Buying Guide

2011 Volvo C30

Fair Market Price $11,047 T5 Hatchback
Motor Trend Rating


21 City / 29 Hwy

Safety (IIHS):

Best Pick

Horse Power:

227 @ 5000

The C30 model was only introduced a few years ago in 2008 and it has been well accepted by those Volvo fans who are excited about the new hatchback options that this model brings. The sports hatchback market has slowly become more popular and Volvo has been a big competitor with this smoothly designed model. The C30 offers a very slick looking 4 door sedans that looks much like a Ford Focus but offers a stronger engine and a much sportier look. The C30 starts at $24,600 which does not make it in the same price range as some other sport hatchbacks, but it does offer a lot more class and some very nice interior features that are not found on any other models.

The base model C30 comes with a 2.5 liter engine that produces 227 horsepower from a turbocharged 5 cylinder engine. All C30s come with a standard 6 speed automatic transmission that give this sporty little car plenty of power and a very smooth ride with plenty of fuel economy. The C30 can get up to 30 mpg on the highway.

Bodystyles: 2-door hatchback
Engines: 2.5L turbocharged I-5
Transmissions: 6-speed manual, 5-speed automatic
Models: T5, T5 R-Design

Newly standard on the C30 T5 R-Design is a new sport suspension with firmer springs and shock absorber damping, and a quicker steering ratio. Both the T5 and T5 R-Design have received all-new front styling for 2011 which includes a new fascia, fenders, reshaped headlights, honeycomb grille, and a more prominent Volvo badge. Orange Flame metallic has been added to the exterior color palate, as has an Off Black/Blonde interior trim.

The C30 has always been a polarizing design, punctuated by its excessively large, ovoid glass rear hatch (a design cue cribbed from the classic Volvo P1800). In an effort to spice things up out front, the C30 has received a much more aggressive nose for 2011 model year, including reshaped fenders, elongated, flared headlights and a sportier grille.

As is the case with its Volvo stablemates, the C30’s interior is a study in Swedish restraint and elegance and features a version of Volvo’s signature waterfall-look center stack as its central attraction. Select the R-Design trim and you’ll get leather seats with an embossed logo, watch-look instruments and an R-Design steering wheel and pedals.

Previous C30s been slightly schizophrenic performers, offering solid measured performance (for instance, a 6.6-second sprint to 60 mph for the manual transmission model) while lacking the tactile feel to match it. The 2011 R-Design’s sport suspension intends to correct that with 30-percent stiffer springs, firmer shocks, and a 10 percent quicker steering ratio.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s testing has resulted in the C30 earning a ‘Good’ rating for front, side, rear and rollover tests (no data is available from the NHTSA). In addition, the C30 includes Volvo’s Whiplash Protection Seating System, while blind spot detection is optional.

T5 and T5 R-Design: 21 mpg city/29 mpg highway (manual); 21 mpg city/30 mpg highway (automatic)

  • Clean, flexible interior
  • Thoughtful safety features
  • R-Design sports suspension
  • Unique exterior style
  • Compact rear-seat space
  • Premium price
  • Unique exterior style

Updates deserve a second look


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