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2013 Volvo C30 Review


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2013 Volvo C30 Overview

2013 Volvo C30

Volvo has big plans lying just over the 2014 horizon for its C30 3-door hatchback, so for 2013 this cozy luxury 4-seater just carries over with a couple newly standard features and the return of a third trim level option in preparation for the highly anticipated 2014 debut of the second generation. Some are even saying the C30 badge will be replaced with a new nameplate, heralding truly big changes to come above and beyond the rumored 5-door body-style addition. Typical of Volvo, these changes are nevertheless expected to be evolutionary, so you can safely expect any 2013 purchase to hold its value exceptionally well.

Volvo recently simplified its offering by eliminating redundant trim designations and moving those into basically what amount to option packs, and for 2013 the Premium "trim level" returns as an option pack including a power sunroof and power-adjustable driver's seat with memory functions. Beyond that, every 2013 Volvo C30 gets headlight washers and rain-sensing windshield wipers standard, and according to early drivers, a beautiful new set of 5-spoke wheels for the basic T5, too.

Speaking of early drivers, a back-to-back comparison of the Volkswagen Golf GTI and 2013 C30 found better ride comfort, power density and brake response in the Volvo, but if you need room for 3 abreast in the rear or any serious cargo considerations, the GTI is better. Otherwise the two handle equally well on public roads, depending on your preferences, but some reviewers mention a bit of extra noise from the C30's suspension. That said, the Swedish Volvo suspension is repeatedly touted as better-suited for a comfortable ride on North American roads than the German Volkswagen, with better longevity as well.

2013 buyers can still opt for the Premier Plus and Platinum "trim levels" as they were for 2012, and both the T5 and T5 R-Design trims also carry over unchanged aside from the updates. The Premier Plus now differentiates itself from the Premium by adding a powered passenger seat, LED daytime lights and aluminum dash inlays above the Premium pack. The Platinum package brought on for 2012 adds a navigation system and premium 10-speaker Surround Sound audio system with satellite connectivity in addition to the Premier Plus and Premium features. The T5 R-Design is the sporty version of the basic T5, powered by the same engine but upgraded with 18-inch wheels over the default 17s, a quicker steering ratio and a significantly stiffer sport-tuned suspension, plus several cosmetic differences that include leather seating and blue-faced gauges so there's no mistaking the sporting spirit built into this machine.

The turbocharged 2.5-liter inline 5-cylinder powering both C30 trims offers 227 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque with no noticeable turbo lag and plenty of power from the moment your foot presses the accelerator. A beautifully balanced 6-speed manual with overdrive is the standard transmission, but the 5-speed auto-manual is equally responsive in either mode and gets 1 highway mpg better than the manual for 21 mpg city/30 highway. However, the auto-manual also loses a half a second in the zip-to-60 mph race for a finishing time of 6.9 seconds, whereas the manual can achieve the same in 6.4 seconds.


Your prototypical "Tom Girl" Patricia got her start digging into Ford engines before she aged into double digits. Gifted with a mechanical mind, her favorite pass-time in the summer is picking up a fixer-up'r at the local public auction and massaging its every ailment until it's primed for a new lover. From dirt bikes to land yachts, every partner offers something truly special in her love affair with the road - just don't tell her husband.

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