2023 Author: Eric Donovan | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-21 15:44
So far, Volvo models have not been considered eye-catchers. But that has changed. With the C30, the Swedes bring a remarkable car in the Golf class onto the market. Our test shows what it can do.
By Stefan Grundhoff
It wasn't long ago that beautiful compact vehicles came from southern Europe alone and the rest could only be amazed. How times can change: The most beautiful of the beautiful in the golf class is now from Sweden. Nobody attracts more glances than the remarkable Volvo C30.
Who would have guessed that a few years ago? The Swedes didn't really know which way to go with their automobiles. Some loved the angular legacy of the type 240 or the luxurious 760; others loudly called for a turnaround in the direction of lifestyle. It came with models like the S60, XC90 or S40 and is now rounded off in the brand new C30.
The compact C30 is the prettiest of the Volvo family and secretly licked its beauty cups from the Alfa-Romeo 147. With engines between 100 and 220 hp, the Swede wants to become a favorite of the masses and poach powerfully at the German premium competition. The attack from northern Europe does not come as a surprise to Audi, BMW and Alfa. The last Volvo models already suggested that there will be something in store for the top dogs below the S40 and V50.
Borrowings from Snow White's coffin
The C30 is a perfect symbiosis of old = " and new, modern and historical with borrowings from the legendary Snow White coffin P 1800 ES and the charismatic supporting actor 480 ES, who caused a stir in the early 1990s. The impressive design of the C30 could already be seen at various auto shows. But the question of how sporty this dynamic-looking handsome man can move has remained unanswered to date.
The Scandinavian shares the platform with the current Ford Focus - the conditions - at least for a front-wheel drive - could hardly be better in the compact class. Surprisingly, despite the powerful top models (220 hp petrol and 180 hp diesel), the Swedes are not available in an all-wheel drive version. It's a shame, because that goes together with the heavily understeering suspension setup at the expense of the fun factor. Sure, not everyone wants to drift around corners at full throttle, but whoever sees how dynamically the competition can move with the A3 quattro and the rear-wheel drive BMW 1 series, tears will come to your eyes in the C30. Even the Ford Focus, which has a significantly weaker motor at least in the diesel category, shows the C30 where the hare is running when chasing curves.
Chic classy runabout
But Volvo seems to be aware that the driving dynamics should better knock on the competition. Instead, the C30 has been skilfully staged as a chic classy runabout for the trendy singles in the big cities. You want to get into the driveway even with young old people whose children have just left the house. However, you must not be bothered by the fact that the steering lacks the necessary contact with the road and the rear axle passes shocks on to the interior in an extremely rough manner. Just like the front of the compact Sweden, the interior up to the B-pillar can hardly be distinguished from the larger models S40 and V50. Everything is where it belongs, looks classy and can be easily operated even in the dark. However, the buttons in the center console, which is well worth seeing, could be a bit bigger. But that is likely to complain at best with gross motorized male hands.
More lateral support is desirable
The seats can be electrically adjusted and heated for a surcharge. A little more lateral support would be nice, as well as a little more firmness. While it is pleasantly dimensioned in the first row, one should not expect miracles from the only two-seater rear. The two individual seats have been moved slightly in the middle to create a more pleasant atmosphere. However, the leg rest and knee room only allow short distances without discomfort. If the trunk of 278 liters is too small, the two backrests can be folded down in two easy steps. Then at least 920 liters are available and that should be enough even for the detour to the art gallery.
When it comes to engines, the Volvo clientele has all the options. Should it be the entry-level petrol engine with a mere 74 kW / 100 hp, which costs just 18,600 euros, or is it better to opt for one of the two top models with 180 diesel or 220 turbo hp for around 27,000 or 28,000 euros? Both are powerfully motorized and the large diesel version in particular should turn into many customers' hands. Almost every pilot will be bothered by the all too annoying background noise of the five-cylinder.
Especially from 3000 rpm the common rail diesel is annoyingly loud that the very good sound system alone is able to comfort you. The driving performance, on the other hand, puts a smile on your face again. The D5 diesel creates a top speed of 220 km / h and consumes just under seven liters of diesel per 100 kilometers. The T5 with 220 hp is even more brawny and incomparably thirsty, which tugs at the steering, especially when cornering quickly.
Volvo wants to bring 65,000 vehicles of the new C30 to men and women per year. A confident goal, with three quarters of customers joining Volvo as new. In particular, the more powerful engine versions are likely to be popular with potent customers. Similar to the Mini, the lifestyle people around 30 or the financially secure young seniors like to spend a few euros more and let the pen move benevolently through the long list of surcharges. Because apart from the topic of security, the comfort features leave a lot to be desired.