Following on from the Safety Concept Car (SCC) of the 2001 Detroit Motor Show and the 2006 Volvo C30 Design Concept, the Volvo C30 is their smallest car to date. Volvo's last hatchback was the mid 1980's 480 which was based on their successful 440 saloon.
Like the 480, the Volvo C30 is able to accommodate four adults in relative comfort. It is designed to appeal to both the young fashion conscious without a family and to those young-at-heart whose children may have left home and who want a distinctive, small, sporty yet functional safe car.
Volvo plans to make 65,000 C30s a year and sell approximately 7,000 a year in the UK, Europe's second biggest market for the Volvo C30, although the downturn in new car sales might make some impact on these figures.
The front wheel drive Volvo C30 is available with a choice eight engine variants and five trim levels, prices start at £14,995 for the petrol 1.6 R Design Sport and go up to £21,105 for the Volvo C30 Diesel SE LUX.
Our test car was the entry-level 1.6 R Design Sport with a five speed manual gearbox. Volvo introduced the R Design model to appeal to the younger buyer who is looking for a more 'sporty' image.How It Drove - Performance
You can choose from eight engines (four petrol, three diesel and one Flexifuel), including four and five-cylinder units. The petrol range includes a 100 PS 1.6-litre, 125 PS 1.8-litre, 145 PS 2.0-litre, plus one five-cylinder model a 230 PS T5. The three diesels include the 109 PS 1.6D the 136 PS 2.0D, plus Volvo's five-cylinder, 2.4-litre, 180 PS D5.
There is even a bioethanol fuel option the Flexifuel 1.8 (125 PS) engine which runs on E85 bioethanol fuel which is seen as an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional fuels, emitting up to 80% less fossil carbon dioxide emissions than petrol.
Our test car was fitted the four cylinder 1596cc, 16v, petrol engine which develops 100PS and 150Nm of torque at 4000 rpm, which is enough to propel it from 0-62 mph in 11.8 seconds and on to a top speed of 115 mph.
The entry-level 1.6 litre engine can feel a little underpowered especially out of town and does sound a little noisy at low speeds. The five speed manual gearbox is very easy and rewarding to use but we recommend a more powerful engine if you do a lot of out of town driving.
Volvo quote fuel consumption figures of 30.4 mpg urban, 49.6 mpg extra-urban and 40.4 mpg combined and over a week long mixed road test we achieved circa 34.1 mpg.
This is a 12-year+ news article, from our Volvo archive, which dates back to the year 2000.
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