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STYLING | 8 out of 10
An S40 sedan with a butt tuck and all-new clothes
Car and Driver
The unusual hatchback draws inspiration from the classic 1800ES of the 1970s”
The wild child of the Volvo family
The 2008 Volvo C30 receives rave reviews from automobile magazines and consumer car Web sites for its contemporary styling.
The 2008 Volvo C30 inherits its styling cues from the S40 sedan. Automobile.com notes that "unlike the S40, the C30's front fenders swell slightly at the wheels, and the rear shoulder is deeper than on any other Volvo." The hindquarters give shape to the C30; Volvo bestows the hatchback with its own identity courtesy of the unique S-curve of the fenders and glass. "The taillights trace that shoulder shape, framing a very cool glass hatchback." The wheelbase is identical to the sedan, but the Volvo designers chopped off 8.8 inches from the back.
Car and Driver compares the 2008 Volvo C30 to "an S40 sedan made over with a butt tuck...and all-new clothes." In addition to shaving off about 200 pounds, "chopping off the tail has the visual effect of exaggerating the front overhang, amplifying the wedge shape created by the beltline rising as it seeps toward the tail."
Edmunds reports that although the "front end is instantly recognizable" with contemporary Volvo styling, "the unusual hatchback draws inspiration from the classic 1800ES of the 1970s." Motor Trend agrees the C30's front end resembles that of the S40 and V50, while the rear end has Volvo's cult-classic wagonette's signature all over it, calling the C30 the "wild child of the Volvo family."
According to Kelley Blue Book, the 2008 Volvo C30 is available in two trim levels; "the 1.0 model pairs 205/50 tires with 17-inch aluminum wheels," while the 2.0 gets 215/45 tires, larger 18-inch wheels, and a body kit with fender flares, side skirts, and front and rear spoilers.
Inside the C30, Volvo borrows the elegant theme from the S40 and V50 as well. “The signature thin, 'floating' center console from the S40/V50 has been incorporated into the C30's interior design,” ForbesAutos notes. Motor Trend nods in favor of the “S40-esque cockpit adorned with Volvo's now ubiquitous T-Tec upholstery and floating center console, familiar effects that mesh nicely with the leather-wrapped sport steering wheel and shift knob.” Edmunds says, “The distinctive floating console is present and correct, although it can now be specified with an aluminum surf pattern or even with glossy white finish inspired by iPod."
TheCarConnection.com thinks that Volvo's start in the compact two-door market is solid, and it's a wedgy, hot-looking hatch with a unique rear end and lots of personality--the opposite of what Volvo usually offers. The interior treatment is particularly handsome—a standout in the compact class.
The 2008 Volvo C30 brings newfound coolness to the Swedish carmaker.