The Volvo C30 is a premium compact car, youthful and fun to drive. It competes with the Audi A3 and Volkswagen GTI class of sporty hatchbacks. The C30 is a two-door hatchback that shares most of its mechanicals with Volvo's compact S40 sedan and V50 wagon. While similar to these cars in character, the C30 has less standard equipment, allowing Volvo to make it its lowest priced car.
The C30 is also Volvo's best handling car. It has good steering feel, stays flat in corners, and is nimble enough to slice through traffic. The 227-hp turbocharged five-cylinder engine provides plenty of punch to keep the fun coming. Ride quality is generally good, though it can become a little hard with the available 18-inch wheels.
Inside, the C30 offers a pleasant, fairly roomy cabin for four. The standard cloth upholstery is a unique fabric that resembles wetsuit material. Room up front is plentiful, and the controls are easy to spot and use. The two-door body style makes getting into the backseat a bit of a hassle, but the rear seat is comfortable for two passengers. Those rear seats fold down to create a large rear hatch area with lots of carrying capacity.
For 2010, Bluetooth hands-free phone interface, a trip computer and cruise control come standard, along with more leather and aluminum interior trim. HDD navigation is optional for the base model. The C30 was redesigned for the 2007 model year.
Overall, the Volvo C30 is good looking, fun to drive, and offers the easily accessible cargo utility of a hatchback. It's affordably priced and, with a few well-chosen options, is a fine choice among sporty compacts. It comes with Volvo's safety engineering and is loaded with safety features.