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#8

in 2011 Upscale Small Cars

Avg. Price Paid: $15,639 - $17,454
Original MSRP: $24,700 - $27,100
MPG: 21 City / 29 Hwy
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Used Car: 2011 Volvo C30 Review

Review Last Updated: 3/25/14

The 2011 Volvo C30 offers classic styling, great safety scores and an attractive, well-equipped interior. However, if you need a lot of passenger space or you’re looking for exciting performance, you may want to shop the competition.

Much of the 2011 Volvo C30’s visual appeal comes from its long glass tailgate that resembles the classic Volvo 1800 ES. Some reviewers also thought the cabin was attractive, but one said it had too many hard plastics. However, the cabin is well-stocked. Standard interior features include an eight-speaker stereo, Bluetooth and a USB port. Leather seats, heated front seats, an upgraded stereo, satellite radio and navigation were optional when it was new.

The Volvo C30 has a small, four-seat cabin, which got mixed reviews when it was new. Most test drivers thought that the front seats were spacious and comfortable. However, some noted that the back seat was a tight fit for taller passengers. Still, that complaint isn’t uncommon among 2011 small cars. Additionally, the C30 lacks the cargo space of hatchback rivals like the 2011 Audi A3 and Volkswagen GTI.

The C30’s performance also received mixed reviews. While test drivers said the C30’s turbocharged five-cylinder engine has enough power, some disliked the available automatic transmission. Still, reviewers said that the C30 is a fairly fun car to drive, noting that the R-Design model offers handling upgrades that improve the C30’s fun factor. The C30 gets up to 21/30 mpg city/highway, which is good for the class. 

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Other Cars to Consider

If you’re looking for a car with refined performance, a nice interior and good fuel economy, consider the 2011 Volkswagen GTI. The GTI trumps the C30 when it comes to interior space. Reviewers appreciated the GTI’s comfortable seats and good cargo space. The GTI has a lower reliability rating than the C30, but it offers more standard interior features and has good safety ratings.

If you want top-notch performance and won’t be bothered by tight rear seats, be sure to check out the 2011 BMW 1-Series. Test drivers praised the 1-Series for its smooth, powerful engines and balanced handling, saying it’s one of the most fun-to-drive cars in the segment. Inside, the 1-Series’ quality interior and comfortable front seats should also satisfy, but its reliability score is slightly lower than the C30’s.

Compare the C30 to the GTI and 1-Series »