At long last, Volvo has released pricing on their forthcoming C30 hatchback. At more than $4000 cheaper than a turbocharged S40 sedan, Volvo dealers will be happy to have a car in a new price segment to pilfer. Volkswagen dealers, however, won't, since the well-equipped C30 starts within $500 of the GTI's base price.
But base price tells only part of the story. Like some Swedish build-it-yourself furniture, the options add handsomely to the price. Depending on the level of equipment, the C30 is actually almost $3,000 more than a GTI when outfitted similarly. In fact, the C30 will cost about a grand more than an Audi A3, which has two more doors and available all-wheel drive.
The front-wheel drive C30 is based on the S40 sedan - though it's 8.5 inches shorter and weighs more than 300 lb less - and comes in two flavors, called Version 1.0 and Version 2.0. Both share the same 227-hp, turbocharged five-cylinder engine and six-speed manual transmission. Version 1.0, at $23,395 (including destination) rides on seventeen-inch wheels and has power windows and remote keyless entry in addition to a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter. For an extra $3000, Version 2.0 adds eighteen-inch wheels, sport appearance and suspension packages, and a 650-watt, ten-speaker sound system to muffle out the sounds coming from the twin 3.5-inch polished exhaust pipes.
Options for both cars are an automatic transmission with paddle shifters ($1250), metallic paint ($475-$625), leather seating surfaces ($1200), and a power glass moonroof ($1200). A $675 Climate Package adds heated front seats, rain-sensing wipers, and headlamp washers.
Volvo also has an exhaustive list of other "Special Order" options for the C30. If buyers select any of these, a one-time $300 "custom build" charge applies, and the options themselves aren't cheap, either: A 6-disc in-dash player is $475, fog lights are $295, cruise control is $185, and a trip computer is $100 - all of which are standard on the GTI. Navigation is a whopping $2120, and Volvo's Blind Spot Information System is $695.
The C30 will be on sale this October, and we look forward to comparing it directly with the Audi A3 and Volkswagen GTI (our Automobile of the Year). Perhaps we'll find the C30's extra cylinder, thirty horsepower, and Swedish good looks more than make up for its premium over the Germans. After all, whether we scoff at the price of all the trim stuff, who doesn't love a trip to IKEA?