By on August 24, 2007

4860_2_1.jpgThe last time a Volvo was sexy, so was (Sir) Roger Moore. Just as The Saint titillated the fairer sex, Simon Templar’s Volvo P1800 had heel-and-toe types salivating. Shortly thereafter Moore was persuaded to abandon his Swedish whip for an Aston. By the time the English actor got into Bond-age, Volvo had turned deeply dull. Sexy was scrapped, safety celebrated. Stylistically, Gothenburg’s designs adhered to a Ty Webbian template: “Be the box. Be the box.” While Volvos slowly evolved away from the rectangular gestalt, they never quite shucked middle-aged mindfulness. The new C30 aims to change all that. 

Available in Canada since the second quarter, hitting U.S. soil in October, Volvo’s “hot hatch” (yes really) is looking to cash in on the aging, fast and slightly miffed yet financially comfortable ex-tuner crowd. Alternatively, the C30’s yet another starting point for badge snobs looking for that first rung on the European luxury ladder. To entice both groups, the Swedish sampling’s got style.

4874_2_1.jpgFaced head on, the short overhangs and snubbed prow could easily belong to any Volvo. Correct! From the grill to the windshield, the C30’s built on the same architecture as the S40 and V50. Follow the reverse-doorstop roofline to mid ships, and there’s funk in that trunk. The taillights hug the C’s C-pillars in all three dimensions, accenting the hatch’s rear haunches in the best-yet interpretation of the corporate countenance.

The C30’s “P” inspired trapezoidal hatch-glass is pistonhead catnip. Leave home without the optional cargo cover though, and Bloomies’ Big Brown Bag will have a similar effect on the smash-and-grab crowd.

Just don’t order a C30 in “passion red.” With fenders found wanting of paint, my base T5 tester was more “Swedish berry” than Halle Berry. Anyone who doesn’t spend the extra Krona and check the Metallic Paint box on the order sheet might as well get a bumper sticker saying “Cheap Djävel on Board.”  While you’re at it, sign-up for the dual tone body kit and 17” Zaurak rims. When you see a C30 thus kitted in Titanium Grey metallic with Java metallic trim, it’s time to call a Vet; this puppy looks sick.

4869_2_1.jpgInside, it seems the Swedish vegetarians have turned their gaze to the automobile industry. Not to worry; Volvo’s T-Tec seating surfaces is an ideal alternative, guaranteed to keep Norse grasslands groomed. The infamous waterfall dash is cheap chic personified, while the switchgear’s tactility will keep even non-OCD sufferers busy for hours. A handy 12-volt adapter decorates the centre-stack, but a lack of defined cup holders hinders Scandinavian satiation.

Volvo’s trick dangling DIN radio unit is wannabe Bang & Olufsen done right. The standard audio package’s sonic performance is adequate, but in a world of LCD I.C.E., the O.G. (original Gameboy) graphics are ghastly. Thankfully, the C30’s supportive seats and thick-rimmed helm restore a large measure of street cred.

The packaging is a bit compromised. Upright, the rear seats are spacious enough for two high-heeled Swedish bikini team members, but leave just enough luggage space for their official uniforms and a couple of thirsty towels. Fold the 55/45 rears and that “Ramvik” coffee table and “Roskilde” rug your living room has been lacking are yours for the taking.

4856_2_1.jpgVolvo’s force-fed five-banger is in da' house. A mini mill cranking-out 218hp may be nothing special in this category, but 236ft.-lbs. of torque from basement to penthouse is. Put the pedal to the metal (how Volvo is that?) and 20 continuously variable valves chatter away, flinging the C30 to sixty in less than seven seconds. In-gear satisfaction is only a foot flex away.

Unfortunately, the cog swapping part of the program lacks a suitable dénouement. In traffic, the C30’s clutch play is smooth and predictable. Light a fire under the hot hatch, give it the beans, and stick travel… stops… time. Even worse, ultimate engagement is decidedly spongy.

4861_2_1.jpgThe suspension isn't. MacPhersons up front and a multilink in back keeps city schlepping as placid as Aquavit on ice, while anti-roll bars and rigid body construction ensure all that torque isn’t squandered. Hang on to the helm and anything over 7/10’s is as safe as houses. Corners are controlled and understeer doled out in sensible quantities. The Sport Package tightens things up considerably. But make no mistake: even in standard trim, the Euro Focus’ C1 platform is put to good use. The Stig may not be cocking a rear wheel through Gambon, but Volvo security hasn’t watered down the Ford family fun.

Volvo is hoping to flog 20k C30’s stateside, 65k globally. The Swedish two-door is pitted against BMW’s U.S.-bound 1-Series, Audi’s A3/S3, a new WRX, Vee Dub’s GTi and the benchmark MINI. That’s tough company; it would be a daunting prospect if the C30 didn’t look so damn cool. But it does. And it is. Mission accomplished.

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68 Comments on “Volvo C30 Review...”


  • avatar
    danms6

    I remember seeing this at the auto show, only it was in that amazing blue color. The rear end looks even better in person and I’m glad to hear that it drives just as well as it looks. Pricing doesn’t look too bad either starting at $22k.

  • avatar
    Scott

    Wow. Best Volvo in a long time. When I pay off my Fit in 5 years, I should be able to afford one of these. Hot hatch? Try hottest hatch. It may very well unseat the A3 I’ve been drooling for.

  • avatar
    Dave Ruddell

    Okay, fine, it’s a good car. But it has the stupidest commercials.

  • avatar

    Something to lust after, to be certain; I’m so glad that smaller premium vehicles are really starting to make inroads here in the states. God bless high gas prices. However, I am not in the category of persons who can spend $22,700 on a “base” model 2-door hatch – optioned out this thing hits $30,000 pretty quick. Speaking of which, having a gazillion available options is pretty cool, but kind of overwhelming if you go to the site.

    Woe betide Subaru; this presents yet another reason why people might opt for something other than a WRX. This thing looks refined, sporty, and fun to drive for similar money. Viva Volvo! (I know I’m mixing countries but it sounds so right)

  • avatar
    CeeDragon

    I’ve always apprecated cars that have great real-world dynamics. I’m not that interested in taking my cars to the track.

    The combination of VW/Audi’s 2.0T and DSG is a wonderful real-world performer in the GTI and A3. There are other cars in this class with better specs on paper, but they often fall short of the GTI/A3 feel.

    On the other side of the spectrum, I put over 100,000 miles on a Mazda RX-7 Turbo, grinning like an idiot, but sometimes the miles were draining. During daily commutes, I really wished for a softer ride, autobox, etc.

    It sounds like the C30 might be another great day-to-day driver. Good torque, fun but not harse suspension, good looks. Another worthy entry into an embarassingly rich category of cars that Matthew lists. And that sounds great to me.

  • avatar
    fellswoop

    That thing is hot. I hope it sells well!

    The 1st paragraph of this review rehashes the usual “Volvos have been boring forever” sentiment, but TTAC has already discussed several really stonkin’ Q-ship type Volvos with turbos & AWD….that nobody bought.

  • avatar
    Sammy B

    Great write-up. I’m really looking forward to checking one of these out in person. It makes my Top 5 list for my next vehicle (2-3 yrs down the road).

    Side note/useless trivia: When Roger Moore was James Bond, he never actually drove an Aston Martin. He traded his Volvo for a wide variety of vehicles in the 70s and 80s. The Lotus Esprit and AMC Hornet are probably the two best remembered.

  • avatar

    Sammy B Side note/useless trivia: When Roger Moore was James Bond, he never actually drove an Aston Martin. Ah, but you missed the hidden clue! "Persuaded." As in the ITV show The Persuaders. In the series, Moore drove an Aston DBS, although it wore the wheels of the V8. Oh, and Tony Curtis' Dino was way cooler– and entirely unreliable.

  • avatar
    BEAT

    I remembered as a kid when Volvos looked like they were designed by a 3rd grade student. the rear end looked like a box and the front end looked like a box. squares for short…

    I bet you guys didn’t dare to buy the Volvo before because the way it was designed but the body didn’t really matter for the engineers of Volvo because they were more concern on building a reliable engine for their cars, trucks and heavy equipments.

    The Name Volvo is not all about cars it is Durablitity to the extreme.

  • avatar
    Sammy B

    To Robert Farago:

    *smacks head*

    You guys are a crafty bunch!

  • avatar
    pb35

    I think it’s a beautiful design. I can’t wait till my Volvo dealer tells me these are in so I can go for a spin. I recently spent 10 days in an S40 and I thought it was fine for a commuter. Only 8000 coming to the US, correct?

  • avatar
    Joe O

    I can’t wait to drive this car. My old ’95 850 Turbo (a 5-cylinder 2.3 liter turbo putting out 222 HP and 220 lb/ft of torque stock) was a very interesting car to drive. The Swedes like their torque to come on early, come on strong, and come on through the front wheels :)

    The use of the same T5 engine as the S40 is a great choice, in my mind. It’s proven, it has a few good tuning options out there (can easily be boosted up to 250 HP and ~280 torque).It’s quirky volvo, with their 5-cylinders (look at VW’s latest 5-cyl offering…not up to the same level).

    The ergonomics of the S40 are definitely not US made (cubbies and cupholders are in short supply, buttons are non-intuitive). But that T-Tec fabric is to dye for….

    A 6-spd version of this might be on my short list for replacements for my wife’s Saturn Ion. Unfortunately she just turned to me last night and said “Maybe we should have kids in the next 3-years…”….so um, 2 doors might not sell her.

    Joe

  • avatar

    I agree – if there was a version that came with 2 more doors, I’d hop across the street to the Volvo dealership and crunch some numbers. I’ve got a ’98 Civic SI I need to get rid of as our 3rd kid is on the way. Those numbers crunched add up to 4 doors. :-P Great review thoug – I see the odd one flying down the Whitemud here, and I do a double-take every time. Unique, rare-ish so far, and dang fast, off the lot.

  • avatar
    Yuppie

    I agree with CeeDragon. From various reviews, the C30 does not come close to the A3. The two extra doors offer better convenience AND lower insurance rates. (The A3 is categorized as a wagon by most insurance companies.)

    When I bought my A3 I also looked at a Saab 9-3 and a Volvo S40 T5. The A3 was more refined and handled better. Not to mention, neither of the “Swedes”, if you could call them that, seem to have any aftermarket support. If these cars are really targeting the “ex-tuner” crowd…

  • avatar
    Steve Biro

    Right now, the C30 is the only Volvo I’d consider for myself. A Version 1.0 with metallic paint and manual transmission. That’s provided dealers won’t be inflating prices to “market” levels and forcing buyers to take $3000 pinstrip kits.

  • avatar
    jpc0067

    I’m trying to convince myself I only need these two doors. I need a date car/communter, and this fits it perfectly I think. What says “I’m a secure, suburban dad with a little money and a little taste” better than this? The kids are old enough to buckle themselves in, and I believe they’ll want to climb through the hatch anyway. The chairs in the back are killer.

  • avatar
    Joe O

    Yuppie,

    As noted above, the S40/C30 actually already has a pretty decent tuning availability.

    Check out http://www.heicosportiv.com (high-end volvo) and http://www.sct-tuning.com.

    I like the A3, though it’s exterior is nowhere near as sexy (to me) as the C30. My wife and I got in it and she was not happy at all with the driving position; disliked the feel alot. She did like the “quattro cafe” where they gave away free starbucks iced cappucinos….but I digress.

    An A3 equipped the way we would want (s-line package, 6-spd manual, heated seats) runs around 28k. About equivalent to how we would equip the Volvo (I would probably get it for 26k, but who knows). If you’ve ever driven an S40 6-spd, that engine is ALOT more exhilerating than the A3 2.0. I’m not knocking the A3 engine, it’s a masterpiece of everyday power and economy. But it’s so flat. The 2.5 liter 5-cyl turbo is a pretty good rush :)

    Good point about the 4-doors and insurance rates….I wonder how these cars will play out in insurance. Audi, so I’ve heard, is more expensive to do body work on….both are pretty darn safe though.

  • avatar
    beetlebug

    Ah, the Persuaders. Best theme music ever. Loved the scene ofthe DBS and the Dino racing in the opening.

  • avatar
    GEMorris

    Ok, I am an admitted huge huge fan of the way this car looks. But no one has mentioned the biggest problem, which is the c30’s platform mate the Mazdaspeed3.

    The MS3, fully decked out including satnav is still short of 27k, the C30 similarly optioned, with less HP and torque, is upwards of 30k. Volvo KILLS you on the options list. Also, the MS3 includes a limited slip diff, if you have any plans to mod the C30’s power, better include one of those in your list of must-have aftermarket upgrades. Not to mention the MS3 is a 5 door.

    But then you get to the real problem, the C30 looks so damn good logic-based arguments just don’t seem to work. A c30 will probably replace my Golf TDI when I upgrade.

    What is really sad is when you compare the GTI to the c30 or MS3. Unless DSG is an absolute requirement, the VeeDub just looks like weak sauce.

  • avatar
    Jonathon

    I thought it looked good until I saw the picture of the rear end.

  • avatar
    jpc0067

    yes, the MS3 is a better deal, but I hate any boy-racer styling. I think the C30 (1.0 anyway) is the antidite to that. The lack of a limited slip differential is an issue though, and probably why the C30 isn’t highly tuned.

  • avatar
    Joe O

    The MS3 is somewhat of a different car…much like the VW GTI has a much more upscale interior, so too will the C30’s interior be much more mature than the MS3.

    Further, the C30’s clutch engagement has been described as light and easy; whereas the MS3 feels sporty, but not in a I-want-to-drive-this-car in traffic feel.

    The fact that the MS3 offers 5-doors of goodness is a big selling point in my mind; but at the end of the day, it feels like a spiffed up version of the 16k car it’s based upon inside….my wife liked the basic functionality of the design, but didn’t like the cheapness to the materials.

    I hope the C30 offers lumbar support…I, at 25, have really begun to note the difference in long-term comfort between a car with one-size-fits-all lumbar and one with even an adjustment wheel or lever.

    As a side note: yet again another new car in the 20-30k range offering Xenons as an option, while the new Honda Accord (ranging from ~21-32k) will not offer them.

    Joe

  • avatar
    Mrb00st

    the vast majority of volvos have been boring

    but there ARE some exceptions!

    i personally would give an unnecessary organ for a ’95 850 T-5R wagon in SCREAMIN’ YELLOW!

    of course the V70R’s (both first and second gen) are awesome – the 2001 V70R taking the sleeper title with 261bhp from it’s pressurized 5 and electronic AWD.

    And i’m sure there’s fun to be had in a 780 turbo or 940 SE Turbo.

    But yeah, being a volvo fanboy, this car is on my shortless for replacement car for my Jetta when i graduate college and get a real job – with the WRX, A3, etc.

  • avatar
    aorbinati

    LOVE this car. I’m a huge hatchback fan, and this one takes the cake!

  • avatar
    sandi beale

    You guys want 4 doors and I wouldn’t consider it unless it were a 2-door. Little leary about a first issue model and altough most reviews are good to excellent, the common knock on it is that it feels “soft” on the highway. The new VW GTI usually wins the comparison test, but as someone who’s had a ’02 GTI in the shop too many times I’m leary about VW reliability.

  • avatar
    Stephan Wilkinson

    The rear end, by the way, is homage to the P1800. They intentionally are virtually identical–at least the glass. Horsepower is 227, by the way, not 218. (I just gave my test car back to Volvo.) And no, they aren’t thinking of anything like sales of 20,000 annually in the U. S.–more like 8,000.

  • avatar
    Sanman111

    This car defintely merits a look for my next car. As I finish grad school, I find myself wanting something fun but a little less boy racerish than a civic si as I am starting to date women who are a little older and not impressed by large wings and interesting styling. The GTI looked great, but I have too many friends with VW horror stories. This maybe it, with a loaded mazda 3 as backup.

  • avatar

    I really like the way this looks but here in Canada I can’t square the price. The base model (that is 2.4l 5 cylinder sans turbo) is C$27,500. If they priced it the same up here as they do stateside my wife and I would be driving one right now, but with the price as it is we decided to save our pennies for now and bought a Honda Fit instead.

  • avatar
    Matthew Neundorf

    Mr. Wilkinson,

    My tester was an ‘o7 from the Canadian crop released earlier this year, the 218hp is correct for the vehicle tested, but yes, expect 227hp for the U.S. bound ’08’s.

  • avatar
    dinu01

    It’s a frustrating time to see that there’s around a $10.000CAD difference b/w the US and Canada on pricing for this car. The US V2 comes at about $30.000USD while a SIMILARLY equipped C30 is around $40.000CAD!!! http://www.canadiandriver.com/ctc/blog/?p=135

    And this doesn’t even take into consideration the 14% sales tax we must pay…

  • avatar

    dinu01 – wah. tip #432: not every canadian lives in Ontario.

    Also, where are you in ON? Couldn’t you just hop across the border and get on one the cheap?

  • avatar
    Yuppie

    Joe O: Heico was not available when I searched for a US-based tuner last year. Overall, going VW/Audi gave me many more options than Volvo or Saab. I did see some extreme Saabs and Volvos, but I don’t understand Swedish.

    I disagree with your comparison of the Volvo T5 vs. the Audi 2.0T FSI. I have driven both and I feel that the T5 has more noticeable lag. While neither company makes a manual that rivals those from Honda, Porsche or BMW, the A3 is available with DSG, whereas the T5 is mated to a slushbox.

    The 2.0T, with a rom-tune (“chip”), gives about 240hp/275ft-lbs. When the C30 comes out later this year, I’ll try to goad one into a run.

  • avatar
    Yuppie

    Joe O: I do agree with you re: the A3’s strange driving position. The dead pedal is too close to the driver. It forces you to bend your left leg much more than the right.

  • avatar
    stimpy

    I really wanted this car, but alas, the deal on an ’07 A3 was too good to pass up, so I didn’t. The Volvo appeals to the right side of my brain, which is a strange spot for a Volvo. I really want to test drive one and see one in the flesh, but I’m afraid of the obsession that will ensue and what ANOTHER new car purchase might do to my marriage. The A3 might well be a less-exciting car visually, but certainly a more practical overall vehicle and one with no less of a mean streak than a C30. I don’t believe those 20 extra horses under the hood would be enough for it to run with an A3 in the real world. I guess I may have to risk the test drive to find out.

  • avatar
    TaxedAndConfused

    You guys wanted the new Euro focus. Welcome…

  • avatar
    dinu01

    Chris G. – Besides AB, doesn’t the rest of Canada pay the GST and PST? Which means MOST Canadians pay around 14% in sales tax. But that’s besides the pt. The problem is that price even before taxes is disproportionate. As discussed in this week’s article on the topic, yes, I can go and get a similar car in the US, but why should I, when our currencies are almost at par?

  • avatar
    kjc117

    Awe looks like a good little car but I can ‘t buy a Ford.

  • avatar
    phil

    I guess i’m odd man out but this thing looks like a pig that underwent discounted plastic surgery in Mexico. Compared with the smooth and svelte A3, or the way cool GTI, hell even the 1 series looks elegant in comparison to this toad. And a crappy shifter? When the A3 and others have DSG? They’ll be lucky to move 10 of these things.

  • avatar
    Stephan Wilkinson

    Phil, let’s not be too hasty here, unless you’ve actually driven the car. What you or I think of the car’s styling is irrelevant, since that’s entirely personal taste. Some people think Julia Roberts is achingly beautiful, others think she looks like a Pez dispenser. But “a crappy shifter”? I assume you’re parroting the ttac review. I just got out of five days with the same car, and I haven’t the faintest idea what the reviewer is talking about. It doesn’t have a crappy shifter, although I agree the DSG is the finest mechanical transmission in the world.

  • avatar
    jthorner

    Wow, Volvo finally has made a modern companion to my 1972 1800ES, but this time they got the price right. In it’s day the 1800ES was priced close to a base model Corvette and was a sales flop.

    I am also thrilled to see more a more premium grade smaller cars coming on the market. Small doesn’t have to mean cheap and boorish!

  • avatar
    Claude Dickson

    There is one BIG turnoff to this car: the customization. From what I’ve read, if you want something as basic as cruise control, you have to customize. That is ridiculous

  • avatar
    NoneMoreBlack

    Yowzir, indeed.

  • avatar
    Terry Parkhurst

    Subaru has left an opening by taking the new WRX down a notch or two, performance and appearance wise; and since many Subaru owners also have Volvos – sometimes, older Volvos – that might be the most likely group for some “conquest sales,” as dealership personnel and marketing types call people who trade in on make for another.

    The C30 is not the first hatchback Volvo has made, if you include the 1800ES, which some (actually) call a “station wagon,” but methinks given its limited load-carrying capacity, was one of the best looking hatchbacks ever made. There are design elements of the 1800ES in the C30. Look at photos of the 1800ES – or catch one sometime on the street or at a car show – and you’ll see them.

    It’s just too bad that the suspension and engine of the 1800ES needed some work. Of course, that’s why there’s iPD in Portland, Oregon. Hey, about a link to their site here at TTAC?

  • avatar

    dinu01: Re: provincial tax: http://www.taxtips.ca/provincial_sales_tax.htm (not really – but am I right? :-P)

    At any rate – I agree with you fundamentally – vehicle price is disproportionate between borders.

    But I digress…

  • avatar

    So – I’m diggin’ the C30 – been on my mind since the review. But it’s a forbidden lust, because it’s only a 3 door….

    I understand the A3 is somewhere around the same class… what do others recommend? I went looking at the Rabbit 5dr, and I’m pretty impressed… are there others in this class worth looking at?

  • avatar
    jabdalmalik

    If you were impressed by the Rabbit 5-door check out the GTI 5-door.

    The new Impreza (and WRX) is pretty divisive, but worth a look.

    Or hold out for the 1-series. . .

  • avatar
    dinu01

    ChrisG – I think we’re both on the same train, different wagons :)

    There’s not much to do about the taxes, but the price… Oh the price!

    On another note, it seems Volvo Canada now has the 07 and 08 C30 ready to built on their site. The 08 allows you to get the 18″ wheels and the sports appearance package (or whatever they call it) for $2500, which is significantly more cost advantageous for the buyer as opposed for the ~$6000 it was for the 07 MY.

    On a second note (almost running out of sticky notes here), I do like the ability to customize the vehicle, although I believe it increases the price if you click numerous option boxes.

  • avatar
    Hank

    I really like this car, but consider it more the successor of the Volvo 480 in looks than the 1800. I’d take any of the three in my drive.

  • avatar
    brettc

    This is a really nice looking car, and affordable too if you don’t go crazy with options. I’d buy one, except I won’t accept that a small car like that gets such horrific fuel economy. Of course in Europe, you can choose from either a 1.6, 2.0, or 2.4 litre common rail diesel. The 2.4 litre D5 engine puts out 180 bhp and 258 ft lbs, and still gets 40.9 combined MPG. The 2.0 puts out the same amount of torque as the gas 2.5, and manages to get 49.6 combined MPG. The car looks beautiful, but it uses the wrong type of fuel. Nice try Volvo, maybe next time. Hopefully Audi actually brings an A3 or A4 TDI over soon, since Ford seems to think that diesels are evil in North America.

  • avatar
    Stephan Wilkinson

    You’re absolutely right. I have the same engine in our V50, and in ordinary, conservative (it is a wagon,after all) rural driving, I’m hard-pressed in a good week to get 20 mpg.

  • avatar
    socsndaisy

    Its quite a tempting little minx but for thirty large, Im going to stick with Subaru. Still, what a treat to have this available in the US market.

  • avatar
    Claude Dickson

    Personally, I would not wait for the BMW 1 Series. The hatchback is not coming to the US and a hatch makes too much sense for a car this size. Otherwise you get a “mini me” trunk.

  • avatar
    SkinnyFats

    I couldn’t agree more with brettc above. Everything was looking pretty good, so I go out to the net and look up the mileage.

    *** BOGGLE ***

    Holy cow, maybe I should look at a mustang gt – it only gets 1 less MPG in the city. Guess I’d better get back over to the honda dealer. Bummer.

  • avatar
    Steve Biro

    “”sandi beale :
    August 24th, 2007 at 3:53 pm

    You guys want 4 doors and I wouldn’t consider it unless it were a 2-door. Little leary about a first issue model and altough most reviews are good to excellent, the common knock on it is that it feels “soft” on the highway. The new VW GTI usually wins the comparison test, but as someone who’s had a ‘02 GTI in the shop too many times I’m leary about VW reliability.”

    Hear, hear on all counts. I don’t really understand the thing for four-doors in recent years. For the general populace, yes. But we’re supposed to be enthusiasts! :) Actually, it may very well be that my next car will be a four-door… maybe a Mazda 3s or a Subaru Impreza five-door. I love the Volvo, but I need to keep the purchase price under 20K if I can. And that’s becoming a tall order these days. I want to like the VW Rabbit. But I, like many others, remain too concern about reliability.

  • avatar
    sandi beale

    skinnyfats,

    Yeah, the Honda. Excellent reliabilty. But, why, oh why, are the 2- door models (excluding the S2000) so B-O-R-I-N-G? I think they couldv’e done a lot better on the Civic SI styling and the new ’08 Honda Accord coupe? Ugh, no thanks. Any word on an ’08 Civic SI?

  • avatar
    cheezeweggie

    Nice car. Why cant Ford do that ?

  • avatar
    Jim H

    Great review…thank you! You know, I used to be content with my car for years and years. I went to autoshows, but always felt my need for a new car was kept in check.

    TheTruthAboutCars has ruined all of that!

    Now pardon me while I head off to get a second job to build that fourth garage door bay to fit yet another car in it!

    I love you guys.

  • avatar
    akitadog

    Quick question,

    How does the suspension setup feel relative to that of the Mazda3 5-door, it’s platform-mate? That’s what we drive right now and I’m curious to know how the suspension/handling compares. I have my eye on the C30 as well. But I’ve heard from more than one source that the C30 is a bit too soft. If it’s no softer than the Mazda3, then I can live with it, otherwise, I’m back to looking at the GTI.

  • avatar
    CeeDragon

    GEMorris :
    August 24th, 2007 at 1:26 pm

    What is really sad is when you compare the GTI to the c30 or MS3. Unless DSG is an absolute requirement, the VeeDub just looks like weak sauce.

    Just saw the latest MT comparo of the GTI (with DSG) vs. C30 vs. Mini Cooper S. The GTI performed slightly better than the C30.

    This goes back to my earlier comment… numbers on paper are one thing, real-world performance is something else. For a variety of reasons, some cars, such as the current GTI, are terrific real-world performers.

  • avatar
    UnclePete

    This car looks like it is channelling one of my favorite cars of all time: the P1800ES. I hope Volvo sells a ton of C30s.

  • avatar

    Nice car, but stylistically, it’s no P1800. They should have taken that styling and done a modern version.

    More generally, I have no particular fondness for the current Volvo styling. The ancient Volvos, the 544, the 122S (Amazon) and the P1800 were wonderful pieces of automotive art, and the box was utterly honest, reaching its zenith in the 940, the cleanest version of that styling. I predict those will eventually be collector cars.

    The modern look just doesn’t say anything to me. It’s C+ work.

  • avatar
    Steven Lang

    I completely disagree. Volvos front end is actually one of the nicer design elements out there and has served them well for quite a long time.

    I think it works extremely well in this application. The C30 is truly one of the most beautiful and original vehicles out there and Volvo will easily be able to meet their modest sales goal.

    I really wouldn’t be surprised if the real demand for the C30 is in the 30,000 unit range. It’s simply one of the few cars out there that is completely different from the rest of the crowd. Kudos to Volvo!

    By the way, one other thing that’s been bouncing through my mind is a new model that re-introduces many of the virtues of the classic Volvo 240. It would have been nice if Ford had considered incorporating a new generation of Crown Voc’s/Grand Marquis and incorporating the architecture into a Volvo 240’ish model and perhaps even an old school SUV (Bronco anyone?).

    Ford’s financial footing is extremely weak at the moment but, in a better world, I could see a reincarnation of the 240 rekindle the presence that Volvo once had in the marketplace.

  • avatar
    RADuda

    Lots of good points. Phil: complete agreement about the VW DSG–really lightning fast–great fun. (Take a test drive if you want to risk a ticket and scare the beejeezus out of the sales lady!) However, WAY TOO MANY people have told me their own personal VW horror stories, especially about the German-built ones (like the GTI). I, personally, think the A4 is sleek and understated, but I really dislike the A3. Someone else had a great point about the Mazda–I rented a 3 and was impressed, but the A/C –WAS– pretty poor, as I read in every review out there. The VW GTI is very, very seductive, and it offers the choice of 3 or 5 doors. Too bad the reliability is still an unknown. Oh well. This C30 is cute, but gets VERY expensive EXTREMELY FAST. Speaking of, how does the BMW 1 compare?

  • avatar
    NIBS

    Drove it like I owned it and liked it. A much needed competitor in the 3 door hatch segment. I’ll keep the XC70 for now though. I have to agree that it is slightly overpriced given it is the entry level.

  • avatar
    Stephan Wilkinson

    Well, it is the entry-level Volvo, not the entry-level Subaru. We’ve seen enough premium-brand companies cheapen their entry level. Volvo isn’t trying to sell 100,000 of them, not even 15,000 of them. Obviously you’re paying for some intangibles–image, style, reputation, the fact that Swedes are blonde and have big tits, etc.–and anybody who doesn’t want to certainly doesn’t have to.

    Overpriced is in the eye of the beholder, else nobody would be buying Lexuses or Lotuses.

  • avatar
    kurumaking

    Woe betide Subaru; this presents yet another reason why people might opt for something other than a WRX. This thing looks refined, sporty, and fun to drive for similar money. Viva Volvo! (I know I’m mixing countries but it sounds so right)Well, the truth is ALL SUBARU’s are AWD. Volvo c30 is front wheel drive. I will be interested when they come out with AWD car that can be had for well under 20.000, till then I will be sticking to my SUBARU and leaving the C30 stuck in some snow drift.

  • avatar
    Stephan Wilkinson

    Unless you have a severe winter situation–long, steep driveway plus snow–AWD is highly overrated. I admit that I wouldn’t be without it, but only because we live near the top of a small mountain in the snowbelt and do have one of those long, steep driveways (got a Volvo V50 T5 AWD for the worst days, but our Boxster on snow tires does just fine any other wintertime unless it’s blizzarding).

    AWd is pointless has a performance-enhancer unless you’re a rally-class driver and the road is empty enough that you can corner in the wet under power, since AWD is only effective under positive torque, it does nothing for you otherwise but add weight and drag and subtract fuel.

    I suspect a C30 with dedicated snowtires would do just fine 98 percent of the time.

  • avatar
    kurumaking

    Yes you are right Stephan about AWD being overrated in general. However for me,under certain situations,as I live and work in NH,it is going to make the difference between making it home or having have to spend the night in some motel(which has happened with driving front wheel drive car with snow tires).


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