those looking for a sportier convertible will want to consider the BMW 3-Series or Infiniti G37 convertibles instead.

  • “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. The brakes are strong and easy to modulate.” -- Consumer Guide
  • “We've found that the C70 exhibits numb steering, considerable body roll when cornering and plenty of pitch under heavy braking." -- Edmunds