It is not easy to define the Volvo C30. It can be a small car, a sporty runabout, or a car for the city - or all three in one.
Ultimately it will be best defined by those who feel the fun of driving it, and with the entry of the new Volvo C30 1.6 in South Africa this experience falls within the reach of a larger group of young drivers.
The Volvo C30 is an attractive car with design features to suit its younger role and place in Volvo's line-up.
The front design of the Volvo C30 shows its dynamic character, with the angled headlamps and the low, wide grille. Viewed from the side, the distinct wheel housing is in contrasting materials and the sloping roof gives the C30 a fast silhouette. This is further enhanced by the extreme boat-shape of the side windows which results from the narrowing roof and the wide shoulders.
At the rear, with its new, bolder Volvo logo on the unique glass tailgate, the shoulders are powerfully rounded and accentuated by the horseshoe shaped lighting pattern.
The C30 is designed to have room for four adults only, thanks to the two separate seating positions in the rear seat with generous head and leg room. The front seats are ergonomically designed and offer a correct and relaxing seating position.
The tapered design of the B-pillar contributes to easy entry.
Thanks to its small size and well thought out design, the Volvo C30 handles very nimbly even in limited space. A compact and solid body, a generous track width, and a relatively long wheelbase contribute to giving it inspiring and stable driving characteristics.
The vehicle is equipped with the same safety systems and chassis characteristics as the Volvo S40 and V50. Examples include Volvo's patented crash safety structure and advanced suspension.
The gently rounded front is provided with a special spoiler under the bumper that helps to reduce the risk of leg injuries to a pedestrian or cyclist if struck by the car.
The Volvo C30's front structure is divided into zones that are constructed of different grades of steel with different deformation characteristics, to distribute and absorb collision forces in a controlled manner.
The lower side members are designed to prevent the front wheels from being forced into the cabin in a collision.
As with all Volvo's, the C30's engines are transversely mounted and very efficiently packed to have room for movement in the engine bay when the front is deformed in a collision.