2008 Volvo C30 Hatchback Review | Edmunds.com

2008 Volvo C30 Hatchback

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Volvo C30 Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.5 L Inline 5-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 227 hp @ 5000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 19/28 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2008 Volvo C30

  • It's not the sportiest car around, but the new 2008 Volvo C30 is one of few Volvos in recent memory that can be awarded the title of "cool."

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Funky Swedish styling inside and out, comfortable ride, powerful turbocharged engine, excellent driving position, customizable options list.

  • Cons

    Can get pricey quickly, not as sporty as other premium hatches.

  • What's New for 2008

    The 2008 Volvo C30 hatchback is an all-new model.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (6 total reviews)  |  Write a Review

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Very nice and fun ride.

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Vehicle: 2008 Volvo C30 T5 Version 2.0 R-Design 2dr Hatchback (2.5L 5cyl Turbo 6M)

I leased this car when it just came out, because I needed a small car, that was well built (or at least felt like it was), that would be fun to drive, with a decent amount of cargo space. I also considered, Audi A3 and the Volkswagen Golf. This car had better feeling materials inside then the VW. It handles very well. Suspension is in my opinion a perfect balance between harshness and handling. It's also pretty quick when you need that extra push and not too bad on gas if you're taking it easy.

2008 c30 r-design

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Vehicle: 2008 Volvo C30 T5 Version 2.0 R-Design 2dr Hatchback (2.5L 5cyl Turbo 6M)

I traded a Focus and Sky and got the best of both worlds- the functionality of the Focus and nearly the power of the Sky Turbo. I call it my "hybrid". The fit and finish is a real step up. Of all the small luxury vehicles the C30 is the best choice- more stylish and sportier than the A3 and much more roomy than the Mini. As far as the other small vehicles like the Civic, Corrola, etc. they cannot even start to compare.

Great drive

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Vehicle: 2008 Volvo C30 T5 Version 2.0 R-Design 2dr Hatchback (2.5L 5cyl Turbo 6M)

Terrific car. Went in to replace my 2001 Cross Country with the new model, wasn't crazy about the feel, and ended up testing the C-30. Can't believe I went from all that space to this 2-dr hatchback. What a good decision. With the back seats down, I can put my golf clubs, my wife's golf clubs and all the luggage we would ever need for a long trip. Comfort, ride, sound, all spectacular, and you gotta love the BLIS - no more neck craning to find that truck hidden in my blind spot. In my travels on the east and west coasts and the south, I have yet to see another C-30 on the road, so the uniqueness is a plus as well. People do stare.

Try the diesel

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Vehicle: 2008 Volvo C30 T5 Version 2.0 R-Design 2dr Hatchback (2.5L 5cyl Turbo 6M)

You Americans always make me laugh when mumbling and complaining about fuel economy and car prices. I have one of the first C30's diesel available (July 2007) 1.6 summum, 110 Hp, 0-100 (km) 10s, top speed 195km/h List price 30.000,- Euro, is like 45.000 US dollars. Diesel per liter euro 1,50, is like US dollar 2,25 The comfort and handling are great. For the US market I would suggest the 2.0 diesel (136 Hp) or the D5, (165- 180 Hp) Why not try diesel instead of petrol. In Europe a petrol car is almost a sin.

A breath of fresh air

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Vehicle: 2008 Volvo C30 T5 Version 2.0 R-Design 2dr Hatchback (2.5L 5cyl Turbo 6M)

Picked up my C30 after my 2007 S40 was totaled by a drunk driver (luckily I wasn't). The cars styling is so unique and the T5 engine smooth as can be (much smoother and more responsive than the 2.4i in the S40). It's a shame that the fuel efficiency isn't as good as what one might hope, but it is still acceptable considering the performance and overall package. Another negative for some might be the small and rather high opening of the hatch. The C30 is more of a looker hatch than one you would want to haul stuff around in. Just keep that in mind and you won't be disappointed.

Hands down fantastic auto

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Vehicle: 2008 Volvo C30 T5 Version 2.0 R-Design 2dr Hatchback (2.5L 5cyl Turbo 6M)

The C30 handles beautifully. Fast. Super zippy! I live in Los Angeles, where quick acceleration is part of the traffic landscape. The design of the C30 is purely amazing! Also, many people are under the impression that this vehicle costs more than 40k. These things matter to a 40 yr old like me..

Full 2008 Volvo C30 Review

What's New for 2008

The 2008 Volvo C30 hatchback is an all-new model.


The 2008 Volvo C30 may seem like a drastic departure for the Swedish automaker famous for its sedans and wagons shaped like big blocks of Västerbotten cheese, but in reality, it's not without significant family ties.

True enough, there hasn't been a two-door Volvo hatchback sold in North America since the 1800ES coupe of the 1970s, but there's a missing link in the C30's design evolution. The Volvo 480 was a car intended for American roads but was ultimately never brought here, instead being sold solely in Europe from 1986-'95.

Like the 1800ES and 480, the Volvo C30 is a small two-door coupe that features a large glass hatch that provides a unique look and abundant rear visibility. Like the 480, the C30 also sports four bucket seats, front-wheel drive, a turbocharged engine and handling that, while sporty, doesn't quite meet hot-hatch standards. Unlike the vaguely Japanese-looking 480, the C30 bears some family resemblance to Volvo's current crop of sedans and wagons -- specifically, from the front and inside where it's almost identical to the S40 and V50, with which it shares a platform. With its funky hatch and snazzy interior options, though, the C30 definitely scores higher on the "cool" meter than its siblings.

Compared to sport hatchbacks like the Volkswagen GTI and Mini Cooper S, the 2008 Volvo C30 leaves much to be desired in the fun-to-drive category. So while the C30's not quite a hot hatch, it is certainly as much of a hip hatch with its unique styling, interesting interior trappings and customizable features. Plus, the C30 will certainly appeal to those looking for Volvo safety at an affordable price (provided one goes easy on the options). That said, its numerous ā la carte options can raise the price toward the $30-grand plateau, close to larger, more luxurious offerings.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2008 Volvo C30 is a two-door hatchback that seats four people. It is available in two software-inspired trim levels. Standard equipment on Version 1.0 includes 17-inch wheels, a 50/50-split rear seat, full power accessories, tilt/telescoping leather-wrapped steering wheel and a CD audio system. Version 2.0 adds 18-inch wheels, a sport body kit, a Dynaudio 10-speaker surround-sound audio system and aluminum dash inlays.

The options list for both versions is incredibly long, but adding one or more of these choices includes a $300 "customization" charge. Options of note include cruise control, bi-xenon headlights, headlight washers, a blind-spot warning system, power-retractable side mirrors, sunroof, park distance control, auto-dimming rearview mirror, power front seats, heated seats, keyless ignition and a navigation system. A sport-tuned suspension, which Volvo calls Dynamic Chassis, is also available. Unlike other Volvos, there is a large selection of "custom" exterior colors and interior color/upholstery/trim choices.

The limited-edition 2.0 R-Design model adds unique 18-inch wheels, a body kit, rear spoiler, satellite radio, sport pedals, sport shifter, blue-faced instruments and other special interior trim pieces.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2008 C30 has only one engine choice, a turbocharged 2.5-liter five-cylinder that makes 227 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual is standard, while a five-speed automatic is optional. Acceleration is quick, and the 0-60-mph sprint should be accomplished in the mid-6-second range, which is on par with the Volkswagen GTI. Fuel economy is estimated to be 19 city and 28 highway with the manual transmission, while the automatic should return only 1 mpg worse on the highway.


Despite being the baby in Volvo's family, the 2008 C30 doesn't skimp on safety features. Antilock brakes, stability control, traction control, front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and a whiplash protection system are all standard equipment. In addition to Volvo's Blind Spot Information System (BLIS), laminated side glass is available as an option.

Interior Design and Special Features

Volvo made no effort to squeeze a fifth passenger into the C30, opting instead for two rear bucket seats. Although legroom is lacking, the supportive rear captain's chairs are comfy and there's even enough headroom for 6-footers. From the front seats forward, the Volvo C30 is identical to the S40 sedan, save for snazzier two-tone color schemes and differing trim. The same slim, "waterfall" center stack provides brilliantly simple ergonomics and looks pretty cool, too. The driving position is spot-on for almost any body type, with long seats and telescoping wheel travel. Rearward visibility is excellent thanks to the all-glass hatch. Plus, Volvo offers some of the comfiest and most supportive seats around, although this sporty model could use some more aggressive bolstering. The C30's cargo area can hold 12.9 cubic feet with the 50/50-split rear seatbacks up, and 20.2 cubes when both are lowered.

Driving Impressions

As with its interior, the 2008 Volvo C30 is dynamically very much an S40 coupe. Its suspension has been tuned to be firmer, but this is still a car designed with comfort and everyday drivability in mind -- and in these areas, the C30 shines. It's still a fun car to drive, but its steering, clutch, shifter and suspension are just a little too comfort-tuned compared to the Mini Cooper S and Volkswagen GTI. Think of the C30 as a temperate hatch, not a hot one.

Talk About The 2008 C30

Gas Mileage


  • 19
  • cty
  • 28
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs