Black Enterprise Auto Guide

Reviews of 36 new vehicles arriving in 1999

suspension and you can also have plenty of fun.

Besides buying a car with a “lower profile,” the Insurance Information Institute ( offers other tips that can also lower your insurance premiums:

Ask for a higher deductible. An increase from $200 to $500 could reduce your collision and comprehensive costs by 15%-

Take advantage of car safety devices. Insurers usually offer discounts for vehicles with air bags, anti-lock brakes and anti-theft devices.

Eliminate comprehensive coverage on older cars. It may not be worth it on cars with little “blue book” value because the claim may not substantially exceed the annual cost and deductible amounts.

Take a driver’s education course. While most often targeted at teens, experienced drivers who return for a refresher course can also get the reduction by passing with a “B” or better. This option varies by state and insurance company.

Limit the number of miles you drive. Some insurers offer discounts to those who drive fewer than a predetermined number of miles, a plus for limited mileage lease holders.

Having brought out its first coupe in decades less than a year ago, Volvo is now going topless. The C70 convertible is the first Volvo ragtop since the 1950s. Prices have gone up since then, however. The convertible starts at $43,570. For $1,500 you can add a rousing audio system option and another $500 gives you real wood trim.

Interior room is quite reasonable for a convertible. Four people can actually fit into one without great difficulty. And the interior is quite elegant with tasteful use of wood and leather.

The only drivetrain is a 190-horsepower 2.4-liter turbocharged five-cylinder engine coupled to a four-speed automatic. This makes for rather quick acceleration. Handling is also surprisingly good and except for some surprising steering wheel shake over large bumps, the body seems rather rigid. Add optional giant 18-in. wheels and tires for real sporting grip and looks.

The seats coddle well and the wind protection with the top down is quite good. This is among the few convertibles where the driver needn’t worry about losing a hat. Heated seats bring comfort levels down to lower temperatures. And like all Volvos, safety is important. Bars pop up from behind the rear seats instantly if the car begins to roll over.

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