Volvo C30

The Essentials

  • Price from £15,538
  • What Car? says: 2 star rating
  • Fuel economy: up to 74.3mpg
  • What is it? Stylish coupe about to be replaced with the V40


  • Quirky good looks will make you stand out in a line of traffic
  • Classy and well-built interior
  • A nippy drive around town, but refined enough for long distances


  • D5 model is noisy
  • Back seats are cramped, and there are only two of them, rather than a bench
  • Where are we supposed to put our shopping and luggage? The boot could be larger
  • Drive

    Not just a pretty face, the C30 is genuinely enjoyable to drive

  • Inside

    Looks great, but the buttons are fiddly, and rear seats only two

  • Safety

    It's a Volvo. Need we say more? Designed to withstand elks on icy Swedish roads

  • Reliability

    Solid Scandinavian engineering should keep it running, come rain or shine

  • Space

    That's not what this car is about - but it could make more of the space it has

  • Standard and extras

    Enough kit to keep up most happy - and MP3-compatible, too

  • What's it like to drive?

    The C30 is composed on twisty roads, but the pay-off is a rather firm ride - but that improves with speed. The steering is well weighted, but has a numb feel about it.

  • What's it like inside?

    The C30 shares its dash design with the S40, V50 and C70. There's the same simple dash and 'floating' centre console that's attached top and bottom, but has open space behind. There's plenty of head- and legroom upfront and enough space for a pair of adults to get settled behind. However, most rivals are roomier in the back, and the C30 has two individual rear seats rather than a bench.

  • How reliable is it?

    This is a sturdy little car, both inside and out, and it feels built to last. Volvo's reputation for safety, reliability and build-quality is a great basis for a long-term friendship. The C30, despite its small stature, will really look after you if you're unfortunate enough to crash. If anyone else takes a fancy to your car, deadlocks and visible security coding will help put them off.

  • Should I buy one?

    Volvo's C30 is cheaper to buy than an Audi A3 or a BMW 1 Series, but more expensive than a VW Golf. Bar the T5, engines are economical to run and if you ever decide to part with your C30, it will fetch a decent price.