• Sep 16, 2009

2010 Volvo C30 - Click above for high-res image gallery

When you're an auto journalist blogger, you're constantly, incessantly bombarded with a series of questions. Usually it's, "What's the best car you've ever driven?" (Personal answer: Superformance Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe, followed by blank stares.) The other question we get more frequently than, "How you doing?" is, "What car should I buy?" Sorta like the initial question, we have a a few boilerplate responses. One of them just happens to be the sadly invisible but highly desirable Volvo C30. Really, if you're in the market for a small, stylish car under $30K, you can't do much better. Usually, we're totally ignored. Though one friend did heed our advice -- she also happens to own a 1972 Datsun 240Z. In other words, a woman with taste.

For 2010 Volvo has updated the C30. The biggest change is that the small hatch's snout is now up to snuff with its rear. We especially dig the new grill (also seen on the 2010 C70). Kinda looks like an upside down Aston Martin front end, no? The long, arching headlights are major improvement, too. We even like the the mirrors. Inside, the song remains very much the same -- think icy, Scando fortress of solitude. And of course, the rear end is as killer looking as ever. Sure it harkens back to the P1800's stern, but the C30's isn't slavishly derivative. In fact, the 2010 model's reworked bumper makes it look even better. Long story short, as long as Volvo's around, we'll keep recommending the C30. Especially since it's as close to we can get to a shooting-brake.






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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 17 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Did they fix the pedals?

      The previous-gen one broke my heart when I noticed the brake and gas pedals have a ~8" height difference between them. No heel-toeing = fail.

      Tragic, too, because this could be one of my favorite cars ever. I'd much rather have one of these than a Mini.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I take back all my previous negative comments on this redo, I really like the grille as well and the little lights in the headlight cluster are a nice detail. Overall its very sharp and wish it was more of a success here for Volvo, from what I understand it sells very well in Europe
        • 5 Years Ago
        yea - that pattern is pretty cool
      • 5 Years Ago
      Love the old one more, the front fascia changes don't do it for me. I love the glass hatch though, classic. The interior is very Scandinavian. I think it's way too pricey, though.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I love the C30, and this new update makes it dead sexy. Unfortunately for Volvo, there is something called the Volkswagen GTI MkVI...
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'd rather have a 5 door. And I'd rather buy a Mazda 3 and keep the extra money.

      The styling is fine, still more on the inoffensive side, but given how much people hate the 3, I guess that is fine for Volvo (I personally love the 3, but it definitely isn't for everyone).

      • 5 Years Ago
      When I was around the C30 at its first auto show, regular folks on the floor were really in love with it. More than any other 'affordable' car there.

      I like the concept. Volvo dealerships just are not convenient here. Might as well own a Tesla
      • 5 Years Ago
      "Frankfurt 2009: Facelifted 2010 Volvo C30 gets it right"

      Gets what right? All they did was change a few body panels, and made very minor tweaks to the steering and handling. In the end, it's still lacking AWD, and it's still underpowered.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Underpowered? A 3000 lb car with 220 bhp?
        • 5 Years Ago
        don't forget that interior. it makes a golf seem positively vibrant in beetles yellow submarine kinda way.
        • 5 Years Ago
        That brings up a good point. With AWD and the Focus RS' 300 hp I-5 turbo, Volvo would sell a fun car again.
        • 5 Years Ago
        3,000lbs w/ 220HP is average now adays. You must remember as time advances, so does our technology. Which means, what was powerful back in the day is only average now. Look at computers for instance, ppl didn't "need" the super power until they were spoiled with it, and then wanted more.


        I still hate the squarish surrounds around round fog lights. I can't begin to say how many new car posts I've seen with them. Soo ugly IMO. too much cheap black plastic, fill it with some shapped lights or something, don't get lazy on design.
      • 5 Years Ago
      When is the update coming to the states?
      • 5 Years Ago
      AWD would make it WAY too heavy

      underpowered? it seems you have never driven one. They are no sports car, but they certainly are a sporty car.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Agree with Paul.....I've driven many a Volvo (including the S60 R) and the overall driving experience has been far from soul stirring, electrifying, etc. No seat time in the C30 yet but have heard and read that it carries on the Volvo tradition of too numb a driving experience. Does look great though!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Count me in the crowd that would take a C30 over a MINI. Having spent some time in both, the Volvo treats you like a human (with respect to comfort.) The MINI is just too expensive to be so unrefined. A street legal track car like the Elise gets away with this, but come on... a Civic Si treats you nicer.
      • 5 Years Ago
      @Jonny: I think Volvo has a huge market for this, except the people who want it can't afford it, or want more fuel-efficiency (or both). Like me. I've drooled after it since it was but a concept car. Give me a C30 ReCharge at or below $30K, and I'll be a happy camper.
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