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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