UK CAR 
Road Test
Volvo C70 T5 2.3
Super Coupe

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Volvo Sports Coupe?
An old mans fast box?

Or a 240 BHP cruiser?

Volvo produced it's first Coupe back in 1969. The P1800
A car that Simon Templer "The Saint" endorsed and used, making the original Volvo Coupe recognised by millions.
When the C70 first launched back in June 1997 it was difficult to get one. Dealers were asking above new prices for the used models. 
Many have been sold over the years, and in many engine types this one is the T5 which I personally think is the best.
Volvo's C70 is available in the Coupe and soft top models and spec levels are varied with GT packs, options of leather trims, sat nav etc.

Volvo's image has not been the best due to its square-ness and appearing to be marketed at people well beyond their youth.
Volvo have tried for many years to loose this uncomplimentary image. The image is somewhat still there even if the current cars do not justify the ridicule.

This C70 is one of them. 
It is a Coupe and a very big one at that being capable of seating two large occupants in the front  and two small children in the back, or take your pals home from the pub. It is reasonably versatile and easy used on a day to day basis.


Take away any thoughts of Volvo and this is a credible cool Coupe.
The C70 is wedge shaped being quite low at the front and bulbous at the rear. 
The one tested is an a dark metallic blue with contrasting silver alloys, chrome grill and graphite window trims. Side mouldings mirrors, door handles and bumpers are colour coded. The windows carry a heavy green tint. A very well finished body and all extremely well assembled.

With many cars looking similar recently it is refreshing to see a unique and distinctive model. Once beyond the exterior lines and curves the interior invites you in. 
The interior offers a spacious area for the driver and front passenger. The seats compete with an Ikea settee, in size and quality.
This model had leather finished trim co-ordinated with the dash and door panels. This worked well with a little plastic wood to finish off the dash.


The drivers seating area is understandable, and easy to entry/exit which is admirable in a two door car, many others are very claustrophobic. 
The Volvo C70 has space with style. 

 

 


At 30,000 plus when new the Volvo C70 is very much up there in the BMW, Mercedes Benz and Jaguar market sectors. 
Specification is desired along with power and performance in modern cars. Very contradictory in real terms.
Take a Coupe make it quick, make it stylish, and then slow it up with goodies adding weight, and further hinder it with extras, consuming bhp such as air con. 
Then ponder why you ever made it initially?
The C70 is no exception to the rules of sales, it does have lots of extras and weight. 240 bhp does somewhat push it along though.
Standard features include:

Air Conditioning
Air Conditioning
Cigarette Lighter
Cigarette Lighter
Cruise Control
Cruise Control
Electric Mirrors
Electric Mirrors
Electric Windows front
Electric Windows front
Heated Mirrors
Heated Mirrors
Illuminated Passenger Vanity Mirror
Illuminated Passenger Vanity Mirror
Leather Steering Wheel
Leather Steering Wheel
Leather Upholstery
Leather Upholstery
Multiplay CD
Multi-play CD
Radio Cassette
Radio Cassette
Trip Computer
Trip Computer

The stereo is almost the size of a home midi system. Incorporated is a three disc Cd system, tape deck and speakers everywhere. It sounds acoustically fabulous and is most certainly a deterrent to thieves. To steal the stereo you would require another Volvo to drive off with it.
The cup holders are fitted slightly behind the driver making them difficult to use, they are also a little flimsy which is very noticeable in this car, everything else is solid with a quality feel.

 

OK it's T5 time. 
Turbo charged 5 cylinder 20 Vale in line front wheel drive. 

Service Interval Insurance Group Safety Rating Smog Rating
10000 15 Not Available N/A
Engine BHP CC Fuel Inj.
5 Cylinder 20 Valve DOHC Turbo 240 2319 Yes
Cyl Camshafts Valves/cyl Compressor
5 Double 4 Turbo Charger
Top Speed 0 to 60 BHP per Tonne
155mph 6.9seconds 168
MPG@Urban MPG@Cruise MPG@Speed Fuel Type
17.3mpg 33.6mpg 25mpg Unleaded

This C70 T5 has 240 bhp. 
Ok this is not 911 power, or even beyond the realms of an Audi A6. 
This engine though is one of my personal all time favorites and I am very familiar with it. 
Turn the ignition key and it starts instantly, the only noise is the injectors ticking like a Swiss watch with two batteries.
Initially the engine revs up to about 1300rpm and settles down to a 750rmp idle speed. Very assuredly it awaits your instruction via an electronically switch in the accelerator pedal. It uses a drive by wire system which makes the pedal very light under your right foot.

This car is has an auto box and therefor drives slightly behind its manual counterpart. It does however tame the driving experience.
Hold the foot-brake select D and contemplate the road ahead.
The C70 inspires you to drive, drive hard that is, move off in 1st gear the box changes almost instantly into 2nd, there is no load on the box to suggest not to. 
Continue into 3rd and the car is smoothly running without effort or sense of speed even at 40mph when it selects 4th.
The gear change is smooth and almost seamless. The car does not at this point give any clue to is front wheel drive set up. Exhaust noise and indeed all external noises are very subdued.
That is driving normal so lets stop and start again. 
Select D again at the entrance to a large roundabout. No other traffic around only a fast dual carriageway at the fourth and last exit.
Place right foot just over half way to the floor and the car surges forward this time revving up to 5,000rpm almost instantly, This time the exhaust is singing in a high pitched manner, and the engine has a grunty sound but best of all is the turbo charger singing continuously like a song bird.
2nd gear is selected and the car is now flying around the first part of its right handed navigation, keep the power applied and feel the large sports tyres working hard on the tarmac, keeping both machine and pilot in the variable direction required.
As the road bends more the engine is up at 4,000 rpm in 3rd gear no good for the exit which is a tight left handed bend onto the start of the carriageway. What's needed now is instant power, floor the gas and the gearbox drops to 2nd gear, the car transfers its weight from left to right very well balanced, and with ample power surging through the transmission into the large sports wheels, all is kept sound.
Keep the power on and external forces are being exerted both to the car and the driver.
Control the understeer and simply keep going, the road is now straight but within seconds the speed limit is reached and my drivers license is valued.
Drive normal again and the car simply purrs awaiting your next instruction. The C70 will accept you command and mostly deliver what you asked.

 

Volvo's C70 is front wheel drive. It is outstanding in its ability to perform in a straight line and calm around bends. It does however suffer in the wet. The wheels will very quickly loose the drive if pushed, and do struggle to recover whilst keeping the accelerator applied. 
The drive however is unfair to be compared to that of a rally car. 
So it does in my opinion pass the overall test of managing to perform and handle well. 


Cruise control is fitted standard for any long distances which this car is very capable of handling with comfort.
The suspension is independent front and rear and the braking system is typically Volvo. it stops you and very quickly if asked to. Of course ABS is fitted along with the traction control which are both controlled by the same on board computer. Electronics are a vital part in modern cars and Volvo is no exception.

Alloy Wheels
Alloy Wheels
Catalytic Converter
Catalytic Converter
Disc Brakes Front & Rear
Disc Brakes Front & Rear
External Temperature Gauge Fitted
External Temperature Gauge Fitted
Front Fog lamps fitted
Front Fog lamps fitted
Halogen Head Lights
Halogen Head Lights
Height Adjustable Headlight Aim
Height Adjustable Headlight Aim
Independent Suspension
Independent Suspension

Traction Control
Traction Control
Power Assisted Steering
Power Assisted Steering
Rev Counter
Rev Counter
Service Level Indicator
Service Level Indicator

 

 

Volvo are surely recognised as one of the safest cars on the road. The C70 is certainly in this rating. There are airbags almost everywhere if you need them. Anti theft systems are fitted by way of transponders in the ignition key. So keep yourself locked in when in dubious areas, you will be the first target and the car the second if a car thief decides to have a go. 
If a thief does get away in this car it would take something special just to keep up with it.

The drivers airbag in incorporated into the steering wheel. The wheel itself is a little large for my liking but functions well, and allowing good visibility through it, for the clocks and  gauges.
Alarm
Alarm
Antilock Braking System
Antilock Braking System
Deadlocks
Deadlocks
Drivers Airbag
Drivers Airbag
Engine Immobiliser
Engine Immobiliser
Front Side Air Bags
Front Side Air Bags
Front Twin Airbags
Front Twin Airbags
High level brake Light
High level brake Light
Locking Fuel Cap
Locking Fuel Cap
Locking Wheel Nuts
Locking Wheel Nuts
Pre Tensioned front Seat Belts
Pre Tensioned front Seat Belts
Rear Seat Belts Fitted
Rear Seat Belts Fitted
Remote Central Locking
Remote Central Locking
Side Impact Protection
Side Impact Protection
Visible Identification Number
Visible Identification Number

 

Second hand there are lots of C70 Coupes and cabriolets for sale. the T5 offers a great driving car capable of both very high speed high safety. good build quality and an ability to cover well 0,000,000 of miles. This is a fact the Police have used many Volvo cars with this engine and I have seen them with a myriad miles on calibrated Speedo's.
One or two do suffer from crankshaft problems but this is rare if serviced properly. 
The most common expensive fault is the engine idle control system which can cause the engines to idle erratically. Not much of a problem but it can lead to the engine actually cutting out.

The boot space is good enough for two people to pack enough for a reasonable touring break. Or pack it with the weekly shopping. running costs are slightly above average with insurance costs being rather high. fuel economy is very good until you apply the power. It is noted that Volvo have not fitted a turbo boost gauge. Maybe its considered unnecessary as its all controlled automatically.
Overall an exceptionally good all round affordable car with great entertainment value, good residuals once the cars is over three years old and outstanding build quality.

 

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