Volvo's not known for compact cars, and it's increasingly viewed as a near-luxury brand. The 2012 Volvo C30 plays right into this positioning by including an impressive set of standard features. Choosing among several options packages will let buyers turn it into a very small luxury car, or give it an upscale, sophisticated appearance with the R-Design trim.
A base C30 T5 comes well-equipped at about $25,000 (before delivery), but a liberal hand on the options list can easily add $10,000 to that sum--so shop carefully. It includes as standard not only cruise control and a trip computer but also Bluetooth hands-free compatibility, along with more standard features like air conditioning, power windows and locks, and an adjustable steering wheel that both tilts and telescopes.
The sound system on the base model is far from skimpy, including both 160 Watts of output and standard HD Radio compatibility. On the high end, a premium Dynaudio system is simply the best one you will find in any compact hatchback.
The R-Design model is clearly the pinnacle of the C30 lineup. Its aero package at the front and rear promises a different, more performance-oriented car, which is delivered by the Pirelli high-performance tires on unique alloy wheels, a retuned sport suspension, xenon High-Intensity Discharge headlamps, and a standard navigation system that includes live real-time traffic data.
Satellite radio, on all trim levels, is a separate option, as are leather upholstery, a moonroof (to be avoided by tall drivers!), a preferred options bundle that includes rain-sensing windshield wipers and washers for the headlamps.