Volvo C30 Summary
Pros: Great looking hatchback, enough interior space for four adults.
Cons: Luggage space is a bit limited.
All engines are more than adequate for performance. From an investment and economy point of view, I recommend the diesel units, either the 1.6- or 2.0-litre. Even the 1.6 litre provides ample power, including the DRIVe version. Note, the DRIVe version is the 1.6 diesel model of the range that focuses on economy with features such as lowered suspension and aerodynamic aids. It’s the model I most recommend given its 64 miles per gallon fuel economy and its CO2 emissions of 115g/km meaning it’s great to run as a company car.
Ride and Handling
The C30 handles well thanks to its sporty suspension set up; it will put a smile on your face when you come to attack corners along your favourite country road. The slight downside with this is a ride quality that edges on the firm side but it’s certainly not uncomfortable and, in fairness, it does get better with speed. The steering is well weighted in your hands but, given its strong power-assistance, it can feel numb at times, meaning you are not always in tune with what the front steering wheels are doing.
A fantastic motorway cruiser with all engines that are civilised at speed. The diesels sound a little ‘agricultural’ on initial start-up and around town but, get them up to speed, they are more relaxing to drive given the strong pulling power.
The C30 is cheaper than its main premium rivals: Volkswagen Golf and Audi A3. Fuel expenses are relatively low too thanks to the frugal engines; aside from the top-of-the-range T5 which features a five-cylinder engine from the Ford Focus ST. The DRIVe model is the best investment for your cash thanks to its staggering fuel economy. In fairness, resale values are strong across the range should you decide to opt for the 2.0 petrol model.
It’s a nice contemporary place to sit and Volvo have built the interior and car overall to a high standard. With the interior, attractive soft-touch plastics cover the dashboard and the now trademark ‘floating’ – console takes centre stage which adds to the modern feel. All switches and buttons work with a nice quality too; the switchgear operates with precision and feels built to last. It should also be noted that Volvo has a good reliability record and the C30 scored highly in the JD Power Survey (independent experts that measure the satisfaction of car owners).
A category Volvo is famed for, and despite being a smaller car, the C30 performed just as well as the bigger Volvo S40 in rear-end collision tests. Every model has stability control, six airbags and active anti-whiplash front head restraints, security dead-locks, an integrated stereo (which cannot be removed from the vehicle) and a visible VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) which all help to deter thieves.
This is a four-seater car, not five, due to the back seats being two individual seats rather than a bench type. There is room for two adults to get comfortable in the back, although there is more legroom in the back of a Ford Focus three-door.
In the front, there is plenty of head and legroom and it should be noted that the seats are incredibly comfortable; Volvo always excels in the area of comfortable seating. The boot is small and shallow though.
The C30 is generously equipped; every model comes with climate control, an MP3-compatible stereo, front electric windows and alloy wheels. The SE models have plusher upholstery and cruise control, SE Lux models have leather upholstery and heated front seats and the R-Design versions are the sportily-trimmed ones. Bluetooth connectivity and satellite navigation are extra-cost options.