My lunch time motto is “If you’re going to drive a company car to lunch, be sure to take something interest and always take pictures.” Well … maybe that’s not really my motto but this car fits into the interesting part. I’ve taken this 2012 Volvo C30 to lunch several times in the last week or so just because it is a fun car to drive. This model is actually one of our demo models left over from last year’s inventory. It has about 5,900 miles on it and still looks like a new car (despite the bird bombing that recently took place). But what makes this car interesting enough to take to lunch repeatedly?
- The Volvo C30 has a unique design.
- The Volvo C30 has a peppy turbo-charged engine.
- The Volvo C30 has a decent amount of room in the hatch.
Almost every time I see a C30, at the dealership or on the road, I smile. I started selling Volvos during the summer of 2008. The C30 was the newest design from Volvo at the time and was a breath of fresh air. It was a fun car from Volvo which finally threw away the boxy, safety image and made people sit up and notice. Volvo now has a car that looks as good as it is safe. The best part of the design was the rear end. Everything from the glass hatch to the curvy lines makes you want to look again. This is definitely a unique car.
The C30 doesn’t disappoint when it comes to the engine output. The 2.5L inline five cylinder engine puts out 227 hp and 236 lb/ft of torque. Mated to a 5-speed Geartronic transmission, the C30 is good for a 0-60 mph sprint in just 6.6 seconds (6.2 seconds with the manual). It’s perfect for the driver who wants instantaneous acceleration in town or on the highway. When you press the pedal, it moves … quickly. In fact, on my way back from Jersey Mike’s in Willoughby, I saw a 5.0L Mustang parked alongside the road and wondered if I could take him. Probably not … but the turbo made me think I could.
At least that’s the impression I had when comparing the C30 to the MINI Cooper I drove a few weeks ago. Remember the incident with the new lawnmower? A new MINI Cooper S has 5.7 ft3 of storage space behind the rear seats and 23 ft3 with them folded down. That’s not very impressive. Obviously, the C30 has more space than that, right? Well, I certainly thought so. And then I didn’t think so. And then I thought so again. The problem was that Volvo didn’t communicate the dimensions very well. On one site, the space behind the rear seats was listed as 12.9 ft3 and website reviews listed the cargo space as 20.2 ft3 with the seats folded down. That didn’t sound quite right. Larry Matteo, one of our salesmen, came to my rescue with VCC’s official data. The correct data is 15.3 ft.3 with the rear seats up and 33.4 ft.3 with the rear seats down. You won’t be hauling a canoe in the back, but that’s not too bad for a little hatchback. Maybe I could get two lawnmowers next time?
So, is this the car for you? I would conclude that it’s probably not a good replacement for a pickup truck, station wagon, or SUV. And a family of five won’t fit in this as it has only 4 seats. But what serious minded person ever bought a hatchback with the idea of hauling lumber, household appliances, and the local Boy Scout troop? The Volvo C30 is a comfortable car built for the customer who wants a fun hatchback that drives well and keeps a smile on his face. So, make your choice. If you need a school bus then buy one. If you need a delivery truck then buy a Sprinter. But if you want a fun car with limited cargo space, then buy this one. Furthermore, if you would like to save some money on a 2012 Volvo C30, let me know.
*For some reason, Volvo doesn’t publish the cargo capacity with the seats folded down on their specs page.