2012 Volvo C30

T5 FWD 2-Dr Hatchback I5 man trans

2012 volvo c30 Reviews and News

2012 XC60 R Design Front Three Quarter 1
It's not easy to make a good batch of chili, but making a great batch is more difficult than simply following a recipe. We know this because Volvo literally pitted a bunch of journalists against one another in a chili cook-off while we were in Scottsdale, Arizona, to drive four of its models equipped with the new performance-enhancing Polestar Package. Just as with chili, taking a car from good to great isn't always easy. Volvo has already been doing an admirable job with its lineup of beautifully designed and fun-to-drive cars like the S60 sedan, the XC60 crossover, the XC70 wagon, and the C30 hatchback. What the Swedish brand has been lacking with its most recent product renaissance is a little spice.

Less ghost pepper, more green chili pepper

Like with a good pot of chili, Volvo has added some extra oomph with its all-new Polestar Package. The performance upgrades are modest -- the option kit is limited to a chip that works with the engine control unit to remap horsepower and torque output by optimizing output, increasing boost, advancing the spark timing, and modifying throttle sensitivity.
Two chips are available: one for the 2.5-liter turbocharged inline-five cylinder and one for the 3.0-liter turbocharged I-6. Both power bumps are modest -- the T5-powered C30 and C70 gain 23 hp and 29 lb-ft of torque to 250 hp and 265 lb-ft, whereas the Polestar chip adds 25 hp and 30 lb-ft to the XC60 and XC70 to 325 hp and 354 lb-ft. Best of all, the tweaked output comes at no change to the fuel economy ratings of any of the cars.
Power delivery remains strong and responsive in the T6 cars, as it is without the Polestar chip, but the torque comes on in more of a wallop of thrust than before. Peak torque is still achieved between 2100 and 4200 rpm, but the cars pull a little harder under heavy acceleration, especially the XC70. The numbers prove that, as all Polestar-equipped cars see their 0 to 60 mph times drop by 0.3 second, with both XCs making the run in 6.6 seconds.

Good to great

A 5.9-second time to 60 mph for the T5-only C30 with the six-speed manual hints at the difference that the Polestar chip makes. We weren't able to sample the five-speed automatic-equipped C30 (which is 0.4 seconds slower to 60 mph), but the C30 has now gone from, well, good to great. The C30 has long been more style than substance, but the new Polestar chip helps balance the looks and the performance. Sadly, despite using parts almost entirely from Volvo's own parts bin, the chipped C30 doesn't come close to the fantastic, all-wheel-drive, 405-hp C30 Polestar concept car. (Polestar teased us with that car -- they had it on hand but we weren't allowed to drive it this time.)
Although the power gains are modest, Polestar has also helped transform the C70 convertible. The added reinforcements needed to create a hardtop convertible from a compact sedan -- the C70 rides on the same S40-derived platform as the C30 -- give the car a porky 3837-pound curb weight that easily overwhelms the 227 hp provided by the stock T5. With the extra 23 hp, the C70 finally feels appropriately powered for a topless boulevard cruiser. It will never be confused for the likes of a BMW 335i convertible, but when stacked against its Audi A5 cabriolet and Mercedes-Benz E350 cabriolet, it no longer seems like the runt of the litter in terms of performance.

Same flavors, different cars

There are a couple of different ways to get the factory warranty-covered spice provided by the Polestar. The easiest way is to purchase the standalone Polestar Package, which adds the extra horsepower and torque through an ECU chip. Pricing runs at a very reasonable $1495 for S60, XC60, and XC70 models equipped with the turbo-six; Volvo owners of 2008 and newer S40, V50, C30, and C70 cars equipped with the T5 engine can have the extra power for just $1295. Both prices include installation.
Those buyers who want a little show with their go can add the R-Design package, which includes goodies like new front and rear fascias, blue-faced gauges, stiffer suspension, and quicker steering. R-Design packages are available on the C30, S60, XC60, and XC90; however, 2012 S60 and XC60 R-Design cars come standard with the Polestar chip.
Also gaining the Polestar Package as standard is the limited-edition C70 Inscription. On top of the power bump, the Inscription sees unique, 18-inch alloy wheels, chrome trim, a leather-covered dashboard, and the option of either Ice White or Black Sapphire paint.
2012 Volvo C30
2012 Volvo C30
The C30 made a splash when it debuted in 2008 because it brought style and sophistication to a segment that was largely lacking in those attributes. It now faces increasing competition from other compact luxury cars, but the C30 still has the upper hand when it comes to looks with its unique glass liftgate, long side glass, and chopped tail. Even though it is 8.4 inches shorter, the C30 is built on the same platform and shares a wheelbase with the S40 sedan (no longer available in the United States), so it feels quite roomy inside. The rear buckets--there is only seating for four--are spacious enough to comfortably accommodate two adults. Despite the C30's diminutive overall footprint, there is a reasonable amount of cargo space thanks to the hatchback body style. The C30's interior is a fine example of Scandinavian design. Its center stack is clean and symmetrical, although too many buttons of the same size are grouped together. It looks good but is not very intuitive. The 227-hp turbocharged five-cylinder is reasonably engaging, but the overall driving experience leans more to the side of luxury than do some of the C30's more enthusiast-oriented competition, such as the Volkswagen GTI and the Mini Cooper. On the plus side, the C30 is the only car in its class to offer a blind-spot monitoring system, which shouldn't be a surprise since safety has long been a hallmark of the Swedish automaker.
Volvo Fast Charger Diagram
It's no secret that in addition to short driving range, electric cars often also suffer from lengthy recharging times. Nissan, for instance, says its Leaf electric car takes between seven and 21 hours to fully recharge. Now Volvo is testing a new fast-charger that the company claims is six times more powerful than conventional chargers. It can fully replenish the batteries in the company's experimental C30 electric in just 90 minutes.
2012 Volvo C30 R Design Front Right Side View
When the C30 made its debut back in 2006, it was essentially a stylish hatchback version of the S40 sedan and V50 wagon -- the three cars (and the C70 convertible) all shared the same platform, powertrains, front clip, and interior. In the past six years, Volvo has managed to keep the C30 reasonably fresh thanks to a face-lifted front end in 2010; however, there have been no age-reducing efforts on once-innovative interior.

2012 Volvo C30 R-Design

Volvo V40 Pedestrian Airbag 1
A pedestrian airbag is the latest safety technology from Volvo, which hopes to eliminate all injuries and fatalities from those in a Volvo by 2020. The automaker has confirmed the new pedestrian airbag will be standard on the European V40 hatchback.
Jeremy Lin New Volvo Spokesperson 2
When New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin isn’t on the basketball court, he will be serving as Volvo's new brand ambassador. The automaker has officially announced Lin will be the newest member of its team.

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2012 Volvo C30
2012 Volvo C30
T5 FWD 2-Dr Hatchback I5
21 MPG City | 30 MPG Hwy
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2012 Volvo C30
2012 Volvo C30
T5 FWD 2-Dr Hatchback I5
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2012 Volvo C30
T5 FWD 2-Dr Hatchback I5
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2012 Volvo C30
2012 Volvo C30
T5 FWD 2-Dr Hatchback I5

2012 Volvo C30 Specifications

Quick Glance:
2.5L I5Engine
Fuel economy City:
21 MPG
Fuel economy Highway:
30 MPG
227 hp @ 5000rpm
236 ft lb of torque @ 2300rpm
  • Air Conditioning
  • Power Windows
  • Power Locks
  • Power Seats (optional)
  • Steering Wheel Tilt
  • Cruise Control
  • Sunroof (optional)
  • ABS
  • Stabilizer Front
  • Stabilizer RearABS
  • Electronic Traction Control
  • Electronic Stability Control
  • Locking Differential (optional)
  • Limited Slip Differential (optional)
  • Airbag Driver
  • Airbag Passenger
  • Airbag Side Front
  • Airbag Side Rear (optional)
  • Radio
  • CD Player
  • CD Changer (optional)
  • DVD (optional)
  • Navigation (optional)
60,000 miles / 60 months
60,000 miles / 60 months
Unlimited miles / 144 months
Unlimited miles / 60 months
50,000 miles / 60 months
NHTSA Rating Front Driver
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Front Passenger
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Front Side
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Rear Side
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Overall
Not Rated
NHTSA Rating Rollover
Not Rated
IIHS Front Moderate Overlap
IIHS Overall Side Crash
IIHS Best Pick
IIHS Rear Crash
IIHS Roof Strength

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5-Year Total Cost to Own For The 2012 Volvo C30

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Five Year Cost of Ownership: $32,230 What's This?
Value Rating: Below Average