The C30 has the standard Volvo design cues but is clearly sportier than any other car in the range.
Customers aren’t lacking in the choice of engines, either with a choice of eight. There are no less than five petrol units: 1.6, 1.8, 2.0, 2.5 and the T5, while diesel lovers can pick from a 1.6D, a 2.0D and the D5Gt. Incidentally, the T5 and all of the diesels are turbo-charged.
We tested the 2.0D, which produces 136PS (around 134bhp) at 4,000rpm and 320Nm (236lb ft) of pulling power at 2,000rpm. It takes 9.4 seconds to do the 0-62mph sprint on the way to a top speed of 130mph. Curiously, these figures are the same for the 2.0 petrol engine.
Of course, a diesel engine is the economical option and the test car’s figures of 37.2mpg and parsimonious 61.4mpg for the urban and extra-urban cycles, respectively, result in a combined of 49.6mpg. The CO2 emissions are measured as 151g/km putting it in VED Band D.
Out and about, the low stance and the wheel layout, means that the C30 is inherently stable on fast bends. The suspension is firmer than on other Volvos and the steering is direct and positive, so the car goes where you point it, when you point it.
The 2.0D is only available with a 6-speed, manual gearbox - the others have a 5-speed and Geartronic (Gt) automatic transmissions depending on the engine choice. Unfortunately, I found the gear-change to be a bit clumsy, especially when going for second gear. However, the enjoyment from the agility and composure of the car, more than makes up for it, aided by the Dynamic Stability Traction Control (DSTC)
Regardless of engine size and trim level, all of the C30s have the same safety equipment. The list includes the famous Volvo SIPS (Side Impact Protection System), with side airbags to go with the dual-stage front bags and inflatable curtain. There are also the WHIPS, Whiplash Protection System and ABS with EBD and EBA, which stands for Electronic Brake Distribution and Electronic Brake Assistance.
The same but different? The C30 has the standard Volvo design cues but is clearly sportier than any other car in the range. It has the safety features that you would expect from the company but also ‘offers the best driving experience’, according to Abrahamsson. It is a small car with a big car feel and that is always comforting.13 February 2007
Volvo C30 Road Test Data
|Model Reviewed||Volvo Volvo C30 2.0d SE|
|Performance (manufacturers data)|
|0 - 62 mph||9.4 Seconds|
|Top Speed||130 mph|
|CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures)||g/km|
|Economy (NEDC Figures)|
|Extra Urban||61.4 mpg|
|Euro NCAP Rating||5|
|Warranty||3-Year / 60,000 Miles|
|Price (when tested on the 13/02/07)||£19,295|