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in 2010 Upscale Small Cars

Avg. Price Paid: $13,307 - $15,037
Original MSRP: $24,100 - $26,300
MPG: 21 City / 29 Hwy
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Used Car: 2010 Volvo C30 Review

Review Last Updated: 7/20/12

The 2010 Volvo C30 is more than just a stylish, retro-inspired hatchback. The C30’s outstanding safety ratings, strong reliability and well-equipped cabin make it a smart buy among small used cars.  

If you’re considering the four-seat 2010 Volvo C30, you’re probably attracted to its long glass tailgate that resembles the Volvo 1800 ES. Styling aside, this retro hatchback also performs well in crash tests, offers a good reliability score and has a high-quality cabin. The C30 comes with Bluetooth, cruise control and an eight-speaker stereo with a CD player. An upgraded stereo, satellite radio, navigation and leather seats were available with higher trims and option packages. The C30 comes with a typical list of standard safety features for its class, including electronic stability control, traction control and electronic brake-force distribution. It is also available with blind-spot monitoring.

The C30 only seats four and may not have enough interior space for some shoppers. Car reviewers said that there isn’t much cargo space, and like other small cars, the rear seats can be cramped for taller passengers. However, if you don’t plan to carry a lot of passengers or gear, most test drivers liked the C30’s comfortable front seats.

The C30 comes in two trims, T5 and R-Design, which both have a turbocharged 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine that makes a good amount of horsepower for the class. While not the sportiest hatchback in the segment, reviewers agreed that the C30 offers good acceleration and composed handling, though some noted that the steering wasn’t as communicative as rivals like the 2010 BMW 1-Series or 2010 Volkswagen GTI. The C30 gets up to 21/30 mpg city/highway, which is class-competitive.  

See the full 2010 Volvo C30 specs »

Other Cars to Consider

If you want a European hatchback with more interior space, consider the 2010 Audi A3. With the A3, you can choose between a powerful gas engine and a turbodiesel engine that gets great fuel economy ratings. Though the A3 doesn’t come with as many standard interior features, it is very well-made and has a lot more cargo space than the C30. Like the C30, the A3 has excellent safety ratings, though it can’t match the C30 in terms of reliability.

The retro-styled 2010 Mini Cooper is available as a hardtop or a convertible. The base Cooper isn’t particularly powerful, but the Cooper S and John Cooper Works models have more horsepower, making them some of the most fun-to-drive small cars on the market. On the downside, the Mini Cooper doesn’t have much space for rear passengers and cargo, and its reliability score is lower than the C30’s. However, all models get great fuel economy and are surprisingly nimble, which makes the Mini Cooper one of the most fun-to-drive 2010 small cars.

Compare the C30 to the A3 and Mini Cooper »