- Attractive interior design
- Safety credentials
- Not the most spacious
- Controls are fiddly
- Not as fun to drive as rivals
Premium three-door coupe is stylish and safe
The Volvo C30 was one of the first cars introduced by the Swedish manufacturer to display the new direction in which the brand was going. The stylish C30, first introduced in 2007, is a modern four-seater hatchback/coupe that reached out to younger buyers. Offering a prestige brand at an affordable price, the C30 ditched absolute practicality for contemporary design aesthetics. With a high-spec interior, a stylish exterior, and a range of punchy engines, the C30 is a great option for those who like to stand out from the crowd.
An update in 2010 featured a facelifted exterior, and a newly designed interior. The C30 was discontinued in 2013.
Stylish, but not the most spacious
One area in which the C30 really stands out is in its interior design. It might not be the most spacious car in its class, but when it comes to quality, it’s up there with the best.
The dashboard of the C30 features all of the distinctive design touches that are found in modern Volvos. The attractive floating centre console is the centrepiece, whilst high quality, solidly-built materials are used across the dash. It really does feel like a prestige car. One area that lets the C30 down, however, is its controls. There are an awful lot of buttons clustered closely together, which makes them complicated to use and particularly difficult to use at night.
Space wise the C30 isn’t one of the market leaders, far from it in fact. Compare it to most hatchbacks of a similar size and the C30 disappoints. There’s still 251 litres of boot capacity, which is enough space for most small family needs, but it’s way short of the Ford Focus (316 litres), and a million miles away from the Honda Civic (477 litres). The boot is also an awkward shape and features a narrow opening. If practicality is a primary concern it may be worth looking at hatchback offerings from other brands.
Spec levels in the C30 depend upon which trim you choose to go for, but even the most basic trims are fairly well-equipped. The entry-level SE trim features alloy wheels, climate control, electric windows, stability control, cruise control, and rain sensitive wipers. There’s a lot of value to be had when it comes to the C30’s equipment levels.
Overall the interior of the C30 is pretty impressive. It’s well-designed, well-constructed, and there’s plenty of kit as standard. It’s far from being the most practical car in the class, but if it’s style you’re after, the C30 will impress.
Great cruiser, but not the most engaging experience
For a car that is designed to look like a sports coupe, it’s disappointing to see that the driving experience doesn’t quite match up. The C30 is based on the same platform as the Ford Focus, but it’s nowhere near as fun to drive. Steering isn’t as responsive as in a Focus, and it’s not as agile through the corners either. The sports suspension option firms things up a little, but it’s far from a sporty car even in this guise.
Ride refinement is a little bit better than the handling, though again, it’s far from perfect. The C30 performs fantastically well on motorway journeys, and there’s little in the way of road and wind noise. There are few competitors quite as quiet as the C30. Around town, though, the C30 never feels truly settled. It copes with most rough surfaces and potholes, but get it on anything more aggressive and it begins to struggle.
Gearbox options in the C30 come in four guises over the course of its production. Depending on what age and what spec the car is, the C30 comes with either a five, or a six-speed manual, or a five, or a six-speed Geartronic automatic. For motorway drivers, the five-speed manual is probably one to avoid, though it’s perfectly acceptable around town.
Good range of punchy, green engines
When it comes to deciding how you want to power your C30, you’ve got the usual two options: petrol, or diesel. Petrol engines in the range are quite thirsty, though they offer impressively good performance, and diesels are both eco-friendly and fuel-efficient.
If it’s power that you want from your C30, the best option in the range is the petrol-powered 2.5-litre turbo engine, which is shared with the Ford Focus ST. With 230bhp in tow, you’ll be getting from 0-62mph in just 6.7 seconds, all the way up to its top speed of 149mph. That’s seriously quick, though it’s still not quite as quick or responsive as the Focus.
Eco-friendly buyers will be pleased to know that the 1.6-litre DRIVe diesel model emits just 99g/km of C02 emissions. This makes it free when it comes to the yearly road tax bill, whilst also helping to save the planet. Volvo is a brand that prides itself on its eco-credentials, and this C30 model is a prime example of its ethos. This is also the most fuel efficient in the range, which makes it perfect for money-savers. With up to 74.3mpg on offer, you’ll be saving yourself plenty of money at the fuel pumps.
Whichever engine you choose to go for in your C30, you’ll be getting enough power, decent fuel efficiency, and for a car of its age, impressive eco-credentials. The diesel engines in the range are the pick of the bunch, however, so it’s worth looking out for these.
Full marks in NCAP safety tests, impressive standard equipment
Like nearly every car in its class, the C30 easily achieved the highest possible 5-star NCAP safety rating. With scores of 91% in adult safety, and 78% in child safety, the C30 is up there with the best in its class. It’s worth considering, however, that in 2009 when the car was tested, standards were much lower than they are today. Nevertheless, it’s still an impeccably safe car, and there’s lots of safety equipment on offer as standard.
Good value for money second hand
The Volvo C30 offers buyers pretty impressive value for money. Emission levels throughout the range are relatively low, though diesels are definitely the pick of the bunch, as petrols can become quite expensive to tax due to higher emissions. Fuel efficiency depends upon which model you go for, but if you really want to save money on fuel it’s worth looking out for lower-powered diesels.
Insurance in the C30 again varies with the used C30 you choose to go for, though you shouldn’t be paying too much more than you would for rivals. The cheapest model in the range is the 1.6-litre SE, which is group 15, whilst the most expensive is the powerful, top of the range, T5 R DESIGN Lux, which is in group 34. It’s not the cheapest car to insure, but you shouldn’t be too much out of pocket.
Depreciation was a large factor with the Volvo C30, but only if you chose to buy from new. With first year depreciation as high as 40%, and this figure significantly lower in subsequent years, buyers are now reaping the rewards of going for a used C30.
The Volvo C30 is one of the most attractively designed cars that you’re likely to see on UK roads. It may not be the most practical car for family buyers, but there’s enough on offer to please most. It’s safe, refined, and features a well-designed interior. And, who could resist those ultra-stylish Skandi looks?
Buying a used Volvo C30 online with Carspring
If you’re after a used Volvo C30 for sale, it can all feel like a bit of an ordeal. What, with long days spent around gigantic car supermarkets, or time spent trawling through classified websites, looking for that ideal used C30. Carspring makes it simple. Buy your next used Volvo C30 online with the touch of a button. Simply decide on the model you want and choose how you want to pay.
Looking to finance your used Volvo? Not a problem, we work with our carefully selected finance partners to ensure that, if you’re paying monthly for your used Volvo C30, you know you’re getting the best rates. What’s more, with any Carspring used C30, you also get our 14-day money-back guarantee and 6 months’ free Warranty. Plus, you don’t have to leave your home. We’ll deliver your used Volvo to you at a time and place of your choice.
*This is an approximate figure based on the range of the car’s list price and the AA’s average 1st-year depreciation cost of 40%.