Sporty and saintly
The C30’s a cert as a stylish and safe second-hand choice
standout if you want go, the diesel for economy.
The 2.4 could be had with a five-speed manual or a fivespeed auto and the turbos with a five-speed auto or sixspeed manual.
All models are well equipped with safety features, with a raft of front and side airbags, but initially you had to sign up for the T5 to get stability control. They were also well catered with comfort features; even the base S had the likes of aircon, cruise control, leather-wrapped steering wheel, trip computer and eight-speaker CD sound.
Head up the range to the LE and the fruit included leather trim.
At five years, the earliest C30 will have done something like 60,000-80,000km and be reaching middle age, but there’s nothing to fear about it.
Mechanics who are experienced with Volvos say little goes wrong with C30s — providing they are serviced according to the book.
Engines, gearboxes and other driveline components are reliable and durable. Correct servicing is a must. Volvo sets down 15,000km or one-year service intervals and that’s the maximum they should go before an oil change.
Volvo mechanics recommend more frequent oil changes if you’re not doing a lot of driving, say every six months, to keep things ticking over nicely.
The engines are equipped with a camshaft timing belt, which requires changing every 150,000km or 10 years. The belt must be changed; the internal damage caused by breaking one doesn’t bear thinking about.
When inspecting a C30, ask for a verifiable service record and consider having the car inspected by an expert. If you are choosing a T5, be sure to look closely for signs of abuse from over-enthusiastic drivers.
The only thing mechanics informed us about was a reception problem with radios. They say it’s neither widespread nor a major issue but it is worth checking that the radio works and picks up the stations you listen to.
A sharp-looking, well-built and reliable hatch, the C30 is good buying.