Volvo C30 DRIVe 1.6

Diesel SE Start/Stop

VOLVO'S offering to buyers intent on enjoying some very driver-friendly cruising is the C30.

The Volvo C30 has got style that stands out a mile, its swooping nose job and the very distinctive, neat looking glassware on the back of the hatch adding further appeal to the shapely rear view of this three-door set up.

Well put together, the modern look of the cabin bears all the Volvo quality hallmarks, the C30 sharing the neatly applied and easily navigable dashboard with its S40, V50 and C70 stable companions.

Also included in the set-up is the inspired Volvo "floating" centre console with anchorage top and bottom plus open space behind already experienced in some of the Swedish car firm's larger models.

Although strictly a four-seater, the C30 boasts plenty of head and legroom up front and while there is sufficient space for a couple of adults in the rear, the C30 features a brace of individual rear seats rather than a bench which does cancel out the squeezing in of an extra body.

However, while the boot is well shaped but shallow, there is a decent 433 litres for your luggage extending to 947 litres with rear seats folded.

A good range of driver's seat and wheel adjustment helps to deliver a surprisingly commanding driving position.

All Volvo C30s come with the likes of climate control, electric front windows and radio/CD, while the mid range SE model driven here also adds cruise control, trip computer, front fog lamps, parking and rain sensors plus that extremely thoughtful bit of extra safety for the driver, steering wheel audio controls.

Powered by a 1.6-litre turbo diesel engine, the car proved very user friendly with low CO2 emissions and some hugely impressive mpg figures.

Along with special low-drag alloys and low resistance tyres, Volvo's Start/Stop system helps to deliver the fuel conservation courtesy of a clever piece of kit which allows the driver to engage neutral thus stopping the engine.

When ready to move off, depress the clutch and the engine fires back up.

While Volvo official figures for this system promise 74.3mpg on average, according to the on board computer, I was around 20mpg shy of the official figure. Still, I found this quite satisfying for a first go.

On the tarmac this handsome head turner is nicely stable and there is stacks of traction.

Despite a ride that's a little on the firm side the C30 also proved a fine motorway motorway cruiser.


Volvo C30 DRIVe 1.6 Diesel SE Start/Stop

Price: £23,330

Mechanical: 108bhp, 1,560cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 5-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 118mph

0-62mph: 10.7 seconds

Combined MPG:  74.3

Insurance Group: 17

C02 emissions: 99g/km

Bik rating: 14%

Warranty: 3yrs/ 60,000 miles


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