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 (19 total reviews)  |  Write a Review

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Engineering defect

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

I love driving this volvo, I love it more than the GTI I used to own. BUT the severity of the damage done from an engineering defect with the oil separator has me question volvo's reliability. Here's what to do if this happens to you. If you hear a hum that progressively gets louder as the engine warms up, NOT a belt squeal. STOP the car and IMMEDIATELY shut the engine off. Have the car towed to your mechanic or dealership. If you do not stop the car immediately you'll ruin the seals in your engine, the crankshaft, timing belt and possibly other parts.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Exactly what i wanted

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

I bought this after looking for 4 months for cars, using price, options, powertrains, looks and several other things. Minus not being AWD, I was able to get everything I wanted nothing I didn't need. I was able to steal mine for 22k after I put 32.5k in options on it. sometimes I hate the way it looks but its a love hate thing(it's cause it's a hatchback) and I love the drive. no matter how I feel my ride centers me. I have put a lot into since I bought, being 25 I couldn't help but want more power agility and style. Always still even now grabs eyes and the great feeling when someone take a shot of it with their cell phone. find buy love.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Best car nobody ever heard

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

I've had mine for 9 months now and I have seen no more than a half a dozen on the road in all that time. I have to ask, why? Is the car-buying public as averse to doing some research as the voting public is? This car replaced my Audi TT ruined in a crash (excuse me while I shed a tear) and it is hard to tell the difference. The turbo and handling are TT class and I know enough now to want all the airbags and doors so solid it takes help to open them. So why aren't they selling? Too much for the money. Economy conscious people seem not to want this much car. Personally, I'm the nut who says, "if it runs on regular it must be crap." This car is fun, fast, and yet practical.

2008 c30 2.0

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

Great all-around sporty car. I was particularly impressed by the build quality and ride of the vehicle. From my research I knew that it was a going to be a quick and versatile little car, but I was blown away by just how well it was put together and how well it rode on the highway. The suspension is a perfect blend between performance and luxury. It's not quite as nimble as a Mini Cooper or GTI but it doesn't beat you up nearly as much either and it blows either of those cars away in terms of power and power delivery.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Honda better look out

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

Hello, The C30 is a marvelous little car. Those who currently own a Honda Civic and are interested in moving to the Accord would do good to test drive a C30. I have always preferred smaller cars and traded in my 1997 Civic EX Coupe with 197k on the odometer. Unfortunately Honda hasn't made any youth oriented (and purchased by youth) cars in over 10 years. Instead of waiting for the CRZ I purchased C30 instead. The build quality is far superior to the Honda Civic. You feel very safe as soon as you shut the door. The engine has great torque. You can drive around town in 4th gear from 15-50 mph without a problem. If the price is too high buy a used one and you will not regret it!

Great car

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

Built to last. Tight body and reliable. Comfortable, safe, and fun to drive. Got all bells and whistles and do not miss the luxury machines the C30 replaced. Great look with alot eyes taking note.

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