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Car reviews - Volvo - C30 - 3-dr hatch range

Launch Story

3 Dec 2009

An engine swap means the diesel version of Volvo’s youth car, the C30, is now far more affordable.

Until now, the only diesel C30 was the high performance T5 version, which cost a hefty $44,950.

By replacing the T5 five-cylinder with a new 2.0-litre diesel, Volvo Australia has managed to position the diesel C30 at $37,950 plus on road costs.

This brings the diesel option within $1500 of the base 2.4-litre petrol variant.

The introduction of the new 2.0-litre diesel represents the last change Volvo will make to the C30 before a facelifted version is introduced next March. Volvo will use that opportunity to release a super efficient 1.6-litre diesel C30 with a predicted fuel consumption figure of just 3.8 litres per 100km.

The just introduced 2.0-litre diesel will be available exclusively with the new six-speed dual-clutch Powershift automatic transmission developed by Getrag and Volvo.

The new diesel is a 1997cc four-cylinder with twin overhead camshafts and Volvo’s second generation common rail high pressure injection system, operating at 1600 bar of pressure, and running a 18.5:1 compression ratio.

Running an alloy cylinder head and a cast iron block, the engine manages to produce 100kW at 4000rpm and 320Nm of torque at 2000rpm.

The new six-speed dual clutch automatic helps keep the fuel use down.

Volvo estimates this transmission uses 8 per cent less fuel than a comparable torque convertor-type automatic.

Fuel consumption for the C30 2.0D comes in at just 5.9 litres per 100km and the emission rating is 156g/km.

Those figures are certainly more impressive than the 0-100km/h sprint time, which is 9.5 seconds which isn’t quick in anyone’s language.

The C30 2.0D runs the same level of equipment as the entry level petrol model, called S.

That means it has cloth interior trim, climate control, a multi-function trip computer, a single disc CD player with steering wheel mounted controls and an Aux input, aluminium interior highlights, a leather wrapped steering wheel and gearshift surround.

It sits on 16-inch alloys wheels and has a space saver spare wheel.

As you might expect, the C30 comes loaded with safety gear including electronic stability control, front, side and curtain airbags as well as active headrests.

Other cars to take the new 2.0-litre diesel instead of the D5 diesel include the S40 sedan and V50 wagon.

Volvo Cars Australia managing director, Alan Desseless, said the new diesel is a more appropriate engine for those cars.

“The new diesel is less expensive and it is now where the market wants it to be,” he said.

“It is more of a frugal engine than a performance-focussed one.”

Despite the appeal of the affordable and economical diesel variant, Mr Desseless is not expecting a surge of interest in the C30, S40 or V50.

“We don’t think it will change the volume very much,” he said.

Volvo says diesel take up is currently around 15 per cent for the C30 and 10 per cent for the S40 and V50.

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