2023 Author: Eric Donovan | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-21 15:44
Volvo's C30 is the perfect anti-golf. He makes no compromises, stands by his weaknesses and stands out from the crowd. The main thing is different - but therefore not worse. And with the entry-level diesel 1.6 D it is also economical.
By Sebastian Viehmann
The C30 is a worthy successor to the famous “Snow White Coffin” P 1800 ES. The distinctive rear section with the glass flap stands out from everything that is currently running off the production lines of automakers. If the Swede is also painted in bright red - like our test car - the individualism can hardly be topped.
Not a trendsetter
Around 4,000 of the lifestyle vehicles were registered in Germany in the first half of the year. Compared to Volvo's other sales figures, that's not a failure, but the C30 doesn't seem to be a trendsetter. Volvo also pays for the 4.20 meter long piece of fancy Swedish steel princely: Even the weakly motorized entry-level model costs 19,100 euros.
Despite its compact dimensions, the C30 is a bit clumsy to drive. This is mainly due to the insensitive electro-hydraulic power steering. At a faster pace you have the feeling that the optimal setting of the steering forces is always a bit behind the road. The suspension is comfortable with a tendency towards hardness. The Swede cannot cope with short bumps, which is also felt by the rear passengers. Speaking of the rear: It offers more space than you can see from the outside of the Volvo sheet metal dress with the high hip line. Tall passengers sit a little cramped in the knee area, but not worse than in the Volvo S40. The entry is reasonably comfortable.
Hardly any space in the trunk
When it comes to the trunk, potential C30 drivers should tick off a simple checklist: Do I sometimes have three of me on the road with luggage, do I have to get bulky things from the hardware store every now and then or do I want to take a stroller with me?
If you answer yes to any of the questions, then the C30 is the wrong car. But die-hard individualists probably won't flinch even with 251 liters of trunk volume (894 liters with the rear seats folded down). Then the 80 centimeter high and very narrow loading sill no longer bothers, because you can't get in much more than a laptop and suitcase trolley anyway. When designing the interior - basically identical to the S40 or V70 - Volvo's design department seems to have locked out the ergonomics experts.
One of the few usable shelves is behind the center console and makes fishing for odds and ends a game of skill. The console is also heavily overloaded with switches. When switching the air conditioning on and off, you accidentally quickly activated the seat heating. The elegant command tower looks great.
The console can even be ordered in fine wood to match the tasteful designer apartment. The seats are tight and comfortable, and the workmanship is impeccable everywhere. The navigation remote control buttons behind the steering wheel make navigation easy with a little practice. With a "Back" key you can undo the last step, just like on a computer. But there is no menu button as an emergency brake if you get bogged down in secondary sections. On the other hand, route guidance and traffic jam avoidance worked perfectly during the test phase. However, the additional portable navigation remote control is condemned to be a gypsy, because it cannot be stowed away anywhere.
Volvo has a wide range of engines for the C30. There is a choice of six petrol engines with 100 to 230 hp, including a bioethanol variant. There are also three diesel units with 109, 136 and 180 hp. The test car had the smallest diesel under the hood. Although it is a bit resinous in the lower speed range, it pushes the Volvo forward extremely powerfully. Up to 4000 tours the power unfolds nicely evenly, especially on the highway the 1.6 D is hardly less fun than its more powerful diesel brother 2.0 D. The volume remains within reasonable limits. The five-speed gearshift can be precisely directed through the gears, and you hardly miss a sixth gear. Volvo specifies the average consumption at 4.9 liters. Almost six liters are realistic, which is still decent in view of the performance offered.
The C30 1.6 D is available from 21,500 euros, with the standard equipment being rather poor, apart from an exemplary safety package. The noble Swede becomes a comfortable travel companion in the "Momentum" equipment (24,650 euros), which includes leather applications, automatic air conditioning, multifunction steering wheel, cruise control, rain sensor, fog lights, on-board computer and alloy wheels on board.