2010 Volvo C30 Review

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2010 Volvo C30 Overview

The Volvo C30 two-door liftback sports a bold new front end design for 2010, further distinguishing it from other vehicles in Volvo's stable, such as the S40 and the V50. Design updates for the C30 include more distinctive angled lines along the hood, a new headlight design, a new unique honeycomb grille pattern, and a larger air intake. The deep, angular design lines carry through to the rear of the vehicle, which also displays a more contoured lower end.

In addition, Volvo offers a new Orange Flame Metallic exterior color and two new wheel options for 2010. Volvo also adds a number of new interior options, including an Espresso/Blond color combination and an Oyster Burst Deco graphic treatment for the center stack.

Designed to appeal to young urban buyers, the C30 remains Volvo's lowest-priced vehicle, and one of its sportiest. It's available in T5 and T5 R-Design trims for 2010. Both include the laminated-glass rear liftgate, which adds to the C30's functionality.

A turbocharged five-cylinder engine powers the front-wheel-drive C30. The engine develops 227 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque, and links to either a six-speed manual transmission or a five-speed Geartronic automatic. Fuel economy numbers improve slightly over the previous year's, to 21/29 mpg with the manual transmission and 21/30 with the automatic. While the automatic transmission moves the C30 along smoothly, with plenty of low-end torque, some reviewers recommend the manual transmission for a sportier driving experience.

Both trims seat four passengers and include such standard features as ergonomically designed seats, manually adjustable front seats, air conditioning, Bluetooth, cruise control, a trip computer, and High Definition radio with a CD player and steering-wheel-mounted audio controls. The Base C30 T5 also includes T-Tec leatherette upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and Bauxite inlays in the center console and door panels, while the TR R-Design trim adds leather and T-Tec upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with aluminum inlay, sport pedals, R-Design interior inlays in the console and door panels, and R-Design floor mats.

Standard exterior features for both trims include daytime running lights and a rear foglight with auto-off. The R-Design trim adds a number of sport-oriented exterior features, including front and rear spoilers, side skirts, foglights, and a rear skidplate with an aluminum look. In addition, the R-Design rides on a sport-tuned chassis, which delivers a firmer ride, thanks to springs tuned 30 percent stiffer than the Base C30's. The sport chassis also has stiffer dampers and roll stabilizers. In addition, the automaker lowered the R-Design's steering ratio by 10 percent, resulting in faster steering response.

Dynamic stability control, traction control, and antilock brakes with brake assist come standard on both trims, as do a full range of airbags. The Base C30 TR rides on 17-inch alloy wheels with a Spartacus design, while the TR R-Design receives 18-inch diamond-cut, dark-gray alloy wheels.

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Rob has been a contributor to CarGurus since 2007, and an automotive test-driver and writer since the early ’90s. He’s test-driven everything from BMWs and Jags to Bentleys and Saabs, with an occasional Range Rover, Ferrari, Porsche or Lamborghini thrown in. He also created the annual Car of the Year and Exotic Car of the Year awards for Robb Report magazine. He currently resides in Florida.

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