If you’re looking for a small luxury coupe with many zings, the Volvo C30 is worth checking out. It’s a bit different from other cars of its ilk, and a lot of buyers like it that way.
One of the C30’s major attractions is the chance to drive a manual transmission. That’s a rare find for US-bound Volvos, but you can probably hunt one down for a reasonable price.
Volvo’s 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine develops 227 horsepower and is mated to either a six-speed manual or 5-speed automatic gearbox. Fuel economy is EPA-estimated 19 City/28 highway with the manual and 21/29 mpg with the automatic.
The C30’s body is solid, thanks to high-strength steel and a deformation process that allows the front and rear to absorb impacts. This makes it possible to reduce the likelihood of severe impact damage, particularly to critical parts.
Another critical element is the rounded front bumper, which helps to prevent injury to pedestrians and cyclists. The energy-absorbent properties of the bumper also help to protect the driver’s neck and back in a rear-end accident.
Safety is a primary concern for Volvo, and the brand never compromises on this. Every Volvo model is equipped with several advanced safety features, including dual-stage front airbags and side airbags. A patented WHIPS system (Whiplash Protection System) is standard, designed to prevent neck and back injuries in rear-end collisions.
Volvo has put safety front and center in the C30, integrating it into its Intelligent Vehicle Architecture (VIVA), first introduced in the XC90 SUV. A series of interacting parts — a chassis, front and rear structures with unique energy-absorbing properties, and a compact power train that optimizes deformation — combine to protect occupants, improve performance, and make for a fun driving experience.
Volvo’s patented front structure incorporates multiple types of steel to help absorb impact energy. The outer layers of the front are more yielding, while steel closer to the cabin is more resilient, so crash energy can be dispersed and absorbed without impacting the car’s passengers.
In addition, the C30’s roof structure features an energy-absorbing cross member to distribute crash forces across its body. This is backed up by head restraints that help protect the neck and spine and Volvo’s innovative Whiplash Protection System (WHIPS), which cradles the front seat occupants in a controlled manner to prevent whiplash injuries.
The Volvo C30 offers an array of design features that appeal to customers with a passion for the sport. From its pronounced shoulders to its ground-effects body kit, it has sporty cues that make it stand out from the crowd.
The C30 is also a good choice for customers who are looking for a car that is safe and comfortable to drive. It is equipped with mandated front, side, and side-curtain airbags along with anti-lock brakes, traction control, and stability control.
The Volvo C30 is a two-door hatchback that seats four. It has roomy front seats that are supportive and cozy, though legroom is limited. The rear seats fold down and convert to an extended cargo area, making it ideal for carrying large items.
Volvo has always aimed to create comfortable vehicles, and the C30 delivers on that front. It has exceptionally cosseting seats that offer plenty of head and leg room, while the tilt/telescoping steering wheel allows drivers to adjust their driving position for optimal comfort.
Its ride is also good, thanks to a forgiving set of springs and dampers that give the vehicle a comfortable feel at motorway speeds. In addition, the C30 has all the proper safety features, including Volvo’s WHIPS active head restraints that reduce the risk of whiplash from rear impact.
The Volvo C30 offers a lot of cargo space, too. The rear seatbacks fold to make a flat load floor with 20.2 cubic feet of storage behind them. Even when both seats are up, the C30 offers 12.9 cubic feet of storage.