The Volvo C30 arrived in the US as a 2008 model (2007 in Canada), and has just received its first refresh. The most striking view of the C30 has always been from the rear, where the Volvo P1800ES was clearly the design inspiration. Up front, the design was basically a Volvo S40 (the car on which the C30 is based), which certainly wasn’t a bad thing; it just couldn’t compete with the rest of the car. All that changes with the 2011 model. Style-wise, the C30 is now a complete package, with a new front end Volvo fans have been waiting for.
While Canadian buyers have a choice of normally aspirated and turbocharged five cylinder engines, the sole powerplant for the American market is a 2.5L turbocharged inline five, rated at 227hp. A six-speed manual is standard, while a five-speed automatic is optional. The C30 is available in base T5, or sporty top-spec R-Design. While the drivetrain is carryover from last year’s car, Volvo engineers tweaked the R-Design with stiffer springs and quicker steering for a sportier ride.