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2008 Volvo C30

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2008 Volvo C30 Review

Although the 2008 Volvo C30 isn’t the sportiest hatchback on the market, it sure is one of the best looking.

Reviewed by Automotive on


The 2008 Volvo C30 is an attempt by the Swedish car maker to change its ""boring"" image into something a bit more youthful and cool.

The C30 is different. Aggressive styling, funky exterior colors, and the hatchback design come together to create a very interesting looking vehicle.

Don’t let the funky exterior fool you. Underneath the hood is Volvo mechanics, which may be the main drawback for this vehicle. Unlike other hatchbacks of similar ilk, the C30 lacks some of the sportiness you would expect from its sport-like exterior.

That being said, this is probably the coolest looking Volvo offered in recent memory and well worth a gander if you are looking for a decent vehicle with some spice.

The Range

Body Styles: two-door hatchback
Engines: turbocharged 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine
Transmissions: six-speed manual, five-speed automatic
Models: Volvo C30 T5 Version 1.0, Volvo C30 T5 Version 2.0 R-Design, Volvo C30 T5 Version 2.0

What's New

The 2008 Volvo C30 is a brand new model for the Volvo line.


The exterior of the 2008 Volvo C30 is one of its most appealing features. This does away with the traditional boxy frame of the typical Volvo. Instead, you have two-door coupe-like design with a rear hatch, giving the vehicle a unique silhouette you’ll be hard pressed to find with the competition.

The trim lines are inspired by software. The 1.0 model has 17-inch wheels. The 2.0 upgrade the wheels to 18-inches, and add a sporty body kit to further upstage the competition. The 2.0 R-Design has special 18-inch wheels, a rear spoiler, and a different sport body kit.

There are a lot of optional features as well including bi-xenon headlights, headlight washers, blind-spot warning system, power side mirrors, sunroof, and a sport-tuned chassis. Beware: adding options gets pricey.


The interior of the 2008 Volvo C30 is interesting as well. A 50/50 split rear seat is available on the version 1.0. Instead of a five-seat vehicle, the 2.0 has optioned to add bucket seats to the back, allowing only two passengers. Legroom in the back of the vehicle is at a premium with the bucket seats, but the seats are very comfortable, and there is plenty of room for tall passengers.

The front of the interior is identical to the Volvo S40 sedan, except the single tone materials have been swapped for a two-tone color scheme and funkier trim. The center console is very ergonomic, easy to use, and looks great. The driving position is perfect, giving the driver real control. The telescoping wheel even allows larger drivers comfort. Although bolstering isn’t offered for the seats, this is one comfortable vehicle to drive.

Cargo area is 12.9 cubic feet. With the 50/50 split bench seating equipped there is a total of 20.2 cubic feet of space with the seats folded down.

Standard interior features on the 1.0 include full power accessories, 50/50 rear bench seating, tilt/telescoping steering wheel, and leather wrapped steering wheel. The 2.0 adds a Dynaudio 10-speaker surround sound audio system.

Performance & Handling

The 2008 Volvo C30 comes equipped with a turbocharged 2.5-liter, five-cylinder engine that produces 227 horsepower with 236 lb-ft of torque. The engine is wed with a six-speed manual, with a five-speed automatic as optional. The engine is a real power performer, sprinting from zero to 60 mph in the mid-six second range.

The interior quality gives a similar ride feel to that of the S40. The suspension is tuned firmer, giving a sportier handle on the road, but is still comfortable to drive on a day-by-day basis. However, that comfort tuning of the clutch, suspension, and handling isn’t as thrilling as what you find some of the competition equipped with. If you’re looking for a sportier hatchback, check out the Volkswagen GTI.


The 2008 Volvo C30 comes equipped with an Anti-lock Brake System (ABS), stability control, traction control, front-seat side airbags, full-length curtain airbags, and active headrests to prevent whiplash during an accident. Optional features include a blind-spot warning protection system, and laminated side glass to prevent breakage. The 2008 Volvo C30 has not received government crash testing, but the safety features listed as standard would suggest a safe ride.

EPA Fuel Economy

2008 Volvo C30 T5 Version 1.0: 19/28 mpg city/highway
2008 Volvo C30 T5 Version 2.0 R-Design: 19/28 mpg city/highway
2008 Volvo C30 T5 Version 2.0: 19/28 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Great interior and exterior design quality
  • Comfortable ride quality
  • Turbocharged engine
  • Driving position
  • Lots of options

You Won't Like

  • Extras cost a lot
  • Lacks some of the spottiness available with the competition

Sum Up

Although the 2008 Volvo C30 isn’t the sportiest hatchback on the market, it sure is one of the best looking.

If You Like This Vehicle

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