Sporty and saintly

The C30’s a cert as a stylish and safe sec­ond-hand choice

The Courier-Mail - Motoring - - USED CAR -

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.

NOW

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.

SMITHY SAYS

A sharp-look­ing, well-built and re­li­able hatch, the C30 is good buy­ing.

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