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Car reviews - Volvo - C30 - T5 3-dr hatch


Volvo's C30 may not mix it with a Golf GTI, but the elegant T5 has other charms

23 Nov 2007

VOLVO’S 'hot-hatch' is not the raw boy-racer machine that makes rivals such as the Ford Focus XR5 Turbo, VW Golf GTI, Renault Megane Sport R26 and Honda Civic Type R so exhilarating to drive. But nor is it hard, uncomfortable or uncouth. Instead, the Swedes have created a powerful and capable three-door that is elegant, accommodating and quite uniquely placed, topped off by real head-turning style. So look out, Audi A3, BMW 1 Series and Mercedes-Benz Sports Coupe: If you want something small and saucy but with luxury and maturity thrown in, then the Volvo C30 T5 might just be your cup of tea.
Model release date: 1 March 2007 to 1 May 2010

Previous model

Volvo 480 ES

Released: 1985
Ended: 1995
Family Tree: C30

Calm down. This sexy '80s Swede did not make it to Australia, unfortunately, but it certainly inspired Volvo when the time came to devise the C30 range two decades later. In its day, the Dutch-built (by DAF) 480 was considered a missed opportunity, because underneath the appealing and offbeat lines that recalled the famous P1800 ES of the early 1970s lay dull and simple front-wheel drive mechanicals that underpinned the humdrum 440 hatch imported here briefly during the 1990s. A Renault-sourced 1.7-litre and a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine choices were the powerplants offered, in naturally-aspirated and turbo guises, and with a five-speed manual or four-speed auto. So the 480 ES was no driver’s car, and early examples became infamously unreliable due to electrical mishaps. But it was spacious, hot to look at and very individual – attributes not lost on the likeable C30.

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