Volvo C30 Review
The 2013 Volvo C30 ranks 8 out of 11 Upscale Small Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of 61 published reviews and test drives of the Volvo C30, and our analysis of reliability and safety data.
Test drivers agree that the 2013 Volvo C30 is a classy hatchback, but they also agree that it lacks the sporty performance of its main rivals and that it isn’t very practical because its back seat and cargo space are small for a hatchback.
With a turbocharged five-cylinder engine, no test driver calls the 2013 Volvo C30 the most powerful or fun-to-drive model in the class, but most are pleased with its performance. Auto reviewers find that the C30 doesn’t struggle to get up to highway speed, and think its standard six-speed manual and optional five-speed automatic transmissions are smooth, but some reviewers say neither transmission makes the C30 sporty. With the automatic transmission, the C30 achieves 21/30 mpg city/highway, according to the EPA. Those ratings rank the C30 toward the bottom of its class. The 2013 C30 receives a lot of positive comments for accurate steering and outstanding road grip, but some test drivers say the C30’s ride is too bumpy for their liking.
According to auto critics, the C30’s cabin is well-made and modern. It comes with a good number of standard features for the class, including HD Radio, Bluetooth and a USB port, but several reviewers think its buttons are hard to read. Though well-equipped and well-made, test drivers are quick to note that the C30 is not a utilitarian hatchback. It only seats four people, and while the front seats are comfortable, critics say the two rear seats are tight for adults, though that is common in this class. The C30 offers very little cargo space for a hatchback, and reviewers are disappointed that the cabin lacks small-item storage.
- "Though it's been around for a couple years, this clever two-door hatch still looks and feels as fresh and modern as the day it was introduced. Maybe it's because you don't see many out on the road, but that just means people have been missing out on a good thing." -- Edmunds
- "It might not be as Teutonically-sophisticated as the GTI, but we had an absolute blast bombing around in our little white test car during our evaluation." -- Left Lane News (R-Design, 2011)
- "Overall, the C30 is livable but not practical. It's sporty, but not a high-performance sports car." -- Cars.com (2011)
- "It's not utilitarian, it's not super-fast and it sure isn't cheap." -- Cars.com (2011)
Other Cars to Consider:
The Volkswagen GTI is less expensive than the Volvo C30, and it has more cargo space, seating for five as opposed to the C30’s four, and more comfortable rear seats. Reviewers also say it has better performance and good fuel economy ratings.
The Audi A3 is more expensive than both the GTI and the C30, but it is also one of the more practical models in the class. Though the rear seats are tight for adults, the A3 has a lot of cargo space. It’s also available with a diesel engine that gives the Audi A3 some of the highest fuel economy ratings among upscale small cars, but manages to preserve its fun-to-drive reputation.
Details: 2013 Volvo C30
The 2013 Volvo C30 is available in two trims: T5 and R-Design. Both trims have a five-cylinder engine, and the top-of-the-line R-Design has a sport suspension. This is the C30’s final year of production. The C30 hasn’t been redesigned since the 2008 model year, so this overview uses research and reviews from 2008 to 2013.