Premium sporty/performance car; Built in Belgium
  • 2-door convertible
  • transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $6,000 – $29,500*

2006 Volvo C70

2006 Volvo C70

2006 Volvo C70

  • Control layout/materials
  • Front-seat passenger room and comfort
  • Steering/handling
  • Brake performance
  • Cargo room
  • Back-seat passenger room and comfort

Although it ranks a step below most like-priced convertibles for all-around performance, the C70 is a pleasant, stylish, well-built blend of top-down fun and fixed-roof security. A comfortable ride and decent trunk space (with top up) add to its appeal. However, strong resale value tends to keep secondhand prices on the high side.


Volvo’s C70 had come in convertible form starting in 1998, but that fabric-roofed model and its hardtop-coupe companion disappeared after the 2004 model year. Now, midway through the 2006 model year, the Swedish automaker launched a four-passenger convertible with a retractable hardtop.

This new C70 shared its basic front-wheel-drive architecture and wheelbase with Volvo’s front-wheel-drive S40 sedans and V50 wagons, but was somewhat longer and wider to accommodate the three-piece hardtop that powers in and out of the trunk. The 2006.5 model came in a single trim level, called T5, borrowing its 218-horsepower turbocharged five-cylinder engine from the S40/V50 line. Transmissions also were shared: a six-speed manual and optional five-speed automatic, with a manual shift gate.

Standard safety features included specially-designed front side airbags that could pop out of the doors to act as head-protecting curtains in side-impact incidents. Front torso side airbags also were standard. In addition, rollover bars automatically popped up from behind the rear head restraints if sensors detected an imminent tipover. C70s also came with antilock four-wheel disc brakes and antiskid/traction control.

Standard wheels were 17-inch, with 18-inch optional. Among other options were rear obstacle detection, bi-xenon headlamps, and a navigation system with remote control and satellite radio preparation. Leather upholstery was part of a $1395 Premium Package.

With the revived C70, Volvo competed against the Audi A4 Cabriolet, BMW 3-Series convertible, and Saab 9-3 convertible. All three of those had fabric tops rather than a metal roof, though Volkswagen launched a retractable hardtop and BMW would soon do likewise for its 3-Series.

Yearly Updates

2007 C70
MP3 playback capability was added to the in-dash CD changer. Otherwise, little change was evident in the 2007 C70, after its short opening season.
2008 C70
The turbocharged five-cylinder engine was boosted from 218 to 227 horsepower, but there were no other changes of note to the 2008 Volvo C70.
2009 C70
A wireless cell-phone link was newly standard, but the 2009 C70 saw no other changes of note.
2010 C70
The 2010 Volvo C70 saw no major changes.
2011 C70
The 2011 Volvo C70 got freshened exterior and interior styling.
2012 C70
A newly optional Inscription Package included a 250-horsepower version of the 227-hp turbocharged five-cylinder engine, and there were minor interior and exterior styling tweaks for the 2012 Volvo C70.
2013 C70
Changes for the C70’s final model year were minor. Rain-sensing windshield wipers and headlamp washers were added to the standard-equipment list. The optional Inscription Package now included wheels with gloss-black accents.


transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive

Volvo’s turbocharged 218-horsepower, 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine teamed with either a six-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmission. Horsepower was boosted to 227 for 2008, and an optional Inscription Package for 2012 brought a 250-hp version.

Turbocharged dohc I5
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.5/154
Engine HP 218-250
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 236-273
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed manual
5-speed automatic

Road Test

Acceleration potential varies with speed. Basically, the C70’s engine loafs until the turbocharger begins boosting at around 3000 rpm. Performance is strong thereafter, with very satisfying passing power. A test manual-shift C70 accelerated to 60 mph in 8.0 seconds. Some unwanted wheelspin and torque steer–pulling to the side–is difficult to avoid in rapid starts. Volvo’s automatic transmission is smooth and alert. Manual-shift action is a bit rubbery, but shifts are smooth and clean.

Manual-transmission test C70s have averaged 15.6 to 22.0 mpg, depending on the proportion of city to highway driving. An automatic-transmission model averaged 21.6 mpg. Volvo recommends premium-grade fuel.

Ride quality ranks as firm but comfortable with the base 17-inch tires, abetted by a fairly rigid structure with modest top-down cowl shake. Some testers have felt that the ride deteriorates too much with 18-inch tires, with jolting over sharp bumps and pavement breaks.

Sports-car nimbleness is not the C70’s forte, but this hardtop corners with front-drive assurance, modest body lean, and tolerable noseplow. Extra grip of the available 18-inch tires seems offset by compromised control in harsh corners. Straightline tracking is fine. Some testers have found the steering to be nicely weighted, but others have judged it a bit light and not that quick. Brakes are strong and easy to modulate.

Top-up wind noise is modest, if not as subdued as a true hardtop. Occasional top-up creaking plagued one test C70, but there’s little top-down wind buffeting. Road roar is always audible with 18-inch tires, but it’s not overbearing. The turbo engine is quiet enough at cruise, but fairly loud at full throttle.

Gauges are large and legible, but LCD climate and audio displays lack contrast and wash out in certain light conditions. The stereo panel is handy, but climate controls below can be blocked by the manual-shift lever–and have been accidentally changed by some testers while shifting. Volvo’s retractable top powers up or down in about 30 seconds. High-quality cabin materials and assembly are the rule here.

Expect adult-size room up front on comfortable, supportive seats. Abundant seat and steering-wheel adjustments make it easy to find a comfortable driving stance. Airy roof styling furnishes better-than-average top-up visibility. On the other hand, the rear seat is a token gesture. Shaped only for two, it provides scant legroom, even with front seats forward. That makes it very tight for most adults and many teens. Entry/exit is for contortionists.

Lowering the top cuts the C70’s ample trunk space in half, though a couple of golf bags or medium suitcases still fit inside. Lockable interior bins enhance top-down security, but small-items storage is only so-so. Door map pockets barely hold standard gas-station maps.


Model Tested: Volvo C70 T5 w/auto.

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.


Acceleration - 6
Fuel Economy - 5
Ride Quality - 6
Steering/Handling - 7
Quietness - 6


Controls/Materials - 7
Room/Comfort Front - 7
Room/Comfort Rear - 2
Cargo Room - 2


Value - 5

Total: 53


2-door convertible
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
103.9 180.4 71.7 55.1
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
12.8 15.9 4
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
38.2 36.4 42.3 33.9
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: N/A Not tested 2-door convertible


(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
Front Passenger Injury - N/A

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
Rear Passenger Injury - N/A


(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Air conditioner
Description: The climate system airflow changes between the defroster and floor vents due to a problem with the distribution actuator or the inner defroster flap. (2004-09)
Alarm system
Description: The theft alarm may sound while driving and an “alarm service required” message may appear on the driver information center requiring replacement of the central communications module. (2006-07)
Cold-starting problems
Description: Long crank times on a cold engine when the ambient temperature is above 60 degrees F can be improved by reprogramming of the engine control module. (2006)
Keyless entry
Description: The keyless entry may work intermittently because a small screw in the unit works loose and parts fall out of place inside. (2004-07)
Keyless entry
Description: The keyless entry may work intermittently because a small screw in the unit works loose and parts fall out of place inside. (2004-07)
Audio system
Description: Various noises may come from the speakers is an auxiliary music player (e.g. iPod) is used and the volume is above half-way on some early-production vehicles for which there is a revised cable for the wiring harness. (2007)
Audio system
Description: Noises in the audio system when an accessory media player (MP3, etc.) requires replacement of a cable between the jack and the audio module. (2007)
Audio system
Description: Newer iPod products will not charge through the vehicle’s iPod interface since they have 5-volt batteries requiring a new USB cable. (2006-09)
Steering noise
Description: Noise from the power steering pump due to it touching the A/C accumulator.(2006-07)
Convertible top
Description: The convertible top may stop during lowering due to a sensor being out of position. (2006)
Electrical problem
Description: The driver info center may display a “BLIS Service Required” message requiring update to the blind spot information system. (2007-10)
Check-engine light
Description: A check engine light and erroneous code may be set unless the engine control module was reprogrammed. (2006)

Recall History

Description: An internal leak in the brake system is possible, due to prematurely-worn components, increasing brake-pedal effort significantly. Deterioration can eventually result in complete loss of brake-system functionality. Dealers will inspect the master cylinder. The brake master cylinder and brake fluid reservoir will be replaced and certain brake lines cleaned.
Description: The power steering return hose may rupture. This will result a complete loss of power assistance, increasing the risk of a crash. Dealers will inspect and replace the steering return line hose assembly.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.


Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.

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