The Volvo C30 is a very interesting new 2 door hatchback that was introduced on the US market in 2007. The C30 is the smallest Volvo available to date. It features the maker’s signature design elements in a concentrated shape. If you like Volvo’s curvy body style and over sized rear taillights you will love this car.
The C30 bring a new special touch of design with a rear hatch that is completely made out of glass for a better rear visibility. It is large enough for you to see the bumper of the car behind you even when it is only a feet away. Great for parking in the city, but a bit scary when it comes to rear end crashes. But don’t worry, the C30 also features very tall rear bumper that will protect you from unsafe drivers. The small exotic also shine through dual chrome exhaust tips, 17 inch alloy rims, turn signal indicator in the outside mirrors and a wrap around body kit which is unfortunately not painted but plain black.
Volvo did a great job making the C30 look sporty enough to appeal to the male buyers without turning off the women audience. It is a great looking little car which doesn’t lack personality.
The engine reflects the same compromise between comfort and spottiness. The turbo charged 5 cylinders, will smoothly deliver its 236 lb of torque to the cruising driver, but it also got 227 hp available at 5000 RPM for the sport fans. If you try to sprint from a stand still, some mild torque steer will remind you that you drive a powerful front wheel drive car. Without being dangerous, the annoying steer effects will make you think twice before storming at the green light. Too bad because once launched, the C30 turbocharger is a pleasure to push in the revs. The optional automatic gear box, even with its semi-manual Geartronic, is not helping when it comes to aggressive driving and the manual transmission will certainly be a better choice for those of you who want to enjoy the powerful T5 engine. Nonetheless the extra power will be better used when the time come to pass a slow truck or get out of a dangerous situation.
To keep you on the road safely all the way up to the top speed of 150 MPH, the Volvo C30 features front independent suspension with anti roll bar and multi link rear suspensions. This setup combines great handling in the curves while assuring the high level comfort, once again reflecting the C30 a compromise between sport and comfort. Even though, after a few high speed curves you will come to realize the handling is more geared toward comfort than sport.
At first glance the interior isn’t very luxurious. Aside of the stylish central console and the nice instrument panel, the cabin feels quite austere. Nevertheless, you can appreciate the simplicity and easy access to all the controls. The front seats are offering good support and greatly participate to the overall feeling of comfort. The door arm rest are well located and if you enjoy driving with the windows open, you will be happy to find an unusually wide and comfortable area to put you arm on the door seam as well. The back seats are ok for a short ride in town but they will be better used once folded flat to obtain a larger trunk space.
Overall the C30 is a small coupe with good manners. Price starting at $22,700, the new Volvo is not cheap but it fit perfectly between the competitions offers. The cheaper Mini is neither as spacious nor comfortable and its design is getting old, while the BMW 1 series is a lot more expensive and will fit better to those who put driving experience on top of their list. The C30 is coming up with a refined design that will please buyers looking for a well balanced compact car.