A fun-to-drive car for active people, to suit their lifestyle
Exciting design and driving characteristics for younger customer group
Several options to adapt C30 to one’s personal taste
It is not easy to define the Volvo C30. It can be a small car, a sporty runabout, or a car for the city – or all three in one. Ultimately, it will be best defined by those who feel the fun of driving it, and with the entry of the new Volvo C30 1.6 in South Africa this experience falls within the reach of a larger group of young drivers.
When Volvo’s designers were given the brief to create a production car with design elements from the Safety Concept Car and classics such as the Volvo 1800 ES hatchback, it was with a young and dynamic group of customers in mind.
They teamed up with Volvo Cars’ engineers to build a car that would attract people who love driving – one that is visually appealing and fun to drive. The result was the C30: A dynamic and functional two-door model that is tailor-made for young, modern city dwellers with an active lifestyle.
When a core customer group for the C30 was chosen, Volvo had focused primarily on singles or couples without children who see the car as an entertaining tool for keeping up with their intense lives.
Yet it is a question of lifestyle rather than age. When the children grow up and move out, you also have time and money for an active and fast-moving life. Another appealing possibility, of course, is that the C30 can be the second car for families with children.
Dynamic design and fast silhouette
The Volvo C30 is a striking and attractive car with design features to suit its younger role and place in Volvo’s model line-up. Yet throughout the design process Volvo Cars’ traditional philosophy to keep things clean and functional, yet beautiful, was followed to the smallest detail – on the exterior as well as the interior.
In the C30 the familiar Volvo design attributes have been combined with the need for individual expression in a younger customer group. The result is a sexy, modern, safe car that stands out – a car that you can enjoy and strongly identify with.
The front design of the Volvo C30 shows its dynamic character, with the angled headlamps and the low, wide grille. Viewed from the side, the distinct wheel housings in contrasting materials and the sloping roof give the new C30 a fast silhouette. This is further enhanced by the extreme boat-shape of the side windows which results from the narrowing roof and the wide shoulders.
The sweeping silhouette of the body sides is emphasised by black wing extenders at each corner of the body and by the long wheelbase. The characteristic shoulder is more rugged than on any other Volvo model, while the shoulder line conveys an impression of movement – even when the C30 is at rest.
At the rear, with its new, bolder Volvo logo on the unique glass tailgate, the shoulders are powerfully rounded and accentuated by the horseshoe shaped lighting pattern of the tail lamps.
Room for 4 with a big-car feel
Despite its compact format, the Volvo C30 is capable of offering very comfortable and flexible interior space with a surprising big-car feel. However, the Volvo C30 does not claim to be a full-sized family car – it is specially suited to its target group.
The C30 is designed to have room for four adults only, thanks to the two separate seating positions in the rear seat with generous head and leg room. The front seats are ergonomically designed and offer a correct and relaxing seating position. It is easy to move the seat forward and rearward, for convenient access to the rear seat. The tapered design of the B-pillar also contributes to the easy entrance.
The rear seats are slightly centred to provide a feeling of space and a good forward view. It also makes communication between front and rear occupants much easier and quite social. The space between the seats is occupied by a comfortable armrest and can also be used to load long, narrow objects.
With its side windows at just the right height, the C30 creates a panoramic view from all seats. The inwardly curving rear side windows and the unique glass tailgate provide a very good rear view, even at an angle rearward. The tapered B-pillars also contribute to the good visibility, offering a clear view between the side of the body and the head restraint. This also gives the rear seat passengers a good view through the front side windows.
Quality, attention to detail and functionality
Inside the Volvo C30, the tunnel console and the armrest have been given a design matching the dashboard’s unique, floating centre console and with the same type of decor inserts. The aim has been to provide the highest possible feeling of quality with attention to the finest detail while still increasing the flexibility and storage possibilities.
The rear seat backrests can be folded down to provide a large, almost completely flat load floor. The backrests can also be lowered from outside (with the hatch open). Featuring the same design as in the Volvo C70, the front seats are easy to fold down, making access to the rear even easier. An electrically operated driver seat is available as an option.
The glass tailgate is very convenient and easy to open and close and offers good access to the cargo compartment. A standard hard load cover ensures the safety of articles stored in the luggage compartment which offers more than ample storage space.
Extensive standard features, with several option packages
In addition to the well-specified standard Essential Package, the Volvo C30 1.6 is available with three more option packages:
The standard Essential Package includes features such as Electronic Climate Control; fog lights in the front spoiler; a height-adjustable passenger seat with lumbar support; a leather-clad steering wheel; attractive 16” aluminium-alloy wheels; an automatically dimmed inner rear-view mirror; a rain sensor; and a hard load cover. It also includes a Performance sound system, electrically operated side windows and a trip computer.
The Excel Package adds several optional features to the C30 1.6 such as a High Performance sound system with an auxiliary plug for using an iPod or MP3 player and a USB port for an MP3 player. Electrically controlled fold-in door mirrors, steering wheel mounted cruise control; Prestige (Dotcom) leather seats and sporty 17” aluminium-alloy wheels with 205/50 R17 tyres are also part of this package.
On the next level, the Elite Package would add additional features such as electrical power adjustment with memory settings for the driver’s seat, bi-Xenon headlights with automatic level adjustment and washers; and rear Park-assist.
For an even more dynamic, sporty exterior and interior appearance, the C30 1.6 can be ordered from the factory with the exciting R-Design package. It includes a gearshift knob with leather and aluminium inlay trim; R-Design branded silk matt finish for the special front grille; an R-Design Combi instrument cluster with blue inserts; a matt aluminium outer trim for the rear-view mirrors; R-Design branded décor aluminium inlays; a dedicated sporty 3-spoke R-Design steering wheel; and specially matched 17” R-Design Serapis aluminium-alloy wheels. Special R-Design branded sport seats, a rear spoiler, door sill covers and a chrome tail pipe are also part of the package.
A summary of new features added to the 2009 model year Volvo C30:
Auto-fold function for power retractable exterior mirrors. This optional feature enables the mirrors to fold in automatically when the car is locked. When the car is unlocked, the mirrors will fold out again;
A new exterior colour – Savile Grey;
A new, bolder exterior rear Volvo emblem with increased space between the letters; and
The optional Bluetooth telephone system integrated with the C30’s sound system.
The following exterior colours are available for the Volvo C30:
Black Stone Solid; Passion Red Solid; Ice White Solid; Silver Metallic; Black Sapphire Metallic; Titanium Grey Pearl; Barents Blue Pearl; Electric Silver Metallic; Cosmic White Metallic; Matt Gold Pearl; Chameleon Blue Pearl; and the new colour, Savile Grey Pearl.
Driveline and handling
With the addition of the Volvo C30 1.6 to the South African model line-up, the local C30 range is now available with a choice of 3 engines:
Petrol Cylinders Power Torque
1.6 4 74 kW 150 Nm
2.0 4 107 kW 185 Nm
T5 5 169 kW 320 Nm
The manual gearbox for the new Volvo C30 1.6 is a five-speed unit, as is the case with the C30 2.0, while a five-speed automatic Geartronic transmission is also available for the T5 model. The T5 also comes with a six-speed manual gearbox.
Manoeuvrable and sporty to drive
Thanks to its small size and well thought out design, the Volvo C30 is very nimble to handle, even in limited space. A compact and solid body, a generous track width, and a relatively long wheelbase contribute to giving it inspiring and stable driving characteristics.
The torsionally rigid chassis, with MacPherson front wheel suspension and a multilink rear axle, is optimized to contribute to the very sporty and harmonious driving experience of the C30. A high level of body control and precise response are key properties of the car. A lowered sport chassis is available as an option.
The Volvo C30 comes with Stability and Traction Control and the steering is electro-hydraulic, with a distinct and controlled steering feel.
Safety – a Volvo core value
The Volvo C30 is equipped with the same safety systems and chassis characteristics as the Volvo S40 and V50. Examples include Volvo’s patented crash safety structure and advanced suspension. The gently rounded front is provided with a special spoiler under the bumper that helps to reduce the risk of leg injuries to a pedestrian or cyclist if struck by the car.
The Volvo C30’s front structure is divided into zones that are constructed of different grades of steel with different deformation characteristics, to distribute and absorb collision forces in a controlled manner. The lower side members are designed to prevent the front wheels from being forced into the cabin in a collision.
As with all Volvo’s, the C30’s engines are transversely mounted and very efficiently packed to have room for movement in the engine bay when the front is deformed in a collision.
The C30 also comes with familiar Volvo safety features, such as:
The Side-impact Protection System (SIPS) that includes a full-lengt curtain airbag;
The Whiplash Protection System (WHIPS) which has been proven to reduce the risk of whiplash injury in a rear-end collision by up to 50%; and
Dual-stage airbags, safety belt tensioners for all four seats, force limiters on the front belts and collapsible pedals to give maximum protection to the occupants of the C30 in a frontal collision.
Advanced information systems offer good driver control
To make it easier for the driver to detect other vehicles in the blind spot at the side of the car, the Volvo C30 can be fitted with BLIS (Blind Spot Information System). This system, which is an option, uses cameras mounted in the side door mirrors to register if another vehicle is in the blind spot. An amber light near the mirror illuminates to alert the driver when necessary.
Increased visibility at night, and thus safer driving, is provided by the optional bi-Xenon type headlamps. The short overhang, the generous track width and the relatively long wheelbase contribute to safe handling of the very highest class.
The greatest possible attention to environmental protection has been given in the design and development of the Volvo C30. Care for the external environment and providing the best possible environment in the car itself are both part of Volvo’s environmental philosophy which has been adopted as a core value of the brand in 1972.
Volvo has also developed detailed procedures to minimise the environmental impact of the manufacturing and recycling processes alike. All Volvo cars are equipped with efficient exhaust gas treatment systems, and the C30 has a three-way catalytic converter and Lambda sensor to ensure clean emissions and an efficient and clean-burning combustion process.
Volvo’s highly acclaimed Interior Air Quality System (IAQS) that is designed to reduce the quantity of particles and pollen entering the cabin with the incoming air, is available as an option in the C30.
As standard treatment in all Volvo models, all textiles and leathers are certified under the ÖKO-TEX 100 standard. This is an international standard which ensures that fabrics and hides have been thoroughly tested for harmful allergy-inducing substances and emissions.
Prices of the Volvo C30 range:
Volvo C30 1.6 (manual) R214 500
Volvo C30 2.0 (manual) R238 500
Volvo C30 T5 (manual) R294 000
Volvo C30 T5 Geartronic R304 000