2012 Volvo C30 vs. Its Competition

2012 Volvo C30 2-door Coupe Auto Angular Front Exterior View
Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Deputy Editor

The C30 straddles the line between performance-oriented hot hatches and flamboyant, coupe-like designs with a little more practicality.

The all-new 2012 Hyundai Veloster falls into the latter group; with three doors and a bigger backseat, the new Veloster is more practical than the C30, but its powertrain lacks power and torque compared to the C30.

The most obvious rival to the C30 is the MINI Cooper; the turbocharged MINI Cooper S offers more satisfying performance and a sprightlier driving feel, while its interior is also more useful and real-world spacious.

The Volkswagen GTI offers a slightly more exciting driving feel than before, though it still looks almost exactly like the affordable Golf.

Such is also the case with the MazdaSpeed3, which looks similar to the Mazda3 but offers a rorty turbocharged engine and friskier driving—yet with just enough daily-driver comfort.

And to some people, the Audi A3 will be just a station wagon; however, to others it's a more exciting, distinctive choice with an especially spacious, versatile interior layout and available all-wheel drive.

The BMW 1-Series is also one more rival; it's dynamically superior to the C20, but it's priced beyond the budget of most C30 shoppers.

2012 Volvo C30 2-door Coupe Auto Angular Front Exterior View2012 Volvo C30Browse Used Listings2012 Audi A3 4-door HB S tronic FrontTrak 2.0T Premium Angular Front Exterior View2012 Audi A3Browse Used Listings2012 Hyundai Veloster2012 Hyundai VelosterBrowse Used Listings2012 Mazda MAZDA3 with SkyActiv2012 Mazda MAZDA3Browse Used Listings2011 Volkswagen GTI2012 Volkswagen GTIBrowse Used Listings2012 MINI Cooper 2-door Coupe Side Exterior View2012 MINI CooperBrowse Used Listings
Quick Specs
8.0
The 2012 Volvo C30 has top-notch safety and style; but it's not as racy as it looks and not any more practical than it looks.
8.0
The fashionable, versatile 2012 Audi A3 is as deft for the city commute as it is at ease on the highway.
8.0
The 2012 Hyundai Veloster starts with niche appeal, but its impressive handling and strong, high-value feature set should play well to the mainstream.
8.2
With its new Skyactive powertrains, the 2012 Mazda3 is the eco-conscious choice that sure doesn't drive like one.
7.8
It isn't the fastest or flashiest sporty hatchback around, but the 2012 Volkswagen GTI may well be the most balanced, carrying forward its legacy into the 21st century.
8.6
In all of its guises the 2012 MINI Cooper is fun-to-drive, uniquely styled, and with three standard levels of performance, there's an option for everyone.
MSRP From     
$24,950$27,270$17,300$15,200$23,995$19,500
Gas Mileage     
21 MPG City / 30 MPG Hwy21 MPG City / 42 MPG Hwy27 MPG City / 37 MPG Hwy18 MPG City / 40 MPG Hwy21 MPG City / 33 MPG Hwy25 MPG City / 37 MPG Hwy
Engine     
Turbocharged Gas I5Turbocharged Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4Turbocharged Gas I4Gas I4
EPA Class     
CompactSmall Station Wagons- TBD -CompactCompact CarsMinicompact
Style Name     
2-Door Coupe Automatic4-Door HB Manual FrontTrak 2.0T Premium3-Door Coupe Manual w/Gray Int4-Door Sedan Manual i SV2-Door HB Manual2-Door Coupe
Drivetrain     
Front Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity     
455554
Passenger Doors     
N/AN/A3N/AN/AN/A
Body Style     
2 Door CoupeHatchback3 Door Coupe4 Door SedanHatchbackCoupe
Transmission     
AutomaticManualManualManualManualManual
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2012 Volvo C30 vs. 2012 Audi A32012 Volvo C30 vs. 2012 Hyundai Veloster2012 Volvo C30 vs. 2012 Mazda MAZDA32012 Volvo C30 vs. 2012 Volkswagen GTI2012 Volvo C30 vs. 2012 MINI Cooper