2011 C30 New Car Test Drive
The Volvo C30 gets revised styling for 2011. A new front fascia, redesigned fenders, a new honeycomb grille, and trapezoidal headlights give the 2011 C30 a fresh look. The new front styling on the 2011 Volvo C30 complements nicely the unique styling of the rear of the car. The C30 comes with more standard equipment for 2011, also.
The C30 is a premium compact that competes with the Audi A3 and Volkswagen GTI sporty hatchbacks. A two-door hatchback, the C30 shares most of its mechanicals with the Volvo S40 compact sedan. While similar in character, the C30 has less standard equipment, allowing Volvo to make it its lowest priced car.
The C30 continues to be offered in two models, the C30 T5 and the more upscale T5 R-Design, which comes with leather upholstery. Both come with a 2.5-liter turbocharged five-cylinder engine rated at 227 horsepower and a choice of 6-speed manual or 5-speed automatic Geartronic with Auto-stick. The C30 uses front-wheel drive.
Fuel economy is an EPA-estimated 21/30 mpg City/Highway with the automatic, 21/29 mpg with the manual gearbox.
The 2011 C30 T5 R-Design features a retuned suspension aimed at sharpening chassis dynamics and steering reflexes. Spring stiffness has been increased by 30 percent while the dampers feature a new mono-tube design that build-up pressure quicker for 20 percent increased low-speed damping. Steering is more precise with stiffer bushings and a 10 percent quicker steering ratio.
Youthful and fun to drive, the C30 is Volvo's best handling car. It has good steering feel, stays flat in corners, and is nimble enough to slice through traffic. The turbocharged five-cylinder engine provides plenty of punch to keep the fun coming. Ride quality is generally good, though it can become a little hard with the available 18-inch wheels.
Inside, the C30 offers a pleasant, fairly roomy cabin for four. The standard cloth upholstery is a unique fabric that resembles wetsuit material. Room up front is plentiful, and the controls are easy to spot and use. The two-door body style makes getting into the backseat a bit of a hassle, but the rear seat is comfortable for two passengers. Those rear seats fold down to create a large rear hatch area with lots of carrying capacity.
In addition to the revised The C30 was introduced for the 2007 model year.
Overall, the Volvo C30 is an attractive compact with premium equipment and trim that's practical and fun to drive. The C30 comes with Volvo's safety engineering and is loaded with safety features.
The 2011 C30 T5 ($24,600) comes standard with cloth upholstery; air conditioning; cruise control; keyless entry; leather-wrapped steering wheel; leather and aluminum shift knob; leather parking brake cover, tilt/telescoping steering wheel with audio controls; height-adjustable manual driver's seat; trip computer; outside temperature display; power windows, locks and mirrors; 50/50 split-folding rear seat; 160-watt AM/FM/CD stereo with six speakers; Bluetooth hands-free phone interface; and 205/50R17 all-season tires on alloy wheels. Full leather seating is optional ($1,200). A 6-speed manual transmission is standard, and a 5-speed automatic is an option ($1,250).
The C30 T5 R-Design ($26,950) upgrades with two-tone leather/Flextech upholstery, aluminum interior trim, and blue-faced instruments. Outside, R-Design is distinguished by additional bright trim and body-color (rather than black) wheel flares, sill extensions, and fog lights. R-Design gets a sports suspension complemented by 215/45R18 tires. Full leather is optional ($200). A 6-speed manual transmission is standard, a 5-speed automatic is optional ($1,250).
Options for both models: The Multimedia Package ($2,000) includes Sirius satellite radio and a 650-watt Dynaudio Premium Sound System with 10 speakers and Dolby Pro Logic II Surround Sound. The Preferred Package ($1,800) comprises power-adjustable seats for both driver and front passenger, Keyless Drive, and active xenon headlights; on the base model it also includes fog lights and additional aluminum interior trim. The Climate Package ($900) has heated front seats, headlight washers, rain-sensing wipers, Electronic Climate Control with an Interior Air Quality System and a humidity sensor. Volvo's Blind Spot Information System ($700) and Sirius Satellite Radio ($400) are optional.
Safety features include the mandated dual front airbags, plus side-curtain airbags for head protection, and side-impact airbags for torso protection. Active safety features consist of anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control (ESC), Electronic Brake-Force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist. The optional BLIS Blind Spot Information System can help alert the driver to a vehicle in the blind spot when signaling to change lanes.