After researching all small hatchbacks in the US market and test driving the Subaru Impreza WRX and the Mazda 3, I test drove the C30 and knew it was the one. (I also wanted to test the Audi A3 but the dealer did not have any in stock.) I use this car daily (23,000 miles in year one) both in heavy traffic and on the open road. It is very responsive and comfortable in all driving conditions. I chose the Geartronic transmission (auto+manual) due to heavy traffic and enjoy driving in both modes. This car has been great, and it gets lots of positive attention. Check out Volvo's website - you can fully custom order your C30. I'm so glad to have done so - haven't seen a twin yet in 22000 mi!
Plenty of power and the turbo is great in the mountains. Seats are the most comfortable and adjustable on the market (in my opinion). Simple, stylish interior with great craftsmanship. The body is super solid. And I can't leave out the unique styling - easy to spot in the parking lot.
Was hoping to get a hybrid or diesel version in the US. Mileage has averaged 25-28MPG, would've preferred something a bit higher. Seatbelt buckles can knick the pillar and are pretty far behind the driver. A little more dash/console storage would be nice.