in 2013 Upscale Midsize Cars

Avg. Price Paid: $30,019 - $32,621
Original MSRP: $41,200 - $45,000
MPG: 18 City / 28 Hwy
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2013 Volvo C70 Performance

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

The 2013 Volvo C70 has enough power for a daily commute or highway cruise, but it is underpowered in comparison with its sportier competitors. However, the C70 still wins praise from some test drivers for its smooth, comfortable ride, though others note that it lacks the agility of many convertibles in the class. If you’re looking for a sportier car, test drive the Infiniti G37 or BMW 3-Series convertibles.

  • "The C70's … performance and handling are no match for the BMW 3 Series or Infiniti G convertible." -- Edmunds 
  • "Although it doesn't possess the extreme handling and acceleration of cars such as the BMW 335is convertible or Audi S5 Cabriolet, the C70 will prove more than sufficient for the vast majority of drivers." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The brakes are strong and easy to modulate." -- Consumer Guide (2012)
  • "When accelerating out of turns, when the turbo kicked in, it would lurch, and traction control would come on. Compare this to the smooth, refined speed of the S60's turbocharged engine, and the C70 feels crude in comparison." -- Motor Trend (2011) 

Acceleration and Power

The front-wheel drive Volvo C70 is powered by a turbocharged 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine that generates 227 horsepower. The engine is paired with a five-speed automatic transmission with a manual shift mode. Thanks to unique engine tuning, Volvo’s optional Inscription package bumps engine output to 250 horsepower. The EPA reports that the 2013 C70 gets 19/28 mpg city/highway, which is slightly less than convertibles like the Audi A5 Cabriolet and Lexus IS 250C.

Reviewers say that the C70 is powerful enough to meet the needs of most commuters, but that many luxury convertibles are more powerful and offer better acceleration. One reviewer also says that the C70’s five-speed automatic transmission seems a bit behind the times when compared with those found in newer upscale midsize cars.

  • "The turbocharged engine, while no slouch, can't match the punch delivered by the motors in more expensive competitors like the BMW 335i and Infiniti G37 convertibles." -- Edmunds 
  • "Both the base T5 and T5 with Inscription package models send power to the front wheels via a relatively outdated 5-speed automatic transmission." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "C70 loafs until the turbo begins boosting around 3,000 rpm. It's strong thereafter, with very satisfying passing power. Fast takeoffs induce unwanted wheel spin and some torque steer. The automatic transmission is smooth and alert." -- Consumer Guide (2012)
  • "The C70's turbo engine is zippy. It went as fast as I wanted it to, and I never felt like it would get away from me." -- Mother Proof (2011)

Handling and Braking

Aside from the Volkswagen Eos, the 2013 Volvo C70 is the only front-wheel drive hardtop convertible in this price range. As a result, the C70 handles differently than rear-wheel drive competitors like the BMW 3-Series convertible and Lexus IS C, and test drivers say it’s the least sporty of the bunch. They complain of dull steering feel and sloppy cornering, though one reviewer says that the C70’s brakes are strong and responsive.

  • "If you're looking for sports car handling you're bound to be disappointed, as the steering feels a bit numb and the suspension allows a good deal of body roll and brake dive when pushing the car hard on a curvy stretch of asphalt." -- Edmunds
  • "Not sports-car nimble, but C70 corners with front-drive assurance, modest body lean, and tolerable noseplow." -- Consumer Guide (2012)
  • "The braking is responsive in this front-wheel-drive car." -- Mother Proof (2011)