Volvo C30 (2010)

Volvo C30

The smallest yet most expressively designed of all Volvos, the C30 has a radical and refreshing appearance. Its unique styling creates its distinct personality whilst closely aligning it to the all-new S60 and the C70. There is a wide choice of options including the introduction of a new colour combination - Espresso/Blond, colours and accessories allowing customers to personalise their C30.

To complement the Volvo C30's dynamic style, an optional Sports chassis is available to give the car a significantly sharper ride. Standard on R-DESIGN models, the Sports chassis is also available as an option on selected models in SE and SE Lux trim levels.

The Volvo C30 features four individual seats. The rear seats are mounted towards the centreline of the car, improving head and shoulder-room. 'We were convinced that four seats, not five, was the correct approach,' says Mr Abrahamsson, C30 Project Director. 'Four seats mean great rear seat comfort for both rear passengers. Five would have been a compromise. Besides, Volvo has many five-seat cars. If you want five seats, you can buy a Volvo S40 saloon or a V50 Sportswagon. On most journeys, we doubt whether the rear seats will even be used. Mostly, the rear seats will probably be folded flat, giving an amazing cargo space.'

Harking back to the iconic Volvo P1800S, another feature which has been continued into the new model is the distinctive all-glass tailgate which offers excellent rear visibility. A load cover is available to protect luggage from prying eyes.

There is a choice of seven engines (three petrol and four diesel), including four and five-cylinder units. The petrol range includes a light and efficient 100 PS 1.6-litre, 145 PS 2.0-litre and a five-cylinder T5 model generating 230 PS that can achieve 0-60 mph in 6.2 seconds. The four diesels include the road-tax exempt 109 PS 1.6D DRIVe engine, which has CO2 emissions of just 99g/km, plus the new four cylinder 115 PS 1.6 D2 and five cylinder 150 PS 2.0 D3 and 177 PS 2.0 D4.

The Volvo C30 is also an extremely safe car in an accident. Safety innovations include an Inflatable Curtain to protect both front and rear passengers, safety belt tensioners, Whiplash Protection System (WHIPS) and Side Impact Protection System (SIPS) plus SIPS airbags. In addition, every Volvo C30 has DSTC (Dynamic Stability and Traction Control), and ABS brakes with EBD (Electronic Brake Distribution) and EBA (Electronic Brake Assistance).


Volvo's design language, created under the design directorship of Peter Horbury, reached its zenith in the Volvo C30 when it was launched in 2006. 'We were a bit more playful, less formal and more adventurous when we first designed the C30,' says chief designer Simon Lamarre. 'The track is unusually wide, the wheelbase is long, the window-line angles are nose-down, and the shape is wedged. The shoulders are also broader than on other Volvos and rise towards the rear. On other Volvos, the shoulders are even and level. On the C30, there's a lot more movement and angle change.'

Two-door style was chosen. 'Two doors look sportier and our target market made it clear they preferred coupe style,' says Mr Abrahamsson. 'Besides, they will rarely use the back seat. So why compromise on style? Volvo has many four-door cars, for those who prefer the added practicality of rear doors.'

The rear end was the biggest departure from the Volvo styling norm - except for those with long memories who remember back to the classic 1800ES sports estate, launched in 1971. That vehicle's distinguishing characteristic was the deep glass tailgate. That styling cue was borrowed on the SCC concept car, shown at the 2001 Detroit Show, and in turn was borrowed for the C30 Design Concept shown at the Detroit Show in January 2006.

Capitalising on the success of the outgoing Volvo C30, the new model, launched in late 2009, has been given major body panel changes to give a dynamic new style, whilst maintaining many of the popular features the C30 has become known for.

The front of the car has been refreshed to make it look more dynamic and expressive. The angled lines of the front bumper together with the new headlights, themselves angled upwards and towards the flanks of the car, reinforce the impression of speed and sportiness.

The nose of the car is most recognisably Volvo. In the grille sits the new, larger iron mark, as seen in the bigger models in the Volvo range. The air intake has also been enlarged and now resembles the intake in the XC60 crossover. The grille also has a new honeycomb pattern unique to the Volvo C30.

Other exterior features include the introduction of a brand new vibrant Orange Flame Metallic colour and the Lime Grass Green Metallic, borrowed from the XC60 colour collection. A new 17" white alloy has also been introduced to the range called Styx White - this wheel is available as standard on the SE trim level.

Although the biggest changes have taken place at the front, the rear also sports the same deep new styling lines and detailing. The contours are crisp and more dynamic, while the black lower trim has been reduced enabling the body colour to be extended lower and thus forging a closer visual contact between the car and the road. The Volvo C30 ES comes with a small black plastic lower body panel, but when you choose SE or SE Lux, the lower trim is available in black sapphire or, to add a dramatic twist, in a contrasting colour. Customers can choose a colour from the new C30 Contrast Colour Collection, such as Blackcurrant, Java or Shadow Blue. For example a customer could choose the new Lime Grass Green metallic as the main body colour and specify the lower body panels in Java. T5 variants also get twin tail-pipes in polished stainless steel to highlight the powerful engine beneath the skin.


'At only 4.26 metres long, the C30 is not a big car, but its spacious cabin gives it a real big car feel,' says Mr Abrahamsson, Volvo C30 project director.

Volvo's iconic 'floating' centre console now available in new materials

One of the most elegant pieces of interior design is the modern, ultra-slim centre console, similar to the revolutionary design first introduced in the S40 saloon. The handsome console, which appears to float, contains most of the important switches and controls and contributes to the understated, simple and very Scandinavian interior design, which does without a plethora of confusing switchgear.

The centre stack is available in five different finishes, including Bauxite (standard) and Aluminium. A new Oyster Burst Deco is available as a no cost option on SE and SE Lux models and a cost option on ES. The colour on the Oyster Burst deco console shifts subtly from light to dark and back again.

'One of the research findings was that customers like to be able to personalise their cars as much as possible, and the C30 offers a range of interior finishes and features,' says Mr Abrahamsson.

The Volvo C30 offers a new colour combination called Espresso/Blond which consists of a dark brown upper section and a blond, fresh shade on the lower door sides - the blond tone being a grey/beige colour. The new Espresso/Blond interior gives customers the opportunity to specify new, bright accent colours which include orange, green and blue in the fabrics, as well as a new Cranberry colour for leather upholstery.

"We wanted to give customers the opportunity to decide for themselves what their car looks like. The C30 gives them a range of fresh, modern style cues in terms of colour and fabric to choose between," explains Maria Uggla, Program Chief Designer Colour & Trim at Volvo Cars.

Rear cargo area is spacious, versatile and easy to load

The individual rear seats fold separately so you can have a two, three or four-seat Volvo C30. The back rests fold almost flat into the floor; they are completely flat when any item of weight is placed on top.

The glass tailgate gives a wide and long opening area. Load height is very low (807mm, or just over two feet) improving ease of use. The luggage compartment is surprisingly big, at 251 litres when both rear seats are up but increases to a capacious 539 litres when the rear seats are folded. Two load covers - one soft which is standard and one hard which is available as a cost option - keep cargo contents from outside view.

Four comfortable individual seats for adults

The Volvo C30 is a true four-seater. Even the rear seats - individual chairs rather than a bench - are spacious enough for tall adults. They are both slightly centred, maximising shoulder and headroom. This also makes conversations between the front and rear passengers easier.

'We considered making the Volvo C30 a five seater but decided it was not necessary,' says Hakan Abrahamsson, C30 project director. 'It is a sporty car where the emphasis is on the driving experience. Besides, Volvo makes plenty of five-seat cars.'

The individual rear chairs offer much better lateral support than a conventional bench. They are typically wider and more comfortable than seats in a three-place rear bench and mirror the style and comfort of the supportive front seats. They have separate backrests, which can be folded individually. Entry and exit is easy thanks to the large front doors and front seats that automatically jack knife forward once the backrest is activated.

The four individual chairs increase the impression of space in the cabin. A noticeable 'corridor' runs through the middle of the car, between the seats. The rear carrying area is also low and flat. This feeling of airiness is further improved by the big glass area, including the deep front screen, glass tailgate and contoured side glass that tapers inward - boat like - towards the rear of the car.

To improve detection of other vehicles at the side of the car, BLIS (Blind Spot Information System) is optionally available. It uses cameras mounted in the door mirrors to register if another vehicle is directly behind, in the 'blind spot'. A lamp near the mirror illuminates to warn the driver.

Headroom and legroom are generous. Equally, the many seat adjustments make the Volvo C30 perfect for all sizes of people. Height and lumbar adjustment come as standard on both driver and front passenger seats. The steering wheel is reach and rake adjustable. Front and rear adjustable centre armrests are standard.


All C30s are front-wheel drive, with the transverse engine design improving space efficiency. It also improves safety by creating a generous crumple zone in the engine compartment. The five-cylinder engines - which are naturally longer than four-cylinder engines - can only be accommodated transversely due to their extremely compact design.

The Volvo range has been enhanced with a range of new engine additions and enhancements for the 2011 Model Year update. These new engines include the addition of a new two-litre five cylinder diesel powerplant which replaces the familiar four-cylinder 136 PS unit and a new 115 PS four cylinder unit.

As part of Volvo's new engine nomenclature and to simplify Volvo's engine badging, all new engines, including the new five-cylinder 2.0D, will be badged depending on the power output. For example, the 150 PS version of the new 2.0D is named D3 and an uprated 177 PS version of this same engine is labeled D4. This hierarchic naming has been introduced to allow customers to more easily understand which engine is the most powerful and which fuel it is driven by - D for diesel and historically T has been used for Volvo's petrol cars. Volvo's naming strategy also follows the principle that the higher the number the more powerful it is - a D5 engine has more power that a D3.

Five-cylinder D3 and D4 models

The new five-cylinder 2.0D engine is fitted in two guises to the Volvo C30. In its lower state of tune, it produces 150 PS and is badged D3 while an uprated 177 PS version is named D4. Both emit only 134 g/km of CO2 and offer drivers 55.4 mpg in the C30, S40 and V50 and 47.9 mpg and 154 g/km in the C70. The D3 and D4 are available in both manual and automatic transmission across all four models.

The new five-cylinder 2.0D diesel is, in principle, the same engine as the well-established 2.4-litre diesel, but its displacement has been reduced with a shorter stroke to optimise fuel consumption. The injection system also has a different type of piezoelectric fuel injector compared with the D5 engine. These injectors minimize fuel consumption with their exceptionally rapid and precise injection pulses under high pressure to promote extremely efficient combustion. This engine is now available to order in all cars across the range apart from the Volvo XC90 seven-seat SUV.

"This new engine offers greater driving pleasure across the range and our strong drive to reduce carbon dioxide emissions means that fuel consumption has been cut as well," says Magnus Jonsson, Senior Vice President Product Development at Volvo Cars.

The five-cylinder D3 model boasts 150PS and 350Nm of torque from 1500-2750rpm. Available with either manual or Geartronic transmission, it takes 8.8 secs (8.9 Geartronic) to accelerate from 0-60mph and will return up to 55.4mpg (48.7mpg Geartronic) fuel economy.

The fastest diesel versions are the D4 models, which feature a development of the D3 engine that results in 400Nm of torque from 1750-2750rpm. 0-60mph drops to 8.1 seconds for manual versions and 8.2 seconds for Geartronic models, while leaving fuel economy unaffected over D3 levels (55.4mpg, manual and 48.7mpg for Geartronic).

New D2 engine with 114 g/km CO2 emissions

The Volvo C30 is also available with a new four cylinder 1.6-litre diesel engine - badged D2. Fuel consumption in all three models is 65.7 mpg, which corresponds to CO2 emissions of only 114 g/km. The engine produces 115 PS and 270 Nm of torque and now comes with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard.

The D2, D3 and D4 engines all meet the Euro 5 emission standards.

Volvo C30 1.6D DRIVe with Start/Stop lowering CO2 emissions to 99 g/km

The 1.6D DRIVe model, which features Start/Stop technology to reduce CO2 emissions to just 99g/km, showcases Volvo's ability to produce increasingly efficient vehicles with outstanding economy to rival even the smallest diesel-engined competitors. With the help of special DRIVe wind deflectors and a lowered chassis, the Volvo C30 with the highly efficient 109 PS 1.6D DRIVe engine is road tax exempt under the current regulations and can return up to 74.3mpg on the combined fuel economy cycle.

In order to reduce CO2 emissions to 99 g/km, the Volvo C30 1.6D DRIVe model features an intelligent Start/Stop function that allows the engine to switch off when the car is at a standstill.

Start/Stop functions when the driver puts the gear lever into neutral and releases the clutch while at a standstill. When the driver next depresses the clutch, the engine starts up again automatically. This technology reduces fuel consumption and thus CO2 emissions by 4-5 per cent in mixed driving conditions. Start/Stop technology is particularly effective in urban traffic, where the saving can be as much as 8 per cent.

When the car is at a standstill and the engine is switched off, some electronic systems such as the air conditioning step down to standby level in order to save fuel. However, Volvo's Start/Stop system continuously monitors the comfort level and automatically reactivates the air conditioning if, for instance, the temperature increases in the passenger compartment. The system does not set any limits for comfort-focused features such as the sound system or other facilities that the occupants will want to maintain.

This innovative monitoring system has been made possible due to an additional small battery which supports the larger battery by providing extra power. Thanks to this extra battery, Volvo's DRIVe models also feature particularly quick and smooth start-up. The audio system also remains unaffected when the starter motor is activated. This distinguishes Volvo Car's solution from other systems offered by the competition. The standard larger battery has also been upgraded to handle up to 175,000 Start/Stop cycles.

The driver continuously receives feedback about system status via the in-car information display. The Start/Stop function can be engaged and disengaged via a DRIVe button in the centre console and in the default setting, the function is activated.

The C30 1.6D DRIVe with Start/Stop also features a regenerative charge facility. This charges the battery as soon as the driver releases the accelerator or brakes while a gear is engaged. By harnessing the car's kinetic energy, the alternator does not have to use diesel fuel as a power source to recharge the car's battery. Fuel savings of between 2 and 3 per cent have been achieved with this function.

Road wheel design was another area of development and drag has been cut with the adoption of a new, flush-style 16-inch diameter alloy wheel, the Diamond Cut Libra (optional upgrade to alternative alloys available). As for tyres, Volvo worked closely with Michelin to develop a compound with uncompromising handling and wear characteristics coupled with low rolling resistance.

Further economy benefits were made by optimising engine and gearbox management software and introducing electrohydraulic steering. There is also a Gear Shift Indicator that informs the driver of the optimum time to change gears and achieve better fuel consumption. The final ingredient is low friction transmission oil used in the gearbox. Individually, the modifications may seem small, but combined they produce a dramatic effect on overall efficiency.

Four-cylinder petrol engines

The combination of light overall kerb weights and the 100 PS 1596cc engine, with 150Nm of torque at 4,000rpm, gives the 1.6 a top speed of 115mph and 0-60mph acceleration in 11.2 seconds, with emissions of 167 g/km and 40.4mpg on the combined cycle.

The 1999cc, 2.0 petrol engine produces 145 PS with 185 Nm of torque at 4500rpm and emissions of 177 g/km. It is the best performing four-cylinder petrol model with a top speed of 130mph and 0-60 acceleration that takes only 8.8 seconds, yet it can return 37.2mpg fuel economy on the combined cycle.

Five-cylinder petrol performance

The fastest Volvo C30 is the 230 PS, T5. It uses Volvo's familiar and popular light-pressure turbo, 2521cc, five-cylinder engine. Not only is it strong in absolute performance but its wide spread of torque makes it highly responsive over a wide rev band. Maximum torque of 320 Nm comes from as little as 1500 rpm and is available all the way up to 5000 rpm. Being a five-cylinder, the engine offers a unique blend of performance, economy and aural enjoyment. Top speed is 149 mph, 0-60 mph acceleration takes 6.2 seconds, while it delivers 32.5mpg on the combined cycle.


Two manual transmissions are offered: a six-speed manual is standard on the D2, D3, D4 and T5 models, while the 1.6 and 2.0 petrol engines and the 1.6D DRIVe have a standard five-speed manual transmission.

The five-speed Geartronic transmission, which can be driven either as a conventional automatic or a clutchless sequential manual, is available as an option with the T5 engine. A six-speed Geartronic transmission is available as an option on D3 and D4 models.


The new Volvo C30 is a compact and light car. Light weight gives a car extra agility and reduces fuel consumption. 'This light weight was one of the goals for the Volvo C30,' says Mr Abrahamsson. 'It would have been very easy to pile on the pounds. A heavy car is often better in a collision, so that would also have enabled us to meet our stringent safety goals. We resisted. The light weight was a crucial ingredient in the agility and sporty behaviour of the C30. Thanks to the extremely stiff body, we have also launched what I believe is the world's safest compact car - quite an achievement.'

The fully independent suspension is firmer than on other Volvos to aid agility, and the electro-hydraulic rack-and-pinion steering has a sportier feel to improve the car's driver feedback.

'We spent a lot time getting the steering feel just right,' says Mr Abrahamsson. 'The lowness of the car, and its wide stance, further boosts nimbleness. The wheels are "pulled" to the very extremities of the car. The wide track improves the car's balance and road holding and reduces roll. The long wheelbase contributes to the car's composure on both winding and fast roads, and improves handling predictability.

'It feels small and nimble,' says Mr Abrahamsson. 'Yet on the motorway, the Volvo C30 has great composure. It has a big car feel on long journeys. Though nimble, the C30 is in no way frenzied. That was one aspect of a sports car we did not want.'

It's comfortable, too. 'The compact format has not prevented us from integrating much of what is best in the larger Volvo cars,' says Mr Abrahamsson. 'Even the smallest Volvo should provide the right premium feel - in all respects. This applies not only to the appearance and the impression of quality, but just as much how it is to drive and use. Our intention is that the Volvo C30 should attract people who love driving.'

The fully independent suspension boosts handling but also aids ride comfort. The Volvo C30 uses spring MacPherson struts at the front, the geometry designed to provide quick and precise steering. The rear suspension is sophisticated multi-link. This fully independent set-up allows for a small degree of passive rear-wheel steer when cornering to boost stability and control. Anti-roll bars, to ensure flat and composed handling, are fitted front and rear.

New Sports chassis

Introduced to compliment the Volvo C30's dynamic style, a Sports chassis is available to give a significantly sharper ride. The chassis has been modified in several key areas to make a better balanced and more agile car. Firstly the chassis lowers the car by 10mm, resulting in a lower centre of gravity to enhance the driving characteristics. The steering is also more precise owing to the installation of stiffer brushings. The steering ratio is lower, giving a 10 per cent faster response to steering wheel input. Spring stiffness has been increased by 30 per cent to deliver a more dynamic ride. The dampers too are stiffer and are designed to build up pressure more quickly. The roll stabilizers are also stiffer to reduce any leaning tendency when cornering. The Sport Chassis is available as standard on all R-DESIGN models and a L400 option on SE and SE Lux (not available on D2 or DRIVe engine variants).

Volvo has put the new Sport Chassis through a regime of tests throughout Europe to ensure the new C30 performs, including on narrow, twisting lanes in England, at high speed on the German autobahn and on icy winter roads in the very north of Scandinavia.

Electronic controls improve safety and on-road dynamics

A range of electronic controls supplement the finely honed mechanical set-up. DSTC (Dynamic Stability and Traction Control) is standard on every Volvo C30, preventing wheel spin or skidding by either braking the wheel that has lost traction (up to 25mph) or, above 25mph, by reducing engine power. Sensors detect the onset of a skid. The appropriate wheel is then slowed to restore control. In every case, the driven front wheels get no more power than they can safely transfer to the road.

ABS (Anti-lock brakes) are standard on all Volvo C30s with EBD (Electronic Brake Distribution) and EBA (Electronic Brake Assist) to further ensure that the car has maximum composure in an emergency stop and comes to a halt in as short a distance as possible.

All Volvo C30s get front ventilated disc brakes and solid rear discs. The ventilation helps brake cooling, and improves braking performance at high-speed or during repeated stops. The higher performance T5 gets 300mm front ventilated discs, while the other versions get 278mm ventilated front discs.

Excellent torsional rigidity improves handling and safety

The monocoque steel body of the Volvo C30 offers excellent torsional rigidity, crucial to good handling, agility, safety and longevity. This lack of 'flex' allows the car's advanced suspension to do its job properly and is a crucial factor in the car's precise handling and high-speed stability. The advanced body design includes the use of high-strength materials, including Ultra High Strength Boron steel. These not only improve rigidity, to the benefit of handling, they improve the strength of the car, with its associated safety and longevity benefits.


'A small Volvo is built to the same high standard as a big Volvo,' says Hakan Abrahamsson, C30 project director. 'The quality levels are the same. We have Volvo standards and we don't differentiate by size.'

Volvo is renowned for building the world's safest cars to exceptionally high quality levels. Quality means superb fit-and-finish and paint and trim materials. Volvo is renowned for making cars that last.

From the exquisite, free-floating centre instrument stack to the discreet 'theatre lighting', the Volvo C30 exudes a feeling of quality. The switchgear has a solid, chunky feel and the fascia is enveloped in soft-touch materials. The Volvo C30's cabin features materials that are hypoallergenic and free from any hazardous substances. They meet a strict international standard called Oeko-Tex. This also includes all materials that occupants are likely to touch, including exterior and interior door handles, upholsteries, plastics and ignition key.

'Although it feels nimble like a good small car, it also feels very solid, very stable, and very strong - like a good big car,' says Mr Abrahamsson.

Customers in the premium sector don't compromise. While happy to go small, they still expect a high level of standard equipment. The specifications for the Volvo C30 offer a rich level of equipment, much higher than for most of its other compact premium brand rivals.

The specification of every Volvo C30 includes alloy wheels, a Performance Sound Audio System with CD, Electronic Climate Control, power windows, DSTC (Dynamic Stability and Traction Control) and remote locking with alarm.

Excellent levels of equipment, even in the entry-level ES and R-DESIGN version

The entry-level ES model is available with the 1.6 petrol engine, plus 1.6D DRIVe and D2 diesel engines. Standard equipment includes advanced air conditioning with ECC (Electronic Climate Control) with pollen filter and Information Centre.

Other standard features include a 'Performance Sound' audio system with CD player, six speakers and a 4x20W amplifier, remote locking with alarm, automatic headlamp levelling, 'home safe and approach' lighting, floor mats, power windows, front and rear centre armrests, height adjustable driver seat. Power adjustable and heated door mirrors, leather steering wheel, gear knob and handbrake lever and 16 inch alloy wheels also feature as standard.

Volvo never compromises on safety. Key safety equipment are standard on all Volvo C30 models, and include dual-stage driver and passenger airbags, Volvo's SIPS (side impact protection system), plus side airbags and IC (Inflatable Curtain) airbags, Volvo's patented WHIPS (whiplash protection system), ABS (anti-lock brakes) with EBD (Electronic Brakeforce Distribution) and EBA (Electronic Brake Assist), and four three-point seatbelts with safety-boosting tensioners.


The R-DESIGN is a sporty version of the Volvo C30 and most closely resembles the Volvo C30 Design Concept. Exterior design includes an R-DESIGN badge in the front grille, colour coordinated bodykit,rear roof spoiler, silver matt finish front grille and wing mirrors and five spoke 17" alloy wheels. Interior design consists of a choice of two colour upholstery combinations including two-tone off-black T-Tec upholstery with cream leather or off-black leather and T-Tec all complete with contrast stitching and embossed R-DESIGN logo, leather trimmed steering wheel with R-DESIGN logo, an exclusive deco aluminium centre stack, blue instrument dials, sports pedals and tufted dark floormats with cream leather seams.

The R-DESIGN also features all the standard items found on the S model and adds front fog lights, Cruise Control and steering wheel remote audio controls. R-DESIGN also features the new Sports Chassis as standard.


The next trim level up from ES and without the sports R-DESIGN bodykit is the SE. The SE has Volvo's information centre, Cruise Control, steering wheel remote audio controls, automatic rain sensor-activated windscreen wipers, Leksand textile/T-Tec upholstery and aluminium trim as standard. 17" Styx White alloy wheels, auto-folding power door mirrors with ground lights and front fog lights complete the outside look.

SE Lux

The most luxurious Volvo C30 is the SE Lux model which is aimed at buyers seeking a comfort-biased vehicle. In addition to the SE trim level, the SE Lux benefits from leather upholstery, 17-inch Spartacus wheels, and active bending lights with headlamp cleaning system.

Option packs

In addition, two special packs bracket popular options, improving value for the customer. The Winter Pack includes heated front seats and headlamp cleaning. The Winter Pack is also available with Active Bending Lamps to improve visibility in poor weather conditions.

The R-Design Convenience Pack features autodimming rear view mirror with humidity sensor, auto-folding power door mirrors with ground lights and bottle holder, rain sensor and a height adjustable passenger seat with lumbar support.

World class audio with MP3 compatibility

'A good audio system is a key requirement of our target customer,' says Hakan Abrahamsson, Volvo C30 project director. 'Accordingly, the Volvo C30 has one of the best factory-fitted audio systems available in the world. The cabin design, with its wide doors and deep side panels in the rear, provides an extra dimension for the sound, with extreme depth and powerful bass reproduction.'

There are three audio system levels to choose from:

  • Performance Sound CD, a 4x20W amplifier and six loudspeakers
  • High Performance Sound CD, 4x40W amplifier, eight loudspeakers, USB and Aux input
  • Premium Sound CD, 5x130W, Dolby® Pro Logic II Surround Sound, 10 loudspeakers (MP3/WMA compatible)

On the two highest levels, High Performance and Premium Sound, it is possible to play CDs with music in MP3 and WMA formats. This means that the CD changer can store hundreds of music tracks. An Aux input for connecting auxiliary equipment such as an MP3 player or I-Pod is standard across the range.

An adapter for connecting an i-Pod or a USB flash drive is available as an accessory. With the Volvo USB/i-Pod Music Player, it is easy to connect your own music player and to control it with the car's controls. Information is shown in the vehicle's audio system display.


Volvos are renowned for their safety. This commitment is as old as the company itself. As Assar Gabrielsson, one of the founders of Volvo, declared: 'Cars are driven by people. The guiding principle behind everything we make at Volvo, therefore, is - and must remain - safety.' Volvo has been responsible for some of the most important safety innovations including the three-point safety belt (1959), front head restraints (1968), and the side airbag (1994).

As with all Volvos, the C30 was developed and extensively crash tested in the company's world renowned Safety Centre in Gothenburg, Sweden, to ensure class-leading safety.

The goal with the Volvo C30 was to match the safety of the larger (by 22cm, or 8.5 inches) Volvo S40, one of the world's safest small saloons. 'We were fortunate to use the entire front end structure of the Volvo S40 saloon and V50 Sportswagon,' says project director Hakan Abrahamsson. 'That ensured that all front-end safety issues were taken care of.'

More difficult to engineer was rear-end safety, as the Volvo C30 has a shorter tail than a saloon.

However, due to careful use of different grades of steel, including ultra-high strength steel, and a carefully designed deformation process, the Volvo C30 offers the same high level of rear-end protection. Rear side members are a crucial tool: they are designed to absorb most of the impact forces in the early stage of an accident.

As with all Volvos, the structure of the car is divided into different safety zones and different grades of steel are employed in different areas.

The low-speed deformation zones - the front and rear of the car - are capable of absorbing a low-speed accident without damaging the rest of the body structure. The crash boxes can then be replaced, reducing repair costs.

The high-speed deformation zones include lower and upper side members. Made from high strength steel, they are capable of absorbing very high levels of energy - as they must, as there is less space for progressive deformation before encroaching on the cabin. The upper side members provide significant protection in an accident, especially with larger vehicles.

A back-up zone, around the front pillars, is made from extra high-strength steel and acts as a safety barrier. This section is extremely rigid and prevents potentially dangerous objects, such as front wheels, from entering the cabin area. In addition, a rigid cross member connects the A-pillars and the lower side members. They form a rigid three-way attachment, which maintains the integrity of the cabin in a severe impact.

Compact transverse engines contribute to safety

Engines play a crucial role in crash protection. Transversely mounted engines have an inherent advantage over longitudinal, or fore-aft, units. They are less likely to enter the cabin area in a severe frontal impact, and the extra fore-aft space around the engine gives the crash protection systems more chance to work properly, particularly in deformation. In addition, Volvo's engines are especially compact. The five-cylinder engines are especially trim in exterior dimensions. In a frontal collision, the engine can be pushed rearward by 150mm before the block makes contact with the ultra-strong cross member near the cabin bulkhead. In such a collision, most parts - including the potentially dangerous battery - move to pre-destined positions.

Class leading impact protection

Apart from the enormously strong body, the Volvo C30 is a fitted with state-of-the-art safety equipment to protect all occupants. The safety features are all standard across the range, Volvo does not believe in two-tier safety standards.

The two front airbags are 'intelligent' in actuation, deployed in two-stages depending on the severity of the impact. This reduces the likelihood of facial injuries caused by the airbag hitting an occupant too hard. The side airbags play a crucial role in protecting chests and hips. On the Volvo C30, they are fitted in the outer edge of the front seats, not in the doors, so they're always securely positioned next to the occupant's side, whatever the position or angle of the seat.

Inflatable curtains sit in the headlining, protecting front and rear occupants. In a side impact, the curtains inflate in a few thousands of a second and remain inflated for about three seconds to provide maximum protection.

The airbags are complemented by three-point safety belts with tensioners, fitted to all four seats. The tensioners activate within a few thousands of a second after a collision and tighten the belt for maximum protection. The front seat belts then 'give' a little so that driver and front seat passenger are cushioned by the front airbags in a controlled way. A seat-belt reminder system is fitted to both front and rear seats.

The SIPS (Side Impact Protection System) prevents side intrusions by dissipating much of the side impact force through protective beams, the pillars, floor, roof, and other parts of the body.

WHIPS (Whiplash Protection System) prevents neck and back injuries in rear-end collisions, and is now standard on all Volvos. In a rear-end accident, the entire backrest of the front seats automatically moves rearwards to prevent neck and back strain.

Rounded edges reduce risks to pedestrians and cyclists

Volvos are not sharp edged cars; that's not the styling philosophy. This helps reduce injury to pedestrians and cyclists. Despite the more aggressive, sportier style of the Volvo C30, the front bumper is still gently rounded to provide maximum cushioning in the event of hitting a pedestrian or cyclist. The energy absorbent properties of the specially designed bumper also reduce leg injuries.

The deep chin spoiler is also a big safety asset. It ensures there is little likelihood of any unfortunate accident victim going under the car. Instead, a person would be thrown over the car - over the front bumper and bonnet, which are especially designed to inflict minimum injury.

Primary safety features prevent accidents

Volvo does its best to protect everyone in an accident. More important is to try to prevent the accident in the first place. The Volvo C30 is full of accident avoiding features. These include its agility, superb brakes, great steering and a host of electronic accident-avoidance features that stop skids and slides.

DSTC (Dynamic Stability and Traction Control) is standard on every Volvo model and prevents wheel spin or skids by either braking the wheel that has lost traction or by reducing engine power.

ABS (Anti-lock brakes) are standard. EBD (Electronic Brake Distribution) and EBA (Electronic Brake Assist) ensure the car stops in the shortest possible distance and with the maximum amount of control in emergencies.

The Volvo C30 also has excellent visibility, a real boon for safety. Rear, and rear three-quarter, visibility is helped by the deep glass tailgate and deep contoured side glass. In addition, the Volvo C30 can be fitted with BLIS (Blind Spot Information System) that uses cameras mounted in the side door mirrors to register if another vehicle is in the blind spot. A warning lamp near the mirror alerts the driver.

IDIS (Intelligent Driver Information System) is also standard. It continually monitors steering wheel movement, accelerator pedal movement, braking and indicator controls, and works out how preoccupied the driver is. If IDIS concludes that the driver is fully occupied, less important feedback - such as certain warning controls or incoming calls to the integrated telephone - will be delayed.


The Volvo C30's security systems were developed in association with the security experts at Thatcham. The C30 is fitted with a wide range of features designed to protect against burglary, theft or assault. An electronic immobiliser makes it impossible to start the car without the correct key, whilst deadlocks make it difficult to break in. The car is identified with 'anti-theft' markings, and the audio equipment is an integral part of the on-board electronics.

The sophisticated locking system can be individually programmed via the car's menu system so that a single 'blip' opens all the doors or just the driver's. The doors can be locked automatically as the car pulls away.

The 'home safe and approach' lighting system enables the driver to turn on inside lights, side marker lights and rear view mirror lights as he or she approaches. When leaving the car, the headlamps can light the path to the front door before automatically switching off.

The 'Volvo On Call' system is an advanced telematics programme that uses the integrated mobile phone and the built-in GPS satellite unit to ensure help is at hand. If an airbag is deployed in an accident, the Volvo On Call system automatically rings the emergency services. The satellite tells of your precise location even if the driver is unable to. Pressing the red SOS button on the integrated phone puts you straight through to the emergency services. If the car breaks down, the 'Volvo On call' button puts you straight through to a Volvo operator. Vehicle tracking is also available.


Volvo is passionately committed to protecting our environment. Along with safety, environmental protection is a cornerstone of the Volvo brand, commensurate with the company's philosophy to protect life.

Low CO2 emitting DRIVe range

Reducing fuel consumption and CO2 emission level offers a range of benefits, both for the environment and the buyer's pocket. The full DRIVe range now includes the XC60 crossover, V70 and XC70 premium estates and S80 executive saloon. The S40 saloon and V50 Sportswagon all offer outstanding CO2 emissions of 104 g/km thanks to the introduction of an intelligent Start/Stop system. The C30 1.6D DRIVe with Start/Stop offers 99 g/km, meaning it's exempt from annual road tax.

'Clean Inside and Out' Environmental commitment

Volvo's 'Clean Inside and Out' commitment represents a holistic approach to the environmental impact of cars, including the ecological consequences of production, use and disposal of the vehicle.

Many people do not know that the air inside a car can be just as harmful as pollutants outside, or that the materials used in a car's interior can emit substances that can cause allergies and distress. The air-conditioning system also incorporates an air filter that prevents dust, pollen and exhaust gas particles entering the car.

The Volvo C30's cabin features materials that are hypoallergenic and free from any hazardous substances. They meet a strict international standard called Oeko-Tex. This also includes all materials that occupants are likely to touch, including exterior and interior door handles, upholsteries, plastics and ignition key.

Ghent factory one of Europe's most environmentally friendly

The Volvo C30 is made at Volvo Car Corporation's Ghent factory in Belgium, alongside the Volvo S40, V50 Sportswagon and XC60. Recently, over 340 million euros (£230 million) have been invested to make the factory more efficient and as environmentally friendly as possible. In every case, substances and processes have been chosen to minimise ecological impact. These include CFC-free materials, water-borne paint and chromium-free body material pre-treatment.

All materials used in the manufacture of the Volvo C30 have been carefully chosen. Eighty-five percent of the car, by weight, can be recycled. Recycled wood fibre and felt are used in some interior trim, and all plastic components are specially marked to help recycling.