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2012 Volvo C70 Overview
The 2012 Volvo C70 returns from its 2011 style makeover with some tweaks to its options packages and trim levels—what Volvo is calling a “new trim level strategy.” This translates into the deletion of former Multimedia and Convenience packages in favor of two new trim packages: Premier Plus and Platinum. Premier Plus adds rear park assist, keyless drive (allowing the driver to unlock the car without using a car key and start the engine by turning the starter control in the instrument panel), HomeLink integrated garage door opener and a digital compass in the autodimming rear-view mirror. The Platinum package adds all of the Premier Plus package features, but supplements it with a DVD navigation system with Map Care for two free map updates and a Premium Sound System with 12 speakers and Dolby ProLogic II Surround sound, two 8-inch subwoofers and two 130-watt amplifiers.
The C70 will continue to offer its Climate Package with heated front seats, rain-sensing windshield washers, headlight washers, a humidity sensor and interior air quality system that can close vents to shut out carbon monoxide, ozone and nitrogen dioxide. The Dynamic Package will also return, boosting the wheel size from the convertible’s 17-inch standard fare to 18-inch Midir Diamond cut alloy wheels, and including dual Xenon headlights with Active Bending Lights (turning the headlights up to 15 degrees in either direction to illuminate turns) as well as a sport steering wheel with aluminum inlay. Standalone options will include a blind-spot information system (BLIS), which comes with power retractable door mirrors with ground lighting that can be activated via remote control. The interior can be upgraded, as well, with cranberry red leather seats (for no extra cost) and Black Oak inlays for the trim.
2012 also sees the addition of audio streaming for the standard Bluetooth technology, allowing users to not only make handsfree phone calls, but also to use the C70’s audio system to listen to music via a compatible cell phone. Bluetooth with audio streaming can also wirelessly play back playlists created with Pandora or Grooveshark.
Despite the new and varied ways to supplement the lineup of features for the 2012 C70, Volvo has only one powertrain on the table for the C70: a 2.5-liter turbocharged inline 5-cylinder engine paired with a 5-speed Geartronic automatic transmission. The combo produces 227 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque, with a 0-60 mph time of 7.4 seconds, according to Volvo. Fuel economy isn’t bad at 19 mpg city/28 highway. However, one of the biggest complaints for the returning engine lies in its lack of power and handling. If comfort is key, then these issues shouldn’t bother most drivers. However, fast cornering is likely to produce body lean, numb steering and some noseplow on braking—all complaints heard last year that will likely carry over into 2012. On the other hand, for most driving, the solid ride and extremely comfortable interior will override the lack of sporty handling.
The C70 comes with standard Sovereign Hide full soft premium leather, as well as memory for the front and driver seats and 8-way power adjustment with the ability to store 3 different settings connected to specific remote controls. The front seats are supportive and comfortable for the quiet ride (with or without the top up), but the rear legroom, while more spacious than some competitors, is still largely suited to children or small adults and is shaped for two rear passengers. The trunk space is surprisingly accommodating, considering the hardtop folds into the trunk. When the C70 is configured as a coupe, it offers 12.8 cubic feet of storage, but it still maintains 6 cubic feet when the top is down.
The standard audio package comes with HD Radio, CD player with MP3 and WMA readability, 8 speakers, steering wheel integrated controls, USB and Auxiliary inputs and 6 months of Sirius Satellite radio. The interior is constructed with high-quality materials, and although many find the gauges large and easy to read, some find the navigation system confusing and difficult to program from its location behind a steering wheel spoke.
Outside, the C70 features a 3-piece retractable hard top that can be closed or opened in 30 seconds, according to Volvo. Fog lights are embedded in the front spoiler, and the rear presents polished dual exhaust pipes and LED taillights. Power heated outside mirrors with memory are also standard.
As always, this Volvo is replete with safety features, including antilock brakes with electronic brake distribution and emergency brake assist, dynamic stability and traction control, dual stage front airbags, side curtain airbags for the front and rear outboard occupants, side impact airbags, a whiplash protection seating system in the front and tire pressure monitoring. A rollover protection system deploys normally retracted rear steel roll bars. Combined with the structure of the windshield pillars, the roll bars create a safety cage around the passengers. The rollover system also includes a slow-deflating stiff inflatable curtain with a double row of slightly offset slats. Volvo notes that the combination of steel roll bars and side curtain present a unique form of protection in a rollover, in fact, Volvo claims it as a “world first for a four-passenger convertible.” Last year’s Volvo C70 rated the highest score (Good) from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) for front offset tests, side impact tests and rear crash protection/head restraint tests. The 2012 should fare just as well with its identical safety features.
Overall, the Volvo C70 should continue to provide a stable, comfortable, and stylish ride in 2012. While not the performance sport-driving machine that one might assume the coupe/convertible would be, it nonetheless offers technology, swank and enough road manners and swagger to suit most consumers shopping the segment.
by Jessica McCombe
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