Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2008 BMW 1 SERIES VS 2008 Volvo C70 Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2008 Volvo C70

Safety Comparison

The 1 Series offers optional BMW Assist, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get driving directions, remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The C70 doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies.

Both the 1 Series and the C70 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four wheel antilock brakes, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

Warranty Comparison

The 1 Series’ corrosion warranty is 2 years longer than the C70’s (12 vs. 10 years).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the 1 Series for 4 years and 50,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, tire rotation, lubrication and any other scheduled maintenance. Volvo doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the C70.

Reliability Comparison

The camshafts in the 1 Series’ engine are driven by a hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs. The C70’s camshafts are driven by a rubber belt which eventually needs to be replaced. If the C70’s cam drive belt breaks the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.

J.D. Power and Associates’ surveys of the owners of three-year-old cars provide the long-term dependability statistics which show that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Volvo vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 7th in reliability, above the industry average. With 48 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volvo is ranked 22nd.

Engine Comparison

The 128i’s standard 3.0 DOHC 6 cyl. produces 3 more horsepower (230 vs. 227) than the C70’s 2.5 turbo 5 cyl. The 135i’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. produces 73 more horsepower (300 vs. 227) and 64 lbs.-ft. more torque (300 vs. 236) than the C70’s 2.5 turbo 5 cyl.

As tested in Road & Track the 135i is faster than the Volvo C70 (manual transmissions tested):

1 Series


Zero to 30 MPH

1.7 sec

2.5 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

4.8 sec

7.5 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

8.1 sec

12.4 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

11.9 sec

18.9 sec

Quarter Mile

13.4 sec

15.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

104 MPH

91.2 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the 128i Auto gets better fuel mileage than the C70 Auto (18 city/27 hwy vs. 18 city/26 hwy).

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the 135i’s brake rotors are larger than those on the C70:



Front Rotors

13.3 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

12.8 inches

11 inches

The 1 Series’ standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the C70 are solid, not vented.

Tires and Wheels Comparison

The 135i’s 245/35R18 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series profile (height to width ratio) which provides a stiffer sidewall than the C70’s optional 40 series tires.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the 1 Series can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The C70 doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The 1 Series has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The C70’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The 1 Series has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The C70 doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

The 1 Series’ front to rear weight distribution is more even (50.3% to 49.7%) than the C70’s (56% to 44%). This gives the 1 Series more stable handling and braking.

For better maneuverability, the 1 Series’ turning circle is 3.6 feet tighter than the C70’s (35.1 feet vs. 38.7 feet).

Chassis Comparison

The BMW 1 Series may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 100 to 550 pounds less than the Volvo C70.

The 1 Series is 8.7 inches shorter than the C70, making the 1 Series easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The 1 Series Convertible has a much larger trunk with its top down than the C70 with its top down (8 vs. 6 cubic feet).

The 1 Series’ standard rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The C70 doesn’t offer folding rear seats, only a ski pass-through.

Ergonomics Comparison

If the front windows are left down on the 1 Series the driver can raise them using the key in the outside lock cylinder. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from outside the vehicle using the key in the outside lock cylinder or the keyless remote. The driver of the C70 can only raise the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The 1 Series’ rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The C70’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the 1 Series to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The C70 doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

The 1 Series has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The C70 doesn’t offer automatic headlights.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the 1 Series offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The C70 doesn’t offer cornering lights. The 1 Series also offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

The 1 Series offers optional automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The C70 has an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The 1 Series has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable. The C70 doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

The 1 Series’ available GPS navigation system has a real-time traffic update feature that offers alternative routes to automatically bypass traffic problems. (Service available in a limited number of metro areas.) The C70’s available navigation system doesn’t offer real-time traffic updates.

Wireless connectivity is optional on the 1 Series, connecting the driver and passenger’s cell phones to the vehicle systems. This allows them to use the vehicle’s stereo and hand controls to place calls safely and easily. Volvo doesn’t offer wireless connectivity on the C70.

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