A history lesson…
In the past, you could easily pick out a Volvo from a crowd of other cars because it was usually the big square one with screaming kids in the back. Modern Volvos have helped to dispel that image to a certain degree, but back in the 1990s it was still alive and well. Which is why the arrival of the Volvo C70 for sale in 1997 was a departure for the firm and a breath of fresh air for those gasping for a stylish, sleek model from this manufacturer.
At first there was only one engine option for the C70, with the 2.3 litre turbo power plant giving it plenty of poke. A year into its life, it got a 2.5 litre engine with a more modest light pressure turbo onboard, while in 1999 there was a non-turbocharged 2.4 litre engine made available.
In this same year the C70 got a soft top iteration, while a base model with a 2.0 litre engine and 163bhp landed just before the turn of the millennium.
The C70's first generation was popular enough to warrant a sequel, so in 2006 it returned in a thoroughly refreshed form. A cleverly engineered hardtop roof packs itself smoothly into the boot to give you the best of both worlds and although the new C70 never enjoyed the same levels of success as its predecessor, it's actually a much better car from a driver's perspective.
The Volvo C70's second generation received a facelift in 2009, but this model is now on its last legs and production will cease before the end of 2013. The used market is swimming with good value C70s, making it a suitable purchase for those who want sensible fun.
Bang for your buck
The C70 may be a coupe, but it still has capacity enough to fit four adults inside and also give you plenty of space in the boot.
Volvo gives you a generous amount of standard equipment onboard the C70, with even the early models featuring excellent audio equipment and plenty of wood and leather on the inside.
You'll feel comfortable and relaxed in the cabin, which is in part due to the amount of room available, but also because it's just got that air of quiet confidence, with lots of refined elements helping to ease the drag of long journeys.
For the second generation, the C70's basic formula and four seater coupe setup wasn't altered too much. Instead Volvo chose to bring its gadgetry bang up to date.
In terms of safety features the second hand Volvo C70 is one of the best cars in its class, which is probably unsurprising given Volvo's love of protecting its customers. Keeping people alive is a good way of ensuring that they continue to buy your cars, after all.
What you'll pay
The C70 range has over 15 years worth of used examples to choose from, so you'll find the very earliest models are now on sale for under £1000. At this price point you'll be looking at hundreds of thousands of miles on the clock, but a proven level of reliability shouldn't cause you to flinch too much.
Convertibles from the first generation are a little costlier than their hard topped cousins, while you'll pay from around £6000 for the second generation cars, with the most recent models topping out at closer to £25,000.
What to check
This is a reliable sports coupe thanks to its links with Volvo's more sensible cars and so there isn't too much to worry about when it comes to the mechanicals. Instead pay close attention to things like electronics and watch out for wear and tear to the shock absorbers and tyres which might have been caused by over-brisk driving.
For C70s with electric roofs, it's always best to check that this is working and has no problems with the mechanism.
First-gen used Volvo C70 cars for sale can get a new exhaust system for £260, with front brake pads costing £70 a pair. Newer models have parts of a similar price.
How it drives
The first Volvo C70 wasn't the best driver's car on the market, but as a grand tourer it was hard to beat. Even the basic 2.0 litre engine gives enough pulling power for smooth, fast trips on the motorway.
In its more modern form Volvo even introduced a diesel engine to the mix, giving you loads of torque and a respectable 8.8 seconds on the 0-60mph time.