Volvo took a play out of Mercedes-Benz's book with the entry-level C30 hatchback, which is based on Volvo's compact S40 sedan. It competes with other small, premium cars such as the Volkswagen GTI and Mini Cooper S.
New for 2009
Trim names have changed, with the top-of-the-line model now called the C30 R-Design and the base model now the C30 T5.
The two-door C30 holds a large glass hatch in back. Volvo says it lends an open feel to the interior; bystanders can see the center dashboard controls from behind.
At 167.4 inches long, the C30 is slightly longer than the GTI. The Mini Cooper S is nearly 2 feet shorter. Front and rear overhangs are significantly smaller than the S40's.
- R-Design trims have a different grille and a matte finish on the side mirrors
- Custom-build program offers unique color choices and exterior features
- Fog lamps available in option package
Volvo says four adults can fit inside the C30. Rear bucket seats are positioned slightly inward of the front seats, allowing more forward visibility from the backseat. In the front, the dashboard looks much like the S40's, with an ultra-thin center panel incorporating climate and audio controls.
- Standard dual-zone automatic climate control and a CD audio system with an auxiliary MP3-player input
- Upgraded audio system optional
- Navigation system optional; it will gain real-time traffic data in the middle of the 2009 model year
- Cloth seating standard on T5, leather seating available
- R-Design models have distinct leather trim with embossed R-5 logos
- Rear seat folds forward
- Preferred package includes power driver's seat, trip computer, leather parking brake cover, keyless drive and an upgraded stereo
Under the Hood
The C30 is powered by a turbocharged, 2.5-liter inline-five-cylinder engine on both trim levels.
- 227 horsepower and 236 pounds-feet of torque
- Six-speed manual standard
- Five-speed automatic transmission optional
Safety features include:
- Standard four-wheel-disc antilock brakes
- Standard side-impact and side curtain airbags
- Blind Spot Information System optional
- Standard traction control
- Standard electronic stability system