Car reviews - Volvo - C30 - 3-dr hatch range
It is no longer hip to be square at Volvo, as the C30 hatch amply demonstrates
23 Mar 2007
By CHRIS HARRIS
VOLVO opens the door on new markets with its new C30 coupe/hatchback, casting furtive glances at the likes of Mini, Audi A3, VW Golf and BMW 1 Series, among many others. Underwritten by Volvo’s rock-solid reputation for the highest levels of passive safety and the success of the donor S40/V50 range, this chic little car has appeal for the much-younger market at which it is aimed and has been deliberately made to polarise opinions on the way it looks. That said, it is an instantly attractive little coupe, with a cheeky rear-end that makes it instantly identifiable. Sure, there’s not quite the practicality of the S40 or V50, but it’s not bad nevertheless and the interior is well fitted out and very comfortable up front. And it’s a bit more than just a two-plus-two, because despite the shorter body it uses the same wheelbase as its five-door siblings. What Volvo doesn’t seem to have thought through, though, is how to make the C30 ride well in all circumstances. In sport-suspension T5 mode, the C30 brings to mind unsatisfactory Volvos of the recent past, which is weird considering other hot cars using the same basic chassis – including the S40 T5 and Ford Focus XR5 – don’t seem to suffer the same problems.
Model release date: 1 March 2007 to 1 May 2010
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