Volvo C30: Are They Out There?

I saw a Volvo C30 on display when I was at the New England Auto Show in Boston in January.  When I saw the car I wondered why I have seen so few of them on the road?  I have liked the look of these cars ever since the car was announced.  It appears that I must be in a small minority as here in the northeast USA, they are not very common.  Volvos have always sold quite well in the northeast and there are lots of Volvos on the road – just very few C30 Volvos.

Volvo C30

Even in the Volvo display at the show, the Volvo C30 was over in the back corner.  Maybe it’s just me, but it seems that Volvo is not pushing the Volvo C30.

The Oversize Rear Hatch Window is Reminicent of the Volvo P1800

To be fair when I look at the Volvo C30, especially from the back, I do see styling elements that remind me of the P1800 Sport Wagon.  Perhaps this is why I like the Volvo C30.

The Styling Lines of the Volvo C30 Do Reflect a Simplistic Swedish Design

The interior design is also very clean and simple.  The front seats appear to be a good size, but the back seat does look a little on the small size.  Perhaps this is a reason that I don’t see a few more of them on the road.

Interior Design is Clean and Simple

I came across the image below on the Volvo corporate website and when I saw it, I was surprised because almost no manufacturer ever shows you a picture of what their car looks like from above.

Unusual Top View of a Volvo C30

It can be seen from the top view that the roof design does close in somewhat at it goes from front to back.  This is one reason why the rear seat area does appear to be a little smaller than some other similar cars like the Volkswagen GTI.

Volvo has partnered up with a performance company called Polestar. Polestar was founded in 1996 in collaboration with Volvo to develop and help manage Volvo’s investment in racing.  Polestar is now focussing on the C30 Volvo. The company’s core business is focused on development and competition in racing.

Polestar does factory approved modifications to the Volvo C30 which make significant performance improvements.  The Polestar modifications increase the horsepower from 227 to 250 and the torque from 236 lb-ft to 270 lb-ft in addition to suspension modifications.  These modifications reportedly reduce the 0 – 60mph time from 6.7 seconds to 6.3 seconds..

Volvo C30 World Touring Car Championship Entry

If I was looking for a new car at this time, I would take a close look at the Volvo C30.  It might not be the car for everyone, but for someone looking for a stylish small car with good performance, then the Volvo C30 with the Polestar modifications would be worth a look.

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3 Responses to Volvo C30: Are They Out There?

  1. Mike Mazoway says:

    When we were shopping for a new car in July we considered the C30 and eventually purchased a S60 for not a lot more money. C30 was fun but I felt cramped and my wife had difficulty seeing the corners. I felt that the S60 was a lot more car for the money and the dealer was more open to bargaining on the S60 than the C30. Our salesman said that if we wanted the C30 we were limited to what he had on the lot as the C30’s were difficult to obtain from Volvo.

    • Hi Mike,
      This is an interesting perspective. Perhaps this is a major reason why I don’t see many on the road – there might be a limited supply.

      Thanks for providing that insight.


  2. CarChatterer says:

    Hi Steve, I wondered why there were so few c30′ s out on the road. I just bought a 2011 and it is a blast to drive especially with a manual tranny. I agree with you that Volvo didn’t market the car heavily. When shopping for an used car, my requirements were that it would be fast, fuel efficient, dependable, unique design, avail. in manual, and reasonably priced. Others considered were VW GTI, Subaru WRX, and Mini Cooper. Wrote off GTI for expensive parts and repair, the WRX for being too boy racer, and the Mini for unreliability. The c30 fit the bill in every way. I think typical Volvo buyers are looking for more practicality in terms of space and 4 doors. It is a crying shame that car buyers missed out on a beautiful, unique car.

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