For a 3000 + lbs car, this one accelerates off the line very well. Volvo has figured out a way to reduce turbo lag bringing on power at only 1500 RPMs. Estimated 0-60 times of 6.5 seconds allows for spirited fun on the streets and the freeways. We recommend keeping both hands on the wheel during full on acceleration handle the torque steer. With its broad torque band, the C30 accelerates well on the freeway for passing. Brakes are more than adequate worked well to slow the car in near panic situations and ABS kicks in to keep things from locking up.
The stance is low, the suspension stiff, and the wheels and tires are tight resulting in a package that can handle almost any turn with ease, the car sticks very well. Straight line tracking is actually good for a small stiffly sprung sports car due to its long wheelbase. Not so good for really tight turns or u-turns, though. Steering is a bit dead on center and the leather/aluminum steering wheels feels ok. Volvo still adheres to a Macpherson front suspension instead of going double wishbone which contributes to a harsh ride
First glance at the C30 and you’ll notice that there is something different about the car. No, it’s not the burnt orange metallic paint. It is really the attractive profile view complete with integrated spoilers front and rear. Volvo has also incorporated what looks to be like shoulders just below the side glass providing a slightly masculine look — an original design feature compared to other vehicles in this class. The two doors definitely give the car a nice look but the trade off is they are prone to hit the cars parked to the side due to the long swing.
The C30 interior is generally simple with low use of leather and a higher use of man-made materials resulting in a less luxurious feel to the interior. The R-Design brings in elements like aluminum trim, special sport pedals, body kit, larger exhaust tips and matte silver accents to the grill and mirrors. Note that these are design elements and don’t make the C30 any faster.
This space is pretty crowded and Volvo has a lot of competition below and above their standard pricing. This car sits right in the middle where there are strong performers above (WRX, EVO) and strong performers below (Mazdaspeed3, Ford Focus, Mini Cooper) their price range. Optioned with power driver and passenger seating, automatic transmission, climate control and metallic paint, the MSRP rose to $33,500. A little more money and one could step up to the WRX, EVO or even try to squeeze into a base BMW 3-series. There are also a number of cars in the mid to upper 20’s that would fit the bill with more space and equivalent or better performance. The C30 is probably about $4-$5k too expensive to compete well in this class.
Who Should Buy It?
Volvo is trying to hit the 18-30 year demographic with the C30 T5 R-design. Due to its narrow seating and long setback, the car is probably more geared towards the females with really long arms. And because the C30 does not have the smoothest ride out there, I would think that most women would trade off some handling for a better ride.
Design of Another Era
The chance Volvo took in releasing a car like this during a recession is commendable. “The Saint” was produced during a period when British television was itself rapidly developing, and private car ownership was booming. The TV series promoted Volvo 1800s in a way that is difficult to parallel and which could never have been achieved by any other method, yet all this occurred largely by accident. As a result, this model will always be associated with the Roger Moore Saint series. The demographics that the C30 serves to attract were essentially born after the demise of the P1800. Can Volvo attract a new generation of buyers keen on the C30 design values? Volvo has entered into a very competitive space on unique looks alone, but they developed the reputation of safety here in the U.S., and it’s difficult to say “safety” in the same sentence as “fast and sporty.”
|Official website for Volvo automobiles in the U.S. – www.volvocars.com/us/|
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