Ever since the C30 went on sale in America in 2008 (2007 in Canada), I’ve admired the small, premium hatchback from Volvo. The ‘premium small car’ is a sparsely populated corner of the North American auto landscape, and the Volvo tends to get overlooked by the Mini Cooper and VW GTI. The situation isn’t helped by the fact that Volvo does little to promote the C30-the one exception being the use of a C30 as the whip for heartthrob vampire Edward Cullen in the movie “Twilight.”
The C30’s most appealing view was always from the rear, which paid homage to the P1800ES of 1972-73. The front end was basically the same as the S40/V50 on which the car is based-handsome, but in my opinion not in keeping with the spirit of the car. The 2010 C30’s new face more than makes up for it, now borrowing design cues from the revised C70. This is the front end Volvo should have had from the start. The rear end is updated, but only slightly-no need to mess with success here. The 2010 C30 will also be available with a new sport chassis, promising sharper handling and steering.
Apart from the styling changes, the C30 continues with the same drivetrains. In Canada, buyers have a choice of the 2.4i model with 168hp or the T5 with 227hp. In the US the T5 is the only engine available. Both engines offer a choice of a manual or automatic transmission.