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It's been a common perception that convertibles are a playboy's car with little or no room for a third passenger. In fact, some of these perceptions still exist. Of course there are strictly twoseater convertibles zipping along the streets but who says you have to restrict yourself to one? Low and sleek, the Volvo C70 is a four-seater hard top convertible with a roof that retracts in under 30 seconds. Perfect for the winter weather here in the Gulf, cruising with the top down displays the C70's very handsome profile. A hint of wedge from front to back with sculpted side inlays and nicely curvaceous finish gives the C70 a polished appearance with just a touch of muscle.

With the roof up the C70 has more authority and class, you could imagine pulling up to the front of any top hotel and throwing the valet your keys and be sure he'd be happy to step inside. The interior is all about the seats; they are extremely comfortable and you seem to fit snugly regardless of size; the pint-sized me or my 6-foot, 100-kg passenger felt like the seats were molded for us separately. Add the optional leather and you'll be cursing the endless traffic snarls in Dubai just a little bit less. The trim was also very well executed with the centre console and door panels in a light Nordic oak contrasting with the beige leather upholstery and steering wheel.

There is a good amount of legroom in the back which makes it a decent four-seater. The premium sound package includes Dolby pro logic surround sound with twelve speakers, steering wheel control and a place for your ipod/mp3 player; certainly more than enough power to get your heart pumping and announce your presence with the hood down.

When it comes to safety the C70 is more than adequate, it's a Volvo after all. Safety features include ABS, traction control, anti-skid system, and front and side airbags. Also standard are rollover bars designed to deploy from the rear headrests if sensors detect an impending tip over. To indicate how seriously Volvo take safety the metal trim has been developed to minimize metal allergies.

The C70 is available in 5 or 6 speed manual or geartronic transmission. Geartronic allows you to leave it in fivespeed automatic mode for carefree driving, or nudge it into manual mode if you want to get a bit more kick in it. This allows you to maintain a lower gear, for example, to provide added engine braking as you approach a bend or curve and save your brake pads. The automatic transmission is also perfect if you need to get the car to crawl slowly with a heavy load under difficult conditions. Another misconception about convertibles is that they are sports cars. Although the C70 probably doesn't have the punchy acceleration of a sports car, it packs enough punch and “lifts” off in a good speed once the light turns green and sends you leaving the other cars behind.



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