What is it?
The C70 is essentially Volvo's halo car. Sure, Volvo has plenty of cars that eclipse this one's basic asking price, but whereas the maker's bigger offerings are middle England (or middle Sweden, if you like) family or executive cars, the C70 is a four-seat convertible with an electric folding hard top. It's the car Volvo hopes younger buyers with a bit of style and money will go off-piste and buy, rather than heading straight for similar, default options from the Germans.
Is it any good?
It's difficult to pass a definitive verdict on the C70 because the majority of the roads we drove on were motorways, and the ones that weren't were pretty icy. Ergo the car was thus furnished with snow tyres, which affects the ride, handling and road rumble.
That said, the C70's mechanicals are unchanged with this facelift, so it retains the slightly firm but well damped composure it always had. And because it never will be a dynamic flag-bearer by any means, Volvo has sensibly opted to allocate the budget to cosmetic things, so as to endow the car with the sort of mildly aggressive, road-hugging stance that appeals to the more style-conscious buyer. It works well, stretching the original's squared headlamps across the front wings and widening the grille. Bling (of sorts) is added with a bigger Volvo badge. It follows the theme of the new C30's facelift, with the front end getting a complete re-mould.
The back end and the interior are standard mid-life refresh stuff though, so you get LED rear lamps and a slightly redesigned instrument panel - which although better looking and retextured, really has to be viewed side-by-side with the old one to be distinguishable.
Should I call the bank manager?
If you were considering a C70 prior to this facelift, the changes here will be good news because the car does look better. It's a comfortable, fairly spacious and certainly well built cabrio, with a folding hardtop that does a decent job of keeping wind and tyre noise out at higher speeds, despite falling predictably short of a fixed roof car. Our gripe with the cabin remains: that while it's neat and pleasant, it's too similar to that of the C30, S40 and V50, particularly for a more expensive, more premium sort of car.
As ever, the sensible money (from those edgy enough to buy a Swedish cabriolet) goes on the diesels, and probably the particular one we drove during this test, too - the D5. It doesn't have the peaky, low down shove you might expect of a 178bhp, 295lb.ft unit, and it's quite coarse, though its delivery is smooth enough and certainly doesn't feel overwhelmed. The 8.6-second 0-60mph sprint tells you it's not slow, but never does it feel quick like the four-cylinder BMW diesels do.
It's already available to order in this format, which means that if you can live without the new nose you can probably negotiate an equally handsome chunk from the sticker price right now. Alternately, a new one will set you back anything between £26,995 and £34,695 which stretches from a 134bhp 2.0-litre diesel in S spec up to a 227bhp T5 in SE Lux Premium guise.
We'd have to get the new C70 on UK roads to give a definitive verdict, but when we do we don't expect any surprises; a car that always was a good compromise between the composure, refinement and structural rigidity of a coupé and the open-air pleasantries of a cabriolet remains so. Except now it looks better. The C70 isn't the sort of car that will get you out for a drive just for the sake if it, but it's a classy and discrete all-weather cabrio with genuine room for four.