Since: Jul 11

Cincinnati, OH

#1 Jul 24, 2011
Volvo C30 - What the Auto Press Says
The 2011 Volvo C30 ranks 8 out of 10 Upscale Small Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of 54 published reviews and test drives of the Volvo C30, and our analysis of reliability and safety data.
With a redesigned front end that brings a fresh new look, the 2011 Volvo C30 continues to offer Swedish styling in a compact package. However, its steep price and mediocre performance abilities may drive budget -- and performance -- minded shoppers to the competition.
After three model years in the U.S. market, the 2011 Volvo C30 loses its Volvo S40 derived front end in favor of a design inspired by the new S60 sedan and XC60 SUV. The C30ís new exterior design and interior -- which continues into 2011 largely unchanged -- literally put style at the forefront. No doubt, the C30 will appeal to customers who place a high value on looks.
The C30 also appeals to those who value comfort. Reviewers are quick to acknowledge the comfortable front and rear seats in the C30, as well as the intuitive, if slightly bland, dash design. Shoppers seeking a sportier driving experience or value may want to look elsewhere. Though the standard turbocharged five-cylinder engine puts out a healthy 227 horsepower, some of the C30ís handling dynamics -- like brake pedal and steering feel -- are criticized by the press for offering little driver feedback.
Consumers looking for comfort over handling, though, will want to take a look at the C30. "The C30's longish wheelbase for a coupe made it a much better highway cruiser than canyon carver," notes CNET.
What might be the C30ís biggest drawback is its price. The base C30ís starting price is more expensive than many of its class competitors and its price increases quickly with options.
Other Cars to Consider:
Style-conscious shoppers will be hard-pressed to find a better-looking alternative to the Volvo C30. However, a slew of competitors provide more value and driving excitement.
An obvious alternative is the Volkswagen GTI. Similar in size, the GTI provides 27 less horsepower, but also weighs up to 200 pounds less than the C30 does. The GTI also starts at about $1,000 less, and is available in a more versatile five-door body style.
Another option to consider is the MINI Cooper S. Itís smaller than the C30, but starts at nearly $1,600 less and is known for providing a superior driving experience. The Cooper S also gets better fuel economy figures from the EPA. Should more space be needed, MINI offers the Cooper S Clubman.
Those in the market for a sportier ride will appreciate the Mazdaspeed3. Although not a luxury hatch, the Mazdaspeed3 offers many luxury options and shares its platform with the C30. It also offers the convenience of five-doors and the fun of 36 more horsepower. In addition to having more power, the Mazdaspeed3 is cheaper than the Volvo C30 by almost $1,300.
Lastly, shoppers willing to forgo some horsepower should take a look at the Mazda3. It costs nearly $5,000 less than the Volvo and offers more space and doors.
Details: 2011 Volvo C30
The 2011 Volvo C30 is available in two trims: T5 and R-Design. Both are powered by the same turbocharged 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine and are available with either a five-speed automatic transmission or six-speed manual. The R-Design C30 features an R-Design exterior styling kit and unique suspension settings that most reviewers have criticized for ruining the ride quality.
* "More "premium hatch" than "hot hatch," this upscale, well-mannered Volvo will never make you regret choosing it as a daily driver." --
* "It's not utilitarian, it's not super-fast and it sure isn't

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