Volvo C30 R-Design

By Jonathan Spira on 1 August 2009
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Two words you don’t often hear together are “Volvo” and “excitement.”  volvo c30With the snazzy (there’s another word you don’t often hear) Volvo C30, drivers are in for a new kind of Volvo, hopefully a harbinger of things to come.

The C30 oozes cool and hip from any direction.  The large glass hatch, which contributes to excellent visibility from the driver’s seat, gives the rear a unique look that recalls the highly regarded Volvo P1800, ca. 1971, which was Roger Moore’s conveyance of choice in The Saint.  The front, which retains traditional Volvo styling cues, is actually cute.

It features four comfortable bucket seats, excellent instrumentation, and handling that’s vaguely sporty.  It feels more peppy than it is, but it has more than sufficient power to be a satisfying and entertaining daily driver.

Standard features on the entry level C30 include 17” wheels, a 50/50 split rear seat,  HD Radio, a USB interface, and a superb, leather-wrapped tilt/telescoping steering wheel.

Standard safety features include stability control, ABS, front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtains, and whiplash protection.

Options that should not be overlooked include the Blind Spot Information System (BLIS), Keyless Drive, Bluetooth, heated seats, and Park Assist.  Cruise control is an option, unlike with most other vehicles today.

2009 Volvo C30 R-Design
Base price/price-as-tested $25,950/$30,265
Free scheduled maintenance 3 years or 36,000 miles
Drivetrain Front engine, front-wheel drive
Engine 2.5-liter/227 hp/turbocharged I-5
Transmission 6-speed manual/5-speed Geartronic (optional)
Curb weight (lbs) 3201
Wheelbase (inches) 103.9
Length x width x height (inches) 167.4 x 70.2 x 57
0-60 mph (seconds) 6.2 (manual)/6.6 (automatic)
EPA city/highway fuel economy (mpg) 19/28

–Jonathan B. Spira is the Editor of Executive Road Warrior and Chief Analyst at Basex, a knowledge economy research firm.

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