This is really a lovely car. We purchased the last '13 new in July'14. Auto trans, T-5. Did TONS of research beforehand. We are a Toyota/Honda family, so European is a departure, with trepidation. We have the Premier Plus package, not R-Design. Thus far, the car is beyond expectations; a joy to drive, beautiful to look at, and well made. It's QUIET inside, very powerful, and so different. You won't see them often, which is nice too. It's not a high performance hatch, and that's good, because we didn't want that. For those w/o kids, and a different hauling vehicle, this is a great commuter that spoils with luxury, is safe, and gives you confidence. 2017 update; a couple of warranted replacement items with the car; though it continues to be great, and has cool accessories you can get from Volvo. We had some repairs from hitting a curb and major hail damage. After a few trials the rattles and squeaks were eliminated. But it took a few times. Hopefully once warranty expires we won't eat crow. Only complaint is the doors don't have good detents so they fall back into your legs pretty easily. That's it. Dealer support has been beyond expectations. It's sleeper fast.
Have owned for 3 weeks now, and the smiles keep coming. This car is very well put together, looks great, handles well, and has plenty of power on tap when you need it. It is very comfortable as a daily commuter, even with the stiffer R-Design suspension. As other reviews across the web have stated, the steering is a bit numb and the manual shift action a bit rubbery compared to other sport coupes/"hot hatches", but it makes up for it with how well the overall package fits together. This is a car that somehow seems greater than the sum of it's parts. Hard to explain.
I flew across the country to buy a certified preowned 2013 last year. It has the 6-speed manual (deal breaker for me without). I drove all the way from Little Rock, AR to Durango, CO in one day. I have never spent a 17 hour day in a car and not had a backache until I did so in this vehicle. The car is an absolute pleasure to drive! Takes off like a rocket ship, but I still manage 35-40 mpg. (I live in a rural area, mostly hwy driving.) I have already put 20k miles on it without any problems, but I am only at 38k total. I have also been very impressed with any Volvo service experience I have had thus far. I have a friend that is absolutely in love with her GTI, but I find my C30 to handle much better and be much more comfortable, albeit a bit smaller. I love that it is a very unique car; you just don't see too many of them on the road. It's very sharp looking car, IMO!