SEEMINGLY all too soon, a facelifted C30 is with us, comprising a rounder nose to visually connect the three-door four-seater hatch with the newer XC60 and upcoming second-gen S60/V60 range, as well as more safety, a deeper well of personalisation options to choose from, and a new sports chassis pack designed to sharpen up the Volvo’s dynamics.
Have the Swedes managed to maintain the essence of what is one of Australia’s most underrated premium small cars?
Model release dates: May 2010 - June 2013
VOLVO looked to the past – the P1800 ES from the 1960s, to be exact – for inspiration when devising its smallest car in years, the C30.
Built off the second-generation Ford Focus C2 platform and very closely related to the S40 and V50 models, the front-wheel drive hatch boasted unique styling, three doors, four seats and the company’s usual high array of safety features.
Initially two five-cylinder petrol engines were available – the 125kW/230Nm 2.4-litre with either a five-speed manual or five-speed Geartronic automatic gearbox in the base S and LE, or a turbocharged 2.5-litre unit delivering 169kW and 320Nm.
Dubbed the T5, it proved to be the most popular with buyers.
In early 2008 the 135kW/350Nm D5 five-pot turbo-diesel arrived but sold in tiny numbers, and so was replaced in late 2009 by the 100kW/320Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine from the Focus TDCi, as well as its Powershift dual-clutch gearbox.
All bar the D5 carries over to the C30 facelift introduced at the 2009 Frankfurt motor show and launched in Australia in mid-2010.