As a Volvo, the 2013 C30 is quite unorthodox. The sleek, low-slung body of this super-mini hints at a youthful target audience. But this aesthetic only thinly veils a stable touring car that is far too confident and comfortable to mistake for a typical hatchback. The 2013 Volvo C30 easily fits the descriptor ""premium hatchback"" with its turbocharged engine, sloping body panels, decidedly minimalistic dash, and legendary Volvo safety implements. With room for four adults, the 2013 Volvo C30 succeeds in leveraging performance, handling, and style in a way that distinguishes the car from its competitors. At times beautifully torn between being a sporty coupe and a true hatchback, the 2013 Volvo C30 is a truly unique offering from Sweden’s most recognizable automaker.
New For 2013
Originally launched in the latter part of 2006, the Volvo C30 has continually seen improvements to its design, with a notable refurbishment of the front end as of 2010. For the 2013 model year, the Volvo C30 receives only minor updates, including:
- Adds a new Premier Trim level, including keyless entry and adaptive xenon headlights
- All other trim levels now include automatic wipers and headlight washers
The exterior of the 2013 Volvo C30 manages to retain its Volvo identity, while creating its own distinct niche in the automaker’s lineup. With its wind-tunnel-proven curves and unique glass hatch, the 2013 Volvo C30 is a sport coupe in essence. The C30 has a wheelbase of 103.9 inches with modest overhangs, making the 2013 Volvo C30 slightly longer than its nearest competitor, the Volkswagen GTI. The optional Re-Design trim packages add fog lamps, ground effects, and other race-inspired visual amenities. The design of the 2013 Volvo C30 is rounded off with a glass tailgate apparatus providing access to the rear cargo hold. The 2013 Volvo C30 features 17-inch wheels in the T5 trim, and 18-inch wheels in the R-Design trim levels.
Interior & Cargo
The 2013 Volvo C30 is delivered standard with T-TEC cloth upholstery throughout, while leather upholstery is optional for the T5 trim level and standard for the R-Design trim levels. The most sought trim level for the C30 is any of the R-Design options packages, which add leather-clad steering wheel covering, R-Design badge sport pedals, and blue watch dial instrument clusters. All models feature dual-zone climate control, an AM/FM/CD stereo with auxiliary input, and folding backseats. Premium sound and satellite navigation are optional. Stereo and climate controls are mounted on a thin center console section. The rear cargo area is somewhat scant at only 13 cubic feet with the rear seats raised. The glass hatch design also encumbers loading the cargo hold, though the hatch does offer the advantage of improved rear visibility.
As with any Volvo, the C30 excels in terms of safety features. The 2013 Volvo C30 features a four-wheel Anti-locking Brake System (ABS), front driver and passenger airbags, side impact and side curtain airbags, traction control, active front head restraints, and electronic stability. Additional safety measures built into seats prevent driver and passengers from sliding out from underneath seatbelts. An inflatable curtain helps protect the heads of those on board in the event of a collision and stays inflated for a few seconds to help guard against potential follow-up impacts. The 2013 Volvo C30 also includes the company’s Whiplash Protection System (WHIPS). This system cradles the spine and neck in the event of a crash.
The 2013 Volvo C30 handles well and maintains grip through the corners. The vehicle’s powertrain consists of a 2.5-liter, five-cylinder engine outputting 227 horses to the front axle. The engine is paired with a six-speed manual transmission in standard configuration, with a five-speed Geartronic Automatic Transmission as an available option. The proprietary Geartronic Automatic Transmission provides the option to switch into manual mode, allowing the driver to shift through the gears. The relatively small engine size does the job well enough, as the small size of the 2013 Volvo C30 feels aptly-powered for daily driving and handles comfortably in town and on highway drives. The estimated 30-mpg fuel consumption is the worthwhile trade-off that, for most, will negate any second thoughts about the slightly underpowered engine.
Overall, the designers of the Volvo C30 clearly place a higher value upon comfort than performance, though the car is no slouch in the zip department. Engaging the turbocharger adds low-end torque and coaxes a welcomed hint of snarl from the modest five-cylinder. The 2013 Volvo C30 sets itself apart from the subcompact hatchback crowd with an emphasis on driver and passenger comfort, stylish good looks, and a respectable balance of fuel-economy and spritely performance.
Key Competitors For The 2013 Volvo C30
- Volkswagen GTI
- Ford Fiesta
- Mini Cooper