I had this car for 6-7 years now and had about 74K miles. My previous car are all Japanese and I consider myself a conservative driver. Never had an accident with this car yet. I like this car as it is fun to drive, great handling, solid on the turns. The down side is reliability. Up to now I had temperature sensor replaced, 12V plug replaced, front passenger seat unable to re track properly and the front left axle/hub seems to be clicking on certain right turns. Just like a problematic cv joint problem. brought to the mechanic and he has no clue even the issue is duplicated. So bottom line is be ready to shell out some money for routine repair and they are not cheap sine it's European.
I bought C30 seven years ago used with 20K. The handsome external design expresses my style well. It is practical (overall small size, with easy back seat conversion to increased cargo volume), well balance (power and mileage), and simple inside. I used it to transport tools and materials for home improvement, to take my dog to the park, to go skiing (roof ski rack), and to go on hikes from trail heads far into the Washington state Cascade mountain roads. This car does all of this at good mileage, reliable services, and sporty feel. At 110K sold it at good re-sale price. I have had door auto lock relays replaced on warranty (it was locking door without command to do so). Windshield was replaced at 60K. Consistent and annoying problem with this car is water leaks from sun roof water drain hose putting out of frame connector. At 110K engine cam shaft seal start to leak slowly. This is not a big deal, since it is time for timing belt work and so labor cost it not that big since you are already in that area (belt replacement). Otherwise great car!
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.
Purchased my C30 in 2008 as a Dealer promotional model (traded in a 2004.5 S40). Now has around 70k miles and is holding up well. One issue- HVAC fan was replaced under warrenty before 15k miles. Excellent commuter vehicle with enough zip to manuvre in heavy (Chicago) traffic with confidence. Very comfortable long range cruiser (I take at least eight 8+ hour trips each year) even with three in the car. Plenty of leg room in back for 6 footers even on long trips, though taller passengers might end up feeling cramped after a few hours. Fuel economy is average (I get about 23/ 24 mpg in city and stop and go rush hour traffic, up to about 26/ 27 for long freeway cruising). FYI, auto tran.
Nothing stands out; everything works logically and controls are where expected.
Exterior design is still unique (not many of them around) and hasn't grown old (I still like seeing my bright blue C30 after a good car wash).
Easy to find in a parking lot...
Wheels seem delicate (I'm getting a thumping noise due to one rear wheel slightly dented (out of round)- tires are expensive due to required rating, so have to wait for next service appointment to replace both wheel and two tires (for matching).
Alignment seems to get loose rather frequently too and some interior trim isn't seated very well- a few large gaps around the instrument cluster and one carpet fastener keeps popping out and has already been replaced twice.