Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0

Two petrol engines and two diesels are offered with the C70. On the petrol side the range kicks off with a 170bhp 2.4-litre and spearheaded by a powerful 220bhp turbocharged 2.5-litre (badged T5). Both are five-cylinder units available with either a slick six-speed manual transmission or an optional five-speed auto. Despite the pair boasting muscular power outputs the C70’s performance is blunted by a portly kerbweight.

Even the sportiest T5 model can only manage the 0-62mph dash in 7.6 seconds, topping out at 146mph. In 2007 the T5 engine was boosted to 230bhp, but performance for the most powerful petrol remained unchanged. The entry-level 2.4-litre petrol, meanwhile, is also a little off the pace compared to its rivals taking 9.1 seconds for the manual and 10 seconds for the automatic to reach 62mph.

Shortly after launch, a powerful 180bhp 2.4-litre D5 diesel was added to the line-up. Performance, again, lacks, with the 0-62mph dash taking 9.0 seconds in the manual version. The big diesel has much to recommend it. It is smooth and is accompanied by a charismatic soundtrack but unfortunately, again, outclassed by the competition by a narrow powerband and a lengthy delay before the turbo spins into action and delivers its power.

A better bet is the 2.0D that arrived late in 2007. The 2.0-litre 136bhp diesel, again, isn’t quick (0-62mph takes 11 seconds) from 2009 it became available with the Powershift automatic gearbox that provides quick smooth gearchanges.

The second generation C70 shares many of its components with the S40 and V50 and is a revelation to drive beside the old C70. Sadly, that doesn’t say much beside the old car’s woeful drive. Compared to its more modern competition the C70 offers an average drive at best. Weight seems to be the chief culprit for blunting the convertible’s drive. Grip levels are high, but the car isn’t as agile, capable, or even enjoyable as most of its competition.

If you want involvement buy a BMW or even the far cheaper Ford Focus CC. Stick with the Volvo if you enjoy a more sedate pace of life, then, the C70’a cosseting ride and lack of cornering ability begin to make sense.