In evaluating a car, first you define the mission. No car can be all things. If you want a Corvette, you understand that it can't have the gas mileage of a Prius. This is the T5 C30 with 17 in wheels: A small, nimble car with an appealing and distinctive aesthetic that coddles the driver with excellent ride dynamics and great interior design. It is not trying to be a track car. It is 2+2 GT road car. It gets you through your driving day with a minimum of fatigue and a maximum of bliss. It has the quickness and agility to squeeze through traffic, yet still has a cabin that is quiet and comfortable. Plus, it feels like quality, it is nice to look at, and it is just fun to drive.
I thought I loved my 2007 Mini S convertible, but 2 weeks after warranty ran out I had to pay $500 on maintenance after I had just spent a $1000 replacing my run flat tires, I decided to get out before I spent well more than that car was worth...I am so glad that I did. My 2011 C30 is refreshing and my passengers love the upgrade. It is the perfect car for me. I am in my early 30's married with no children, so I rarely have back seat passengers (a must for this car). This car so sophisticated with out being boring or stuffy. Fun, fast and fabulous, I don't understand why more people aren't in love... that's okay because I love having a car that makes a statement the individual.
Have had my 2011 Volvo C30 for a little over a month now and overall, really love the car. The styling is amazing, handling great, seats the most comfortable I've ever sat in (heated seats a huge bonus) and great fun to drive. Other high points are bluetooth which works amazingly well, iPod integration, and great visibility. Only drawbacks (and minor at best), huge, oversized key, so-so mileage and difficulty accessing rear seat. All that said, I would recommend the C30 to everyone.
I test drove several cars to include the Volkswagon GTI and Mazdaspeed 3. I wanted something with a European feel when driving and this car nailed it. The Car has more than ample horsepower. Exterior Styling is a attention grabber.....Going to a new drive thru window always has the kids commenting on the car. It really is a wonder why there is not many on the road, but it sure does get attention....Interior is a BIT BORING, but I spiced it up with amplifiers. Kinda upset that door sills are not dressed up like other "luxury" brands. If you want something with performance and not just a kiddie compact tuner cars this will get attention. My first Volvo and I love it. Hatch is small.
I realize that most people will not consider this a tuner car. It seems to have all the features of a Mazdaspeed, GTI, etc. This car is more comfortable than any other car that I have previously owned (GTI, Mazdaspeed, Civic Si). Nice that I can use 87 octane gas. MPG so far is a little better than 27 mpg/gallon combined. I believe it still needs to be broken in. Also, overall cost is really no different than a loaded GTI. By the way, I have leather, sunroof, and 100K Maintenance plan. I do believe that the Mazdaspeed is a little faster, but I am commuting not street racing.
Preferred Package ($1,800 -- includes power driver and passenger seats; aluminum interior inlays; front fog lights; and power glass moonroof); Exterior Styling Kit ($1,445); Automatic Transmission With Geartronic ($1,250); Leather Seating Surfaces ($1,200); Climate Package ($900 -- includes heated front seats; headlamp washers; rain-sensing windshield wipers; electronic climate control; and interior air quality system); Dual Xenon Headlamps With Active Bending Lights ($800); Metallic Paint ($550); Sirius Satellite Radio With Complimentary 6-Month Subscription ($400); Interior Styling Kit ($295).
Manual shifting makes for better control off the line (doesn't upshift with wheelspin). Best run in manual mode. Impressive torque. Easy to overwhelm tires.
Soft pedal isn't appropriate in a hatch with the C30's sporting intentions. Consistent, if long, stops.
Skid pad: Large, cumbersome wheel and relatively slow, lifeless steering conspire to make the C30 almost dead around the skid pad. Too soft also. Slalom: Non-defeat stability control offers only mild interference when on. Turn it off and the performance envelope increases but then the system intervenes heavily. Best run with stability control on.