The Volvo C30 offers composed handling, stylish looks and a classy, well-built interior. Most models are attractively priced and affordable to run, too.
Many rivals have more rear legroom and its boot is small. The low-speed ride is unsettled and the steering doesn't provide enough feedback.
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
Volvo C30 Hatchback performance
There's just the one mainstream petrol engine – a 2.0-litre unit – but the smart money goes on one of the 1.6- or 2.0-litre diesels. Even the least powerful one is quite punchy - quite an achievement given how economical the DRIVe versions are.
Volvo C30 Hatchback ride & handling
Short-travel suspension keeps body movement in check, so the C30 remains composed on twisty country roads. The pay-off, though, is a rather firm ride – but that improves with speed. The steering is well weighted, but it has a rather numb feel. R-Design models have quicker steering and lowered and stiffened suspension.
Volvo C30 Hatchback refinement
The C30 is a decent motorway cruiser, although some wind noise does build up around the door mirrors, and it lets in road noise on rougher roads. The petrol engines are pretty civilised, but the 2.0-litre diesels emit a telltale rattle around town.