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Volvo C70 Test Drives

ClairesClaires Chicago areaPosts: 979
edited March 7 in Volvo
Have you had a C70 out for test drive lately? Tell us about it.

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  • Hi – I love these forums but didn’t want to be in everyone’s face all the time so held back on this thread. But – it ain’t overloaded with replies so maybe I’ll kick off with one.

    I’ve never owned a Volvo although I’ve often viewed them with respect as being a quality marque. Equally, so – I have often hankered for a convertible, ever since I sold my Triumph Stag (a car ahead of it’s time in many ways, pity about it’s fatally flawed engine and cooling system) but was reluctant to ‘suffer’ fabric soft-tops for 90% of my motoring (UK weather is not Californian nor even New England!). When I saw the first ads for the new C70 I knew that the era of the soft top was doomed – and I wanted to be in on the act!

    So I went to my local Dealership and asked for a drive in their showroom demonstrator. At first the roof wouldn’t close, the windows wouldn’t open, the plastic barrier in the boot wouldn’t make contact – and the engine wouldn’t start. But hey, so what? I just loved the looks - and waited patiently whilst they sorted the problems.

    It was a 2.4 litre, non turbo, petrol engine – a version not offered in the States – with a 5 speed manual gearbox. I loved it – smooth, a little underpowered for my tastes but a lovely drive all the same. Although I can’t be sure now (they’ve since sold the car) I think it must have had 17” wheels as I recall that the steering was very light – later road tests were done in cars on 18” Mirzam wheels and I think they gave a little more feel.

    I knew I’d want the T5 turbo model – and thought I’d be happy with the 6 speed manual for a change (no pun intended) so I went to another Dealership and tried theirs. Hmm, nice drive again, but now I felt the car was crying out for the autobox, not performance-wise, but ‘character wise’ – it was a cruiser, not a bruiser.

    Sadly, no-one within 100 miles had a T5 Geartronic for demo – but my local guy had a D5 Turbo Diesel Geartronic which he wanted me to try.

    NOW we were talking – it was superb and I loved it, enough low-end grunt with acceleration to bring me up to freeway speeds without risk of losing my licence!

    So I placed an order – not for the D5 but for the T5 with Geartronic (I’m a low mileage driver so relative fuel costs are not a problem).

    Doing the spec for the car I had to decide whether to stick with standard 17” wheels or go for the 18” sporty look. Hmm – another test drive in the D5 (equipped with the luscious 18” Mirzams) but this time it was on rougher roads to check the ride quality etc. By now the sales guy was beginning to relax with me as his driver and I began to push the car harder – something I was reluctant to do on the previous test drives.

    Yess – I was hooked, this car was fun, as well as a ‘looker’, and now I’m just longing for delivery of my own (fairly well-specced) car, meanwhile drooling over the pics from Lemenn, Stanwict and all you other guys’n gals who have, or will, be posting pics on these threads.

    Oh - and the open air sensation was a delight on all versions!

    Thanks to one and all for their input.
  • lemennlemenn Posts: 89
    Ok, my turn now.

    This week end I went in my wife's family near Le Mans (the famous 24 hours speed endurance race location). This is a 180 miles one way trip with half of it highways. No I did not try the car on the race track...

    This is automn here and we had poor weather, mostly fog and rain.

    No roof down during the week end but just to say that the car is perfect for winter conditions. No wind noises, very confortable for long drive. Great audio system even if I chose the basic one.

    In France Highway speedlimit is 81.25 mph. But I did push it up to 100 mph when passing other cars. My wife also drove the car and she was very pleased with the way the car accelerates.

    I got my windblocker on Friday evening, and did install it just to see how it looks. I could not drive top down to give you my feedbacks but hopefully on Wednesday I will do it. We have a holliday and I will try to take few pictures.

    This will only happen if I get the car back on Tuesday eveneving because I am dropping the car tomorrow morning at the dealership.

    No I don't have a problem. They are just installing my front parking sensors. They painted them in "Yes, Celectial Blue" and should install them Monday or Tuesday.

    If they cannot finish before Tuesday evening I will have to wait until Thursday to pick up the car back.

    I will post new pictures as soon as I can of these two options.

    After more than 1000 miles I am still doing an average of 32.67 miles/gal
    with the D5 2.4 Turbo Diesel engine.
  • Finally got to drive a C70 yesterday. Salesman arranged for dealer's wife's car to be available for a test. To be fair we also tested the EOS on the same day on the same roads. Here are my impressions of the two...

    The Volvo was very comfortable. Equipment layout was nice, engine started and ran well. Unfortunately the demo was an automatic, so difficult to actually test acceleration. The automatic had a noticeable delay before you took off. From a stop there was wheel spin, rather than acceleration. These things might be better with a stick. Ride was soft, but tight. Handling was decent. My only concern was the obtrusive feel of the front end, kinda a dull heavy feel. I've never felt this on any other fwd models, so difficult to say if FWD is the sole culprit. Pushed the car hard through several S-turns and hairpins, without much protest or drift. Steering was okay for me. I didn't notice if there was significant body roll. Brakes did fine.

    Next we drove the EOS. Hard to believe the hp/lb is so close on the two cars. Man was the EOS fast! Could have been the stick, but the engine sure was ready to get up and go. Seats weren't nearly as comfortable, dash layout was comparable to volvo's, maybe a little less intuitive. Ride was extremely harsh. Not just stiff shocks, but a very choppy ride, like the wheelbase was way shorter than it really was. Visibility out of the EOS was not as good. Tried adjusting the mirrors a few times, but just didn't feel I could see behind me. The EOS is taller to hide the higher roof stack when folded.

    It is a tough decision between the two. EOS is definitely more sporty, but Volvo is more comfortable and had nicer fit/finish. EOS had larger pass-thru, but C70 had bigger trunk and nicer layout.

    We can equip the car nearly exactly the way we want it without much problem. The EOS is not available with the feature combination we desire. So my wife & I are leaning towards the volvo. It would be our first volvo, so we are nervous about reliability. The other problem is the volvo color combinations are not to our tastes and require compromise of some type (mainly interiors). If anyone has a silver metalic with Quartz leather, please let me know because we would really like to see some pictures..

    Test Car Details:
    C70 was pearl white/quartz w/fully loaded incl. 18in wheels

    EOS was candy white w/ cornsilk and had sport package, dual climate, dynaudio.
  • Heres a bunch of photos of silver with quartz leather interior, also a nice review.

    http://research.cars.com/go/crp/research.jsp?revid=50336&makeid=49&modelid=1501&- year=2007&revlogtype=20&section=reviews

    We're getting the flint gray with the quartz. There's a little more contrast between interior and exterior than the silver. We "pick it up" in Gothenberg in less than 2 weeks. I'll post some pictures on the "Meet the owners" thread when we get back.
  • jtregojtrego Posts: 68
    You need to drive the Volvo with manual trans. It is a totally different experience, way more pick up, no turbo lag. And, if you are concerned about reliability I would not pick the VW.
  • I liked the Eos, too, but went with the C70 because I like the lines and the interior. It just had more appeal to me (personal taste). Anyway, you may want to look at the Eos discussion board because I've noticed that some of the posts indicate that there may be a problem with water leakage and the roof. (Not that I haven't had my little problems with my baby, too! But I've not had any roof leakage problems. Fortunately, mine was an adjustment to one of the trunk arms, strangely enough.) This roof problem has also been noted in a few reviews that I've read regarding comparisons between the Eos and C70. Hopefully, those posting about the roof will have a good outcome (believe me I know how they feel - so I'm not trying to rub it in that they're having problems). Just pointing out their concerns.
  • We also were looking at the Eos, before getting our C70 (the third car on our short list was the Audi A4 cabriolet, with the 2.0T engine).

    I also felt that even with the 2.0T engine, the Eos felt quicker than the C70, although this may have been more of a faster throttle response feel, than actual difference in 0-60 time. I think that the Eos' DSG automatic is probably a better transmission than the C70's Geartronic - perhaps that accounts for some of the more immediate response feel of the Eos.

    The lower price of the Eos was tempting, and my wife and I generally liked the Eos' styling (more the interior than the exterior), as well as the clever roof design, which uses a separately movable sunroof as the "third" roof panel.

    But, we LOVED the C70's styling, and overall higher level of quality look and feel. The other thing that bothered my wife, but not me as much, was that you really felt the Eos shaking when the top was going up or down. Not that this really meant anything, but it made the Eos feel not as solid as the C70.
  • jtregojtrego Posts: 68
    I can only speak to the C70, but this car is solid on the road, no shimmy and at least with the manual trans (and other have posted this as well with the manual)there is no lag.

    I drove the automatic geartronic transmission C70 and I thought it was adequate but there was a definite lag feel when you first mash the gas. Not so with the manual trans. This is particularly noticeable when shifting from second to third (just a tremendous pick up right away after releasing the clutch) and also from 3rd to 4th. Also, because it is a true 6 speed, this trans rocks on the highway as well. When you need to pass, just downshift to 5th and it takes right off, no lag. The only slight complaint with the C70 manual trans is that it gives up a bit of speed in first gear (feels like a bit too much torque here)and second gear is very tall ... but once you get to thrird it just takes off! I have been told that this is the same transmission used by Volvo racing.
  • Thanks for all the feedback and uput.

    If we buy a volvo it will be via the OSD program. I'll keepy you posted.

    My wife and I are very close to final decision! I have butterflies! It will most likely be the C70 with manual trans... :shades:
  • If you are considering buying through the OSD program you should be aware that there is no discount for the C70. We decided to go with OSD because my wife loves to travel and she found out about the Ice Hotel in Jukkasjarvi. So everybody gets something - she gets to have an arctic adventure and I get a cool convertible. We are picking up the car at the end of the trip rather than driving the 1000+ miles from Gothenberg. It would have been fun to drop the top in the snowy north but time does not allow. We leave next Monday and return 2/24/07. I will post info when we return.
  • Hello,

    Just wanted to let everyone know we ordered our car through the OSD program.

    We hope to pickup our car in May or June. The free trip to Sweden was too hard to pass up! :shades:
  • Congratulations! If you want to know anything about the OSD program from someone who's done it, email me after 24/Feb/07. We leave this evening for Sweden and will return on the 24th. I am so psyched!
  • In case you are interested, the April 2007 issue of Road and Track has a comparison article on the C70 and the VW Eos. I think the article is also available at www.roadandtrack.com (or whatever R&T's web site is).

    It's not a full-blown A versus B comparison road test, with points given for various objective and subjective criteria, but more of summary description of both cars. They did publish their normal road test data sheet for both cars.

    The EOS model used was the 2.0T version (2.0 liter, 4-cyl. turbo), and not the more expensive 3.2 liter V6. But it was fully-loaded with options. It had the 6-speed DSG (auto-shifting manual) transmission.

    The C70 was not loaded with options, possibly in order to have the price difference be smaller. If I remember right, the only option on the car was the 18" wheels. The test car had the 6-speed manual transmission, standard Haverdahl interior, etc. The price-as-tested difference was only $3400 or so, but the VW had some options that were left off of the C70, that would have made the price difference a fair amount greater ($8K say??)

    The Eos tested somewhat faster, 0-60 in 6.6 seconds, with the C70 clocking in at 7.5 (somewhat slower than Volvo's advertised 7.0 sec. for the manual). The gap narrowed at higher speeds, with the respective quarter-mile times being 15.1 and 15.7 seconds. Although the Eos has somewhat lower horsepower and torque figures than the C70, it had a 180 lb. weight advantage (as tested, and also has lower gearing in the first few gears.

    The C70 had a very slight advantage in handling numbers, with skid-pad g-force of 0.83g versus the Eos' 0.81g, and a slalom speed of 65 mph verus 64.7.

    In spite of its greater weight, the C70 also had better stopping distances - 120 ft. versus 134 ft. from 60 mph, and 217 ft. versus 233 ft. from 80 mph (sorry about the English units, for those of you who are more used to metric). (I don't know if the C70's very good braking numbers are helped by the Electronic Brake Assist, since I don't know if Road and Track's testing method takes reaction time into account.)

    Qualitatively, Road and Track liked both cars. They had good things to say about the Eos, especially its value for the money. The only real Eos quibble was that it didn't look as good with the top up as with it down, and that it was noticeably noisier and more turbulent with the top down than the C70.

    They also liked the C70, although they wished for a bit more power. They noted that the C70 looked equally as good with the top up or down, and had high-quality materials throughout. They ended the C70 segment by saying that it cost a fair amount more than the Eos, but that you basically got what you paid for. Nicer exterior and interior styling, less turbulent ride, and the safety features that Volvo is known for.

    The same issue also has a "first look" mini-article (without test) of the new BMW 3-series retractable hardtop. No new info, really, other than a statement that prices would probably start "in the low 40's" (dollars). This would be for a no-option 328i version, I think. My own guess is that even the 328i will end up being about $5K more than a comparably-equipped C70, and that the 300hp 335i will be closer to $10k more. Since they are supposed to go on sale in the US as of April 1st, presumably official US pricing will be out soon.
  • jtregojtrego Posts: 68
    I am glad to see that some of the "experts" have confirmed what most of us figured out on our own. The Volvo isn't the fastest car from a dead stop, but from 30 to 70 I bet it beats most of whats out there to drive against, and I think for this kind of car that is what really matters.

    And, after now having ours for 6 weeks and driving in all kinds of conditions (rain, snow, sunshine, warm, very cold, both top up and down, I can say that this really is a versatile car. It works and looks great both ways and I don't think there is anything out there like it!
  • vanestvanest Posts: 1
    Hi Dave,
    Would love to know about the OSD program. Please tell!
    Vanest
  • redbuzzredbuzz Posts: 57
    First the pluses. Get the DVD "It's Too Good to be True" from your dealer or directly from Volvo. Check out the information on the web site. Basically, they give you a good price on most cars (the C70 unfortunately was sticker price), they fly two of you to Gothenberg, Sweden and back for free, and they put you up in a good hotel in Gothenberg for one night. You can take your new car on a vacation or just turn around and go home. The wait for your car in the states varies by your location. We are in the suburban New York area and got our car in about 4 weeks. The negatives...1)check out your state's registration requirements. We've had our car for a full month and still don't have our permanent plates. 2)If you are financing your car, you will have trouble getting banks to do an OSD because they can't put a lien on it until it is titled in this country. We financed through Volvo but the rate was high. We will re-finance with a bank when the title and registration finally come through. Since full payment is required 30 days before your delivery date, you will probably make 2 or 3 payments before you are driving your car in North America. 3)Your warranty period begins on the delivery date in Sweden, so you lose the time that it is in transit. If you like to travel, its a great program. We took a great vacation (although we didn't use the car) and the free flight saved us big bucks. We would definitely do it again.
  • doctord13doctord13 Posts: 22
    Surprised at how few posts there are to this forum - loved the EOS, and the C70 - drove both cars multiple times and think the C70 is the clear long term winner -- only complaint with the C70 was that at speeds over 40MPH the Drivers side dealt belt was "fluttering" on my shoulder - happened to my wife as well...not in the passenger seat however. Cant believe this is not occurring to other owners - the salesperson wrote it off as a fluke, but would annoy me if not correctable - any owners experience in having similar occurances - or was it a flukey thing?
  • yeltepyeltep Posts: 1
    Volvo dealer in Birmingham, UK has been great. Lent me a C70 to test for a week and valeted my own car whilst I was away. Overall impressions:
    Good - D5 (diesel with Geartronic) quiet enough even with roof down. Boot(trunk) big enough for family use. Great finish (I drive a C Class Merc at the moment and C70 was way better). Comfortable seats and driving position. I am just over 6ft tall and was worried that the roof would be too low.
    Less good (there were no bad points) - MPG poor even for an oil burner (36mpg on the same 300 mile journey my 2.7litre Merc gets 47mpg) Some minor roof squeaks - seemed to be due to damp - opening and closing the windows sorted that out.

    All in all a great mid-life crisis car and I shall be ordering one for delivery at Christmas. Looks good, drives well but not too exciting, safe, family friendly but gets attention with the roof. Also rare still in the UK. I drive nearly 600 miles per week on busy roads and I don't think I see more than 1 a fortnight. BMW, SAAB and Audi are plentiful. Nobody in the UK will let a BMW out at a junction (I know, I had one). Volvo drivers tend to be regarded as responsible "plodders" and not sneared at so much as those driving the German marques.
  • johnh7johnh7 Posts: 67
    They flutter. It's no fluke. But - they don't flutter with the windows up and I don't really notice it much since I got the wind screen (which I've found worth the money)
This discussion has been closed.