Expert review written by the Kelley Blue Book vehicle review editorial team.
The 2013 Volvo C70’s retractable hardtop gives you the best of both worlds. It’s an open-air convertible when the weather is nice, and a safe, quiet and comfortable coupe when rain and snow appear. Loaded with standard features, Volvo’s C70 also offers something not many convertibles can: two functional rear seats.
You'll Like The 2013 Volvo C70 If...
If you’re lusting after a convertible but reality dictates you drive something safe, secure and able to be driven year-round without worry, check out the 2013 Volvo C70 convertible. It will meet all of your (and your spouse’s) requirements for a pretty reasonable price.
You May Not Like The 2013 Volvo C70 If...
While the Volvo C70 convertible is a great open-air ride, its driving dynamics can’t match the fun experienced behind the wheel of a BMW 3 Series or Audi A5 Cabriolet. The C70’s resale values also fall short of its German and Japanese rivals.
Changes to the 2013 Volvo C70 convertible include standard rain-sensing wipers and headlight washers on all trims. A rear spoiler is added to the Inscription Package.
Exceptionally ergonomic and reasonably upscale, the 2013 Volvo C70’s cabin produces an engaging experience. Like most modern Volvos, the C70’s center stack contains prominent controls and user-friendly climate functions. Standard Sovereign Hide leather handsomely wraps the seating surfaces, while brushed-aluminum inlays highlight the C70’s athletic underpinnings. Although the C70’s rear seats offer more legroom than most 4-seat convertibles, passengers relegated to the back seat will still find it a bit constricting. Another limiting factor is the retractable hardtop’s impact on trunk space, which cuts cargo room nearly in half during open-top driving.
Despite Volvo’s Scandinavian origins, credit for the C70’s sleek exterior architecture goes to Italy’s celebrated Pininfarina design studio. In an effort to align the C70 with Volvo’s current design language, a wedge-shaped nose fronted by the brand’s trademark grille provides superbly good looks with the top up or down. Moreover, distinctive LED taillights and optional xenon headlights for both the high and low beams emphasize the C70’s contemporary design. Highlighting the C70 T5 Inscription’s supplemental horsepower is a set of 18-inch high-gloss alloy wheels, a black-painted grille with chrome accents, and a rear deck-lid spoiler.
From the exceptional comfort of its form-fitting bucket seats to its pleasant and predictable road manners, the 2013 Volvo C70 is every inch the car Volvo promises it to be. 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. While some enthusiasts may be unimpressed with the C70’s comparatively low 227-horsepower 2.5-liter inline-5 engine, Volvo offers a modest upgrade. To help appease performance-oriented drivers, the T5 Inscription package adds a host of refinements for the same engine, yielding a 23-horsepower increase along with an additional 37 lb-ft of torque.
The 2013 Volvo C70’s Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starts around $42,000 and tops out close to $52,000 with all the trimmings. The Volvo C70 finds itself in a small but enviable pack of European-built convertibles. Like the more expensive BMW 3 Series, it offers the advantage of a retracting hardtop, while its other chief rival, the Audi A5 Cabriolet, is equipped with a folding fabric top. With a retractable hardtop and comparable sticker price, the Lexus IS 250C is conceivably the C70’s closest competitor. A quick glance at Kelley Blue Book’s Fair Purchase Price will show you the typical transaction price for C70s in your market area, so be sure to reference it before you begin negotiating. The Volvo C70 maintains above-average 5-year resale values, but falls short of the marks set by the BMW 3 Series, Audi A5 Cabriolet and Lexus IS 250C.
Leading the list of standard equipment is the 3-piece retractable steel roof that opens or closes in less than 30 seconds. The standard audio system comprises eight speakers, a USB port for MP3/WMA players, HD Radio and SiriusXM satellite radio. Since the C70 is a Volvo, after all, it is chock-full of the latest active and passive safety systems like anti-submarining guards that help prevent passengers from sliding out of their seatbelts in the event of a collision.
Rather than overcomplicating the ordering process with a laundry list of packages and stand-alone options, the 2013 C70 can be configured in two simple trims levels: Premier Plus and Platinum. The Platinum trim includes perhaps the most desirable available feature for the C70, a premium audio system with a 12-speaker arrangement pumping out crisp Dolby Pro Logic II surround sound. The Platinum trim includes a hard drive-based navigation with a 6.5-inch pop-up display and real-time traffic updates. If you’re looking to breathe easy behind the wheel, opt for the available Interior Air Quality System that automatically shuts the external vents when the sensors detect traces of airborne impurities.
RETRACTABLE STEEL HARDTOPNot surprisingly, the Volvo C70’s principal draw is its reinforced retractable hardtop. Whether the forecast calls for a torrential downpour or an abundance of sunshine, the Volvo’s 2013 C70 has you covered – and uncovered, too.ADVANCED CLIMATE CONTROLAllergy sufferers can breathe a sigh of relief thanks to the Volvo C70’s comprehensive climate-control system. To help maintain appropriate humidity levels and prevent atmospheric pollutants from entering the cabin, the C70’s ventilation system employs a humidity sensor, cabin filter and Volvo’s renowned Interior Air Quality System.
Under the Hood
The Volvo light-pressure turbocharging is designed more for economical all-around driving than for performance, but if you feel a 10-percent horsepower increase and a handful of additional standard features are worth $4K, Volvo offers the Inscription package that adds a modest bump to horsepower and torque. Both the base T5 and T5 with Inscription package models send power to the front wheels via a relatively outdated 5-speed automatic transmission.2.5-liter turbocharged inline-5227 horsepower @ 5,000 rpm250 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm (optional Inscription Package)236 lb-ft of torque @ 1,500-5,000 rpm273 lb-ft of torque @ 1,500-3,000 rpm (optional Inscription Package)EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/28 mpg
Retractable-hardtop coupes are nothing new; they’ve been part of the automotive landscape for over 80 years. But only recently have engineers created a practical model that is both affordable and safe. Once such example can be found on the 2013 Volvo C70 convertible, a sleek coupe that looks even sleeker with its top neatly hidden away. In addition to its compelling style, the C70 also touts a number of safety features you won’t find on more conventional soft-tops, including side-airbag curtains designed to protect occupants even when the windows are down. The C70 also had a usable rear seat where two adults can sit without contorting themselves into position. Try that in an Audi A5 Cabriolet or Lexus IS 250C.