By KBB.com Editors
A compact front-drive two-door that interweaves unique Volvo styling cues with well-proven mechanicals from the S40/V50 lines, the new C30 is designed to blur the established line between a conventional hatchback and a station wagon. It's also the first Volvo sold here to offer buyers enhanced personalization potential through the factory's Custom Build individualization program. Volvo's most affordable entry is available in two trim levels: The well-appointed T5 1.0 and a top-of-the-line T5 2.0 that includes suspension upgrades, more standard features and a body kit. Although the C30's closest direct competitors are the Mini Cooper and Volkswagen GTI, devotees of trendy personal transport modules might consider this high-profile newcomer as a suitable alternative for vehicles as diverse as the Audi A3, BMW 1 Series, Saab 9-3 SportCombi or Scion tC.You'll Like This Car If...
If you're willing to trade off a bit of conventional station wagon utility for a look that will definitely turn heads, the new 2008 Volvo C30's approach to style, comfort and performance could make it a very appealing alternative.You May Not Like This Car If...
While some potential buyers may find the 2008 Volvo C30's sheetmetal a bit too avant-garde, true wagon fanatics will likely have bigger problems with its lack of rear passenger doors, modest cargo capacity and diminutive hatch opening.
The new C30 line combines style, practicality and affordability in a distinctive and user-friendly package that Volvo hopes will help boost its corporate profile while attracting younger buyers to the brand.Driving It Driving Impressions
A turbocharged five-cylinder engine endows both C30 variants with the same spirited acceleration, while Volvo's driver-selectable Dynamic Traction and Stability Control system and anti-lock disc brakes enhance their fundamentally solid handling and stopping capabilities. Beyond those basics, each embodies a slightly different variation on the transport theme. In 1.0 guise, the C30's personality is skewed towards buyers who put a higher priority on ride comfort than on precision responsiveness. If you're more inclined to spend time carving up corners than negotiating urban stop-and-go or long-distance freeway cruising, consider the T5 2.0. Its slightly tauter suspension settings, lower ride height and upgraded wheel and tire package help quicken the C30's steering response, trim body roll during hard cornering and mildly reduce braking distances. Even at the 2.0 level, the C30 retains an edge in overall ride compliance compared to the Mini Cooper and VW GTI. However, it does still fall a little short of those two with respect to absolute sportiness.Favorite Features
This modern-day reinterpretation of one of Volvo's most memorable sportwagon models has a distinctive visual presence that sets it apart from the competition but still maintains legitimate four-passenger practicality.
Responsive Turbocharged Engine
Its wide, flat torque curve makes the C30's potent turbocharged five-cylinder engine a perfect match for this petite hauler, injecting a major dose of pure driving delight whether paired with the standard manual or optional automatic transmission.