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The Volvo C30 may seem like a drastic departure for the Swedish automaker famous for sedans and wagons shaped like big blocks of cheddar, but in reality, it's not without significant family ties. Two-door hatchbacks are certainly not what people think of when Volvo enters a conversation, and true enough, the company hasn't sold one in North America since the 1800ES coupe of the 1970s. But there's a missing link in the C30's design evolution, a car intended for American roads but ultimately never brought over here: the Volvo 480. Sold in Europe from 1986-'95, this hatchback reveals a bit more of the family genes.
Like the 1800ES and 480, the Volvo C30 is a small two-door coupe with a large glass hatchback that provides a distinctive look and abundant rear visibility. Like the 480, the C30 features four bucket seats, front-wheel drive, a turbocharged engine and handling that's sporty but not quite at hot-hatch standards. We're glad that Volvo has once again deemed us worthy of its spunky entry-level coupe.
Used Volvo C30 Models
The Volvo C30 debuted for the 2008 model year with different trim levels than the current car -- Version 1.0 and Version 2.0 -- but much the same available equipment. Two years later, cruise control and Bluetooth became standard and the previously available customization program essentially lived on through numerous options. Notably, the first year's navigation system was not as advanced as the hard-drive-based unit that came thereafter. Visually, the C30 hasn't changed much since, with the most prominent change taking place for 2011 when the grille and headlights were revised and enlarged to resemble other models in the Volvo lineup. Other than lacking Bluetooth audio streaming, a standard security alarm and LED running lights, these later C30s are similar to the current car.