Unlike some Volvos the C30's electro-hydraulic steering is very direct and provides excellent feedback.
How It Drove - Ride and Handling
Unlike some Volvos the C30's electro-hydraulic steering is very direct and provides excellent feedback. There is minimal body roll and the ride although firm is pretty good even on uneven road surfaces, the ride is aided by fully independent suspension. This set-up allows for a small degree of passive rear-wheel steer when cornering to boost stability and control. Overall the Volvo C30 handles well but is not as sharp or as good to drive as the Ford Focus it is based on.
DSTC (Dynamic Stability and Traction Control) is standard on every Volvo C30, preventing wheel spin or skidding by either braking the wheel that has lost traction (up to 25mph) or, above 25mph, by reducing engine power. Sensors detect the onset of a skid and the appropriate wheel is then slowed to restore control. In every case, the driven front wheels get no more power than they can safely transfer to the road.
All Volvo C30’s get front ventilated disc brakes and solid rear discs. The ventilation helps brake cooling, and improves braking performance at high-speed or during repeated stops.
Some driver’s might not like that the hand brake is set up for the LHD market and it might be hard to release for some users.
Ease of Use
All round vision is pretty good but we felt the brushed aluminium style door mirrors were a little too small.
Getting in and out of the front of the Volvo C30 is a little challenging for some, the front doors open wide however they are quite heavy but reassuringly solid when shut. The sills are quite wide and there does seem to be an extra lip attributed to R Design body kit, which often rubbed against our trousers when getting in or out.
The Volvo C30 is designed to seat four people therefore instead of a bench seat for three people in the rear, there are two distinct seats, in which all but the tallest of adults should feel comfortable. The two individual rear seats are wider and offer much better lateral support than a conventional bench. The long rear windows help to give the rear seat passengers the feeling of sitting in the front. The Volvo C30 is a three door car so access to the rear is best left to the nimble and mobile, although the front doors do open quite wide.
The two individual rear seats fold nearly flat into the floor and there is a ski hatch between the two seats to accommodate your skis!
Access to the boot is through the glass tailgate which offers fairly easy access aided by the low boot to floor height. Our test car was fitted with the hard load cover (you can opt for a soft cover) which hinges up on opening the boot. The load cover can be removed which is fortunate as we did find it a little awkward to get larger items through the aperture. There is 433 litres (VDA) of luggage space available with both the rear seats up which increases to a reasonable 947 litres when the rear seats are folded down. With the seats down you can carry lengths of up to 1.5 m in the boot.
Volvo C30 Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||Volvo C30|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||11.8 seconds|
|Top Speed||115 mph|
|Fuel Type||Unleaded Petrol|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||49.6 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||5 Star|
|Warranty||3 years / 60,000 miles|
|Price (when tested on the 28/01/09)||£14, 995|