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Tony O'Kane | May 5, 2010

VOLVO HAS LAUNCHED the 2010 C30 range in Australia, a range which features a new look, more features and a fuel-sipping diesel model.

Prices however have remained static, improving the C30’s value proposition. The only major change to the C30’s pricing structure is the addition of the C30 DRIVe, which at $36,150 sits a rung above the entry-level 2.4i S manual.

The mid-range 2.4 LE variant has been dropped from the range.

With the 2010 C30 update, Volvo Australia is looking to broaden the appeal of its small hatchback.

The typical C30 buyer has, up until now, been a person in their mid-40s, but Volvo expects its revitalized C30 range to appeal to young professionals between the ages of 28 and 35.

Styling

Angling for a younger demographic necessitated a newer, more youthful look for the C30, and the car’s facelift accomplishes this nicely.

Styled in the same vein as the XC60 SUV and the upcoming S60 sedan, the 2010 C30’s new nose loses the old model’s square-edged features in favour of a tauter, sportier ‘face’.

The bumper, front guards and bonnet are entirely new, and the reshaped grille features a larger version of Volvo’s distinctive “Iron Mark” corporate emblem. The cheek ‘vents’ are more pronounced and the black plastic lower bumper cladding is now more subtle, too.

The headlights are upswept and catlike, with an entirely different lens arrangement. The taillights are the same shape as the outgoing model, but now feature LED globes with an Emergency Brake Light (EBL) flashing function.

Under hard braking and/or ABS activation, the tail-lights flash rapidly to alert vehicles behind you. When speed drops below 10km/h, the C30’s hazard lights take over.

Styling changes to the C30’s rump are minimal, but the more sparing use of black plastic on the lower reaches of the rear bumper lends the car more visual heft and gives it the appearance of riding lower to the ground.

A pair of reflectors are now integrated into the rear bumper too, and the numberplate recess has been reshaped.

An optional exterior styling pack adds silver garnishes to the front bumper, rear bumper and sideskirts, but the T5 R-Design scores a more attractive body-coloured bodykit, silver wing mirror covers, tailgate spoiler and 90mm chrome exhaust tips.

Orange Flame metallic and Lime Grass Green are new to the 2010 C30’s colour palette

Two new alloy wheel designs have been added to the C30’s bulging options list, with the 17x7-inch “Styx” wheel (only available in white) and the 16x6.5-inch “Convector” new for 2010.

Interior

The C30’s four-seater interior carries over largely unchanged, albeit with a few trim additions for 2010.

2010 volvo c30 t5 rdesign 09

The satin-finish Oyster Burst Deco trim is white with an airbrushed grey border and is inspired by the classic Hagstrom guitars used by Elvis and Jimi Hendrix, while a honeycomb-style aluminium trim gives a more subdued finish to the centre stack and door trims.

Material changes and a new textured surface for the parcel shelf rounds out the rest of the interior changes, but as with the old model there’s ample room for cabin customization.

Fabric trim is standard on all models bar the T5 and T5 R-Design (where it’s a no-cost option), while the T5 models get leather upholstery.

Three interior colour schemes can be optioned (dark, dark/light and light), and there are four fabric colours and three leather colours to choose from (‘Cranberry’ red leather is new for 2010).

The T5 R-Design gets two-tone black/white leather upholstery, along with a smattering of R-Design badging.

Equipment

Active Bending Lights (ABL) are the biggest change to the C30’s equipment levels for 2010, with the T5 and T5 R-Design receiving them as standard equipment.

Xenon bulbs provide strong illumination, while sensors linked to the steering wheel turn the lenses toward the direction of travel to improve visibility around corners.

ABL is available on all other C30 models, albeit as a $2925 option.

Power mirrors, power windows, foglights, cruise control, climate control and a trip computer are standard across the range, with a sunroof, power-adjustable seats, Bluetooth connectivity, sat-nav and rear parking sensors all available as cost options.

Heated front seats, keyless entry, rain-sensing wipers and an auto-dimming rear view mirror are also optional.

The base sound system is a six-speaker AM/FM tuner with single-disc CD player and 3.5mm auxillary input. T5 models get an 8-speaker stereo with USB/iPod input (a $1425 option on other models), while the top of the line 12-speaker Dynaudio premium stereo costs $975 on the T5 and $2400 on all other models.

A six disc in-dash CD stacker can also be had for the princely sum of $2275 ($850 on T5 variants), and also deletes the iPod connectivity option.

In addition to the extra safety offered by the EBL system, the C30’s suite of active and passive safety equipment is extensive.

As standard, all models get ABS, brake assist and Dynamic Stability and Traction Control (DSTC). The entire C30 range is also equipped with dual-stage front airbags for the driver and front passenger, front side airbags, full-length curtain airbags and an anti-whiplash system for the front seats.

A novel piece of equipment is Volvo’s Intelligent Driver Information System (IDIS), which analyses driver behaviour and can delay potentially dangerous distractions like incoming phone calls when it detects ‘intense’ driving inputs. IDIS is standard for the C30 range.

Volvo also offers a camera-based blind spot monitoring system, which detects vehicles to either side of the car and lights up a warning lamp to alert the driver. The system, dubbed BLIS in Volvo-speak, is available as a $1275 option.

Mechanical

Engine-wise, the 2.4i S, T5 and 2.0D are mechanically unchanged (the latter was only introduced to the range late last year), but the DRIVe features an entirely new powertrain.

As the most economical model in the C30 line-up, the C30 DRIVe is powered by a 1.6 litre turbodiesel inline-four which produces 80kW at 4000rpm and 240Nm of torque at 1750rpm.

Mated to a five-speed manual gearbox (no auto is available), it’ll do the 0-100km/h sprint in a leisurely 11.3 seconds, but fuel economy is claimed to be a Prius-beating 3.8 l/100km with CO2 emissions pegged at 99g/km.

A stop-start system is responsible for much of the fuel economy saving, and regenerative braking keeps the battery topped up and lessens fuel-sapping alternator load.

With average fuel consumption listed at 3.8 l/100km, the C30 DRIVe boasts a theoretical maximum range of 1300km.

Aerodynamics have been subtly tweaked to reduce drag, with flat undertrays, air diversion panels in the front grille, a unique rear spoiler and rear bumper all working to lower the DRIVe’s coefficient of drag.

The DRIVe’s power steering and cooling system use switchable pumps to further improve economy, and the gearbox oil is of a special low-friction grade.

The 2.4i S’s 2.4 litre naturally-aspirated petrol inline five produces 125kW at 600rpm and 230Nm at 4400rpm, while the 2.0D’s 2-litre turbodiesel four develops 100kW at 4000rpm and 320Nm at 2000rpm.

The performance stars continue to be the T5 and T5 R-Design, both of which make use of Volvo’s 2.5 litre turbocharged petrol inline five. Peak power of 169kW occurs at 5000rpm, and 320Nm is available between 1500-5000rpm.

The 2.4 I S is equipped with a five-speed manual geabox by default, while the T5 uses a six-speed manual. Both the 2.4i S and T5 are available with a five-speed tiptronic automatic, while the 2.0D can only be had with the twin-clutch six-speed Powershift auto.

Suspension hardware consists of MacPherson struts up front and a multi-link setup at the rear, with anti-dive and anti-lift geometry to improve handling. The DRIVe gets a softer suspension tune than the other models in the range.

All C30 variants can be had with the optional Sports Chassis package, which brings 30 percent stiffer springs, 20 percent firmer dampers, 20mm lower front springs, 15mm lower rear springs, a faster steering rack and thicker swaybars.

At $800 for the Sports Chassis, it’s one of the better-value options on the C30’s extensive list.

Pricing

Retail pricing starts at $34,950 for the base 2.4i S manual, and tops out at $48,650 for the T5 R-Design automatic. For full pricing, see below (note: prices do not include on-road costs).

  • Volvo C30 2.4i S manual: $34,950
  • Volvo C30 2.4i S auto: $36,450
  • Volvo C30 1.6 DRIVe: $36,150
  • Volvo C30 2.0D: $37,950
  • Volvo C30 T5 manual: $43,450
  • Volvo C30 T5 auto: $44,950
  • Volvo C30 T5 R-Design manual: $47,150
  • Volvo C30 T5 R-Design auto: $48,650

Two option packages are offered: the Teknik Pack and the Komfort pack.

The Teknik Pack incorporates sat-nav, BLIS, ABL, rear parking sensors and Bluetooth phone connectivity and costs $6350 on the 2.0D and 2.4i S, and $3700 on the T5 models.

The Komfort Pack brings keyless entry, rain-sensing wipers, an auto-dimming rear view mirror, sound-deadening side windows, heated front seats and an electric driver (or passenger) seat. It cost $2600 on the 2.0D and 2.4i S, and $2275 on the T5 models.

Neither option package is available on the 1.6 DRIVe.

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