Options list longer than Aunty May's Christmas list
Headroom not friendly to tall people
Driving position feels odd
2+2 backseat appropriate for pre-teens only
Checking too many options inflates the price faster than a party balloon.
Revamped for 2011, the Volvo C30 features a front design patterned after the S60 sedan and XC60 crossover. It is offered in two trim levels (T5 and R-Design) and delivers a respectable 227 horsepower and 236 foot pounds of torque from its 2.5-liter 5-cylinder turbocharged engine. Referred to as the “base” version, the T5 comes with the standard Spartacus 17-inch alloy wheels. The R-Design model, on the other hand, is equipped with Midir 18-inch wheels, a roof spoiler and a sport chassis. Both of the models come with glass tailgates for enhanced rear visibility and two transmission options: five-speed automatic and six-speed manual. The estimated city mpg for both transmissions is 21, with a highway mpg of 29 for the manual and 30 for the automatic.
With ergonomically designed seats that come with prominent side supports and plush padding, the Volvo C30 “continues to offer Swedish styling in a compact package” and will interest those “who place a high value on looks” as well as those “who value comfort,” notes U.S. News & World Report. However, since its cargo capacity is quite limited and the 50-50 split rear seat can barely accommodate two full-grown adults, it’s not for customers who want a car they can use on the road with their families. While the C30 is “fun to drive” and “has an excellent interior,” it is “not utilitarian, it’s not super-fast and it sure isn’t cheap,” Says Cars.com. On the whole, the C30 “lacks the sharp handling of some rivals but it’s got style and comfort in spades,” says Edmunds.
A 2011 “Top Safety Pick” by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the C30 comes with antilock-brake and antiskid systems, a collapsible steering column, side-impact and whiplash protection, and ISOFIX/LATCH attachments for child safety. The T5 has a starting MSRP of $24,700, while the R-Design starts at $27,100.