2010 Volvo C30 Hatchback Review | Edmunds.com

2010 Volvo C30 Hatchback

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
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 21/29 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2010 Volvo C30

  • The 2010 Volvo C30 lacks the sharp handling of some rivals, but it's got style and comfort to spare.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Unique styling, supple ride, supportive front seats, smooth turbocharged power.

  • Cons

    Not as sporty as some might like.

  • What's New for 2010

    The 2010 Volvo C30 gains standard Bluetooth and cruise control, and its formerly extensive customization program has been eliminated, though some custom features survive as additions to the revised options packages.

Full 2010 Volvo C30 Review

What's New for 2010

The 2010 Volvo C30 gains standard Bluetooth and cruise control, and its formerly extensive customization program has been eliminated, though some custom features survive as additions to the revised options packages.


The 2010 Volvo C30 is compelling evidence that Ford's stewardship of Volvo has been beneficial to the small Swedish automaker. Ford wisely left the styling to Volvo, yielding a unique-looking two-door hatch that's half S40 sedan, half classic Volvo hatchback and all Swedish chic on the inside. Meanwhile, Ford provided the C30's platform, which is based on the S40's and derived from another related Ford product, the excellent Mazda 3 compact.

Volvo's familiar turbocharged five-cylinder engine lives under the hood, cranking out a healthy 227 horsepower in this application. The result of this multicultural mash-up is a refined runabout that gives up a bit of sportiness to the competition, but more than compensates with its slick cabin and considerable curb appeal.

The C30 isn't really a "hot hatch" in the vein of the Mini Cooper S or Volkswagen GTI, but it still acquits itself reasonably well against these rivals in aggressive driving, falling behind only after most drivers would have reached their personal limits anyway. The Volvo certainly holds its own in a straight line, accelerating to 60 mph as or more quickly than cars like the Cooper S, GTI and Honda Civic Si. Stylistically, this four-seat Volvo is a knockout, with taut proportions outside and a trick "floating" center stack within that provide a cutting-edge flair that few competitors can match.

Hatchbacks have historically had a hard time in the U.S. market, but the C30 is more of a European fashion accessory than a workaday two-door hatch. We suspect a lot of the trendy young folks we see tooling around in Mini Coopers would be happier in the more sophisticated Volvo. You'll still want to check out the Mini, of course, and the added practicality of the four-door Mazdaspeed 3, Mitsubishi Lancer Ralliart Sportback and Subaru WRX should also be considered. These models are more sport-tuned than the two-door Volvo, but if hot hatches strike you as a little too hot, the C30 is well worth a look.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2010 Volvo C30 is a four-seat, two-door hatchback offered in two trim levels. The base T5 includes 17-inch alloy wheels, height-adjustable seats, a trip computer, cruise control, a 50/50-split-folding rear seat, full power accessories, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel with audio controls, Bluetooth and an eight-speaker CD audio system with an auxiliary audio jack. The T5 R-Design trim level adds 18-inch wheels, foglights, a sport-tuned suspension, sporty exterior trim, partial leather upholstery, blue-face gauges and metallic interior trim.

The Preferred package tacks on power front seats, bi-xenon headlamps and keyless entry/ignition, as well as foglights and aluminum interior trim on the T5. The Multimedia package adds a 10-speaker Dynaudio surround-sound audio system and satellite radio. The Climate package includes heated front seats, headlamp washers, automatic climate control and rain-sensing wipers. Stand-alone options include leather upholstery, a sunroof, a blind-spot information system and a navigation system with real-time traffic.

Powertrains and Performance

The front-wheel-drive 2010 Volvo C30 is powered by a turbocharged 2.5-liter inline-5 that produces 227 hp and 236 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, and a five-speed automatic is optional.

In performance testing, we hustled a manual-equipped C30 to 60 mph in a fleet 6.4 seconds. EPA fuel economy estimates stand at 19 mpg city/28 mpg highway and 23 mpg combined.


The 2010 Volvo C30 comes standard with antilock disc brakes (with brake assist), stability control, front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and front seats with whiplash protection. Volvo's Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) is optional.

Interior Design and Special Features

The C30's front compartment comes straight out of the S40 sedan, but that's hardly a bad thing. For example, it means that the C30 features Volvo's trademark floating center stack, which is a very cool flat-panel bridge between the dash and the center console with extra storage space beneath. Most controls are straightforward and attractive, but the confounding optional navigation system has a steep learning curve. The exceptionally cosseting front seats and telescoping steering wheel allow drivers of all sizes to get comfortable, though more side bolstering would be helpful on a curvy road.

Rather than attempt to shoehorn a fifth passenger into the C30, Volvo went with two rear bucket seats. It's actually quite comfortable back there for average-sized adults, though legroom may be a bit cramped for taller folks. Rearward visibility is excellent thanks to the tall and wide all-glass hatch. The cargo area can accommodate 13 cubic feet with the 50/50-split rear seatbacks up and 20 cubes when both are lowered -- hardly impressive by hatchback standards.

Driving Impressions

The 2010 Volvo C30 possesses plenty of grip and accurate steering. It's a fun car to drive, though its closest competitor, the Mini Cooper S, weighs less and is more entertaining on tight roads. The C30 counters, however, with a supple ride and a quieter cabin that combine to give the car superiority in terms of civilized commuting comfort. The turbocharged five-cylinder matches up well to either the six-speed manual transmission or the five-speed auto.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Unique sport hatch!

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Volvo C30 R-Design 2dr Hatchback (2.5L 5cyl Turbo 6M)

I bought my 2010 C30 R Design (automatic) at the very end of the sales year. It's the "classic style" before they changed the look of the front end. I'm very satisfied with the performance and reliability. I have over 52,000 on mine without any problems to speak of. This is a great, fun to drive car that's a head-turner. I would suggest that you stay away from the light colored leather seats that wear poorly.

Great car for a great

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Volvo C30 T5 2dr Hatchback (2.5L 5cyl Turbo 6M)

My 2nd Volvo, other is a 2001 s60, and am very pleased. Purchased the base model in Feb of 2009, and for some reason dealer took 6k of the sticker price. Love the car, drives great and is very fun to drive around town. The 5 speed auto is very smooth however when I want to have better performance I use the auto shift feature which manually controls the shifting. Car has all the options I would want, iPhone and Bluetooth work without issues. I have 5K miles on it and have had no issues. Highly recommend this to anyone considering a mini, which is more expensive and smaller.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Industrial chic

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Volvo C30 T5 2dr Hatchback (2.5L 5cyl Turbo 6M)

I am a big fan of the Ford C1 platform. Prior to my C30, I owned an 04 Mazda 3s; I loved it. But as much as I did, it pales in comparison to the C30. It is more comfortable and more solid with a more powerful and responsive engine. Other than the wind noise coming from the side mirrors, the cockpit is quiet-isolating the road noise and allowing the driver to hear that throaty growl when the foot presses to the floor. The automatic transmission is smooth- though I've only used the manual shift feature once. The only problem here is that 227 hp driving front wheels can sometimes make the tires slip- with heavy acceleration like pulling out into traffic. The GTI doesn't have this issue.

This is a great little

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Volvo C30 T5 2dr Hatchback (2.5L 5cyl Turbo 6M)

I am really impressed with my C30. It has the 6-speed, climate package, and sunroof. It handles well in snow and rain so far. I am averaging 28 mpg between highway and small town driving. I took it on a 2000+ mile road trip, and even with all the time in the seat, both my husband and I were comfortable. It does great in mountains, in 6th gear you can still accelerate going up hill w/o having to downshift. Everyone that sees it loves it. I have a 2010 with the previous style headlights (leftover from last year). I like that style better though so I was glad when I found one! Mine has the off black interior and the metallic titanium paint, and it looks great in that color!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

C30 is a head-turner

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Vehicle: 2010 Volvo C30 R-Design 2dr Hatchback (2.5L 5cyl Turbo 6M)

I've had scores of cars through the years, from Lexus, Infinit, Porsche, BMW, Audi and others. I have gotten more favorable comments about the C30 than any car I've owned. It's a sort of cult classic already. Fun to drive, great for urban transport, I can even take adults in back without apologizing. I've had it for 6 months and really love this car.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

So far so good!!!

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Volvo C30 R-Design 2dr Hatchback (2.5L 5cyl Turbo 6M)

Got one of the last 2010's with the old front design. Love the car. Ride is stiff but not as stiff as my old 07 GTI. Engine is strong and satisfying, got it with a 6spd manual. Interior materials are really nice, but a little rattly (more so than girlfriends S40). Stereo and navi are superb, and everyone looks at it on the road...really unique!! No reliability issues so far, the car has a decent exhaust note, and it actually handles really well!! The seats are superb and they look great with the contrast stitching. I found the car to be sluggish with the automatic but quite powerful with the manual trans. Would buy it again if I had to do it all over.

Talk About The 2010 C30

2010 Volvo C30 Discussions See all Started By

I'm new to the forum and this is awesome! I'm trying to decide between the 2011 C30, 2010 S40 (S40 forum is pretty dead) and Audi A3? What are your thoughts?...

I got a great deal on my C30. It’s a 6 speed, with the climate, sunroof, metallic paint, etc. and it is wonderful. It was a 2010 (produced in 2009) that was still on the lot when they were ju...

Gas Mileage


  • 21
  • cty
  • 29
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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